When it comes to talking in jargon and complex terms, no industry worse than IT – even its very name is an acronym! Here are some of the most common terms used and our attempt to translate some of the common technical terms to plain-English.
Firewall : There are two Kind of Firewalls software and Hardware : A software firewall protects your computer while using public Wi-Fi hotspots and outbound actions taken by malicious software. A hardware firewall, most often built into routers ;helps protect all computers from it is recommended that you have both Microsoft Wndows 7 and above includes a minimalistic software firewall.
Virus Scanner: Virus Scanners are your computers first line of defense against viruses , Malware, Trojan horses, Spyware and other malicious software . All computer should have Virus Scanner installed and running. Many computers include a trail version of a Virus Scanner .( A yearly subscription must be paid to keep the virus scanner current ) Most major ISP s ( Internet Service Provider will provide a free Virus Scanner as part of their service. There are free Virus Scanners available. online; be careful however as there are many programs disguised as Virus Scanner that are actually malicious software .
Popups: These browser windows usually show an ad or a page with related content. Most pop-ups ae a simple nuisance. When excessive however, they can be a sign of a dangerous website. Most new web browsers have a built in pop-up blocker that prevents pop-ups from multiplying over your whole screen.
Spyware/Adware: These programs can bombard you with ads hijacking your web browser or worse keeping track of every word you type including your passwords and personal information. A dedicated Spyware and Adware remover can help with these malicious programs when your security suite does not include one. These removal tools should be run regularly and whenever abnormal behavior is noticed in your computer.
Malicious Software Sources: There are a number of sources for malicious software. Be careful when downloading any free software: make sure you know the maker and download only from verified sites. Peer to peer sharing applications are a common source of malicious software. E-mail attachments and links are one of the most common means of virus and spyware infection. Never open attachments or click on links from individuals you do not know, or when you were not expecting them, or when anything in the e-mail looks suspicious.
Phishing: Any attempt by a malicious program or site to try to disguise itself as a trusted program or site is a phishing scam. Identity thieves run these sites. Be careful! The government or your bank will not ask you to send personal information (such as passwords, birthdates, names, etc.) by e-mail or a link in an e-mail. They will use the post office. Whenever you log into any online account, confirm that the address is correct in the address bar. Also, look for the lock symbol on your browser to ensure your personal information is kept private.
Loosing Data and Backing Up: Data loss can happen for a variety of reasons. Viruses and other malicious software can purposefully damage or delete files and can even delete the entire hard drive. Power loss can corrupt data. Theft will remove the entire computer and all of the contents of the hard drive from your possession (see the section on Security and Passwords). The only way to prevent the loss of data is through regular backups. Backing up to an external hard drive, a CD or DVD, or using a trustworthy online backup service will save many headaches later. It is your responsibility to keep your data safe and backed up!
Security and Passwords: Without a password protecting your computer, any thief can take hold of all the data you keep on it. Be sure to use a complicated password. Do not use words, phrases, or names found in a dictionary or that can be guessed.
A hard drive is like the filing cabinet of your computer. It is used to store files – like word documents, spreadsheets, music and images – when they are not being worked on. The larger the filing cabinet (or hard disk) the more files that can be stored.
ISP (Internet Service Provider)
An ISP is the company that connects you to the Internet – they are the people that you pay each month in return for a certain amount of Internet usage. In many cases, your ISP also provides you with your email address.
OS (operating system)
Your operating system is the main software your computer uses to run everything from editing documents and listening to music to playing games and browsing the Internet. Lots of different programs can be run on top of the operating system, but the operating system brings everything together.
PSU (power supply unit)
A power supply converts power from standard electrical outlets into a steady stream of power which your computer can use. A 300 Watt power supply is generally sufficient for home users, but power users may need a 400 or 500 Watt version if they have multiple hard drives or other components. The quality of power supply can be very important and may make the difference between a stable computer and a computer that crashes often. Most good power supplies are designed to be self-sacrificing (like a fuse) in the event of a power surge to protect the components in your computer. It is worth investing in a power supply unit with surge protection.
RAM (random access memory)
RAM, or more simply referred to as memory, is the space you need to run the programs and files you are currently working on. If the hard disk is like a filing cabinet, then RAM is like the desk where all your current projects are running. The more RAM you have, the more things you can work on at once – like email programs, design software, word processing and games etc. Larger amounts of RAM are useful in situations where you do lots of things on your computer at once.
A router is a device that determines where data should be sent and is used to create a network of computers sharing information. Routers also provide security preventing non-requested data from entering the network – for an example, the route can stop intruders from remotely connecting to your computer.
Satellite is a way of connecting to the Internet via satellites. It is quite expensive to use and set up so it is usually only used in regional areas where regular dial-up or broadband Internet access is unavailable. This cost is subsidised by the government in some rural areas.
Spam is basically any email message that is sent to you without your permission. These can include unwanted advertising or online scams requesting your bank details or similar. Note: banks don’t ask for personal information over email, so always check with your bank before you give out any details.
A virus is a self-replicating program that spreads by inserting copies of itself into other code or documents on your computer. Viruses can be caught from documents, attach themselves to emails and spread through networks. Viruses usually attempt to hide and disrupt your system as much as possible.
Spyware is the name for programs that contain hidden nasties which can be used to send your private information across the Internet and destabilise your computer. Some can even cause your modem to dial overseas pay numbers leading to high phone bills. Spyware applications are typically bundled as a hidden component of freeware or shareware programs that can be downloaded from the Internet. Malware is software that is designed to cause problems on your computer and like spyware is downloaded with other programs and runs without your knowledge.
UPS (uninterrupted power supply)
A UPS keeps your computer running for several minutes after a power outage. That means if there is a power failure you have time to save your important work and shut down your computer properly to avoid any problems of a sudden shutdown.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)
VoIP lets you make phone calls using the Internet. Because all you pay for is your broadband connection (which you are probably paying for anyway), this can be a very cheap way to make long distance or local phone calls. All it requires is a broadband connection, microphone and headphones. Some VoIP technology even makes it possible to use your existing phone handsets to call via the Internet saving lots of money. The only limitation with VoIP is that it cannot make emergency calls and does not function in a power blackout. A common VoIP program is www.skype.com.
As Microsoft becomes aware of new vulnerabilities in Windows they release pieces of software called Updates that remove the vulnerabilities that your computer was previously exposed to. Windows Update – available at http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/ – should be run at least once a month. If this is not done, your computer could be vulnerable to attack from hackers or virus infection, despite the presence of a virus detection program.
A network is two or more computers that are connected which allows for things to interact with sharing files, printers or Internet connections. A wireless network simply uses high-frequency radio waves rather than cables to make the connections. This can be helpful in cases where wiring may be difficult, and also gives you the freedom to be online from just about anywhere in your home.
Above here is the most common technical terms we listed for you. To view a complete listing of technical terms for your equipment – please visit http://www.techterms.com/