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The Ultimate IT Jargon Buster!

As technology develops, more and more computer terminology is being created and used in everyday language. For all the non-computer users out there, this can be a nightmare.


When dealing with computer companies or support technicians the jargon can be so complex that it feels like you are trying to communicate in two different languages.

Therefore, we have started to compile a jargon buster of technical terms to help anyone understand the most complex of terms. If you spot any that you need the answer too, leave a comment below and we can update it!


Antivirus – Software designed to detect and destroy computer viruses

AI (Artificial Intelligence) – Intelligence demonstrated by machines, primarily devices that perceives their environment and takes actions

AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) – A manufacturer of CPUs, processors, flash memories and other computer hardware

Algorithm – A set of rules to be followed in calculations, especially by a computer

API (Application Programming Interface) – A set of rules that allow the creation of applications, which access the data of an operating system, applications or service

App (Application) A piece of software developed to be installed on mobile devices

Adware – Software that automatically displays or downloads advertising material when a user is online


BIOS (Basic Input / Output System) A set of computer rules in firmware, that controls the input and output operations

Byte – A unit of data that contains eight binary bits. Or a series of eights zeros and ones.

Botnet – A network of private computers infected with malicious software, controlled as a group

Backdoor – The access of a computer system with encrypted data that bypasses the systems security system

Bandwidth – The amount of data that is transferred or passed from one destination to another


Cache – These are temporary files downloaded for web content. Your computer reloads these files when you revisit a webpage

Cloud – The cloud is where data is stored, controlled from remote servers via an internet connection. Find out more about Cloud service here

Corrupted – A data file that is no longer usable, usually from infection of a virus

Cybersecurity – A term created to describe all the security put in place to protect computers from cyberattacks. Find out more about Cybersecurity here

Cyberattacks – A group of hackers who aim to damage or destroy a computer network or system

Cryptocurrency – A digital currency in which encryption skills are used to regularly generate units of currency, to verify the transfer of funds


DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) – The intention of harming and stopping a computer network, by flooding it with data sent from many individual computers

Dark Web – A part of the World Wide Web that is only reachable via special software and applications. The dark web allows users to operate whilst remaining untraceable

Downtime – A total outage of power, communication or business

Data Breach – A security incident where sensitive and personal information is copied, transmitted, viewed or stolen

Decryption – The process of taking encoded of encrypted text and translating it into text the user understands

DNS (Domain Name System) – The internet’s system for converting alphabetic names into numeric IP addresses e.g. Submitting a URL and taking the user to the IP address associated with that name

Disaster Recovery – An IT service that provides a full backup of information, data and service so that a business can quickly resume. Find out more about Disaster Recovery here


Encryption – The process of changing information or data into a code, especially to prevent unauthorized access

EXE – A file extension for an executable format. Used to unload software to be installed on a computer

Edge Computing – Allows data to be processed closer to where it is created, rather than transmitting it across long routes to data points or clouds


Firewall – A network security system, that controls any incoming or outcoming network traffic

File sharing – A technique used to distribute access to digital media, documents or e-books

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) – A client protocol used for transferring files with a host computer. Usually authenticated with usernames and passwords


Gigabyte – A unit of data that contains data equal to one thousand million bytes

GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) – A file format that supports animated and static images

GUI (Graphical User Interface) – A user interface that includes graphical elements, like windows, icons and buttons


Hacker – A person who uses a computer to gain unauthorized access to data

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) – A universally known system for text tagging files. Meaning you can achieve font, colours, graphics and hyperlinks, to be used on World Wide Web pages

Hotspot (WiFi) – A physical location where people may obtain internet access using WiFi technology. This can be done via a router connected to a WLAN


Infrastructure – The IT infrastructure refers to everything; the network, the servers etc. Find out more about IT Infrastructure here

IT (Information Technology) – Anything related to computing technology

IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) – A 15 or 17 digital code that uniquely identifies mobile phone devices

IP Address – A unique address that identifies a device on the internet or on a local network

ISP (Internet Service provider) – A company that provides customers with Internet access

IOS – An operating system used for mobile devices manufactured by Apple


Java – A programming language that produces software for a host of platforms

Javascript – An object-orientated computer programming language used to mainly created interactive effects on web browsers


Key Logger – Software which records/logs the keys struck on a keyboard

Kilobyte – A unit of data that contains data equal to one thousand and twenty four bytes


LAN (Local Area Network) – A computer network that spans a relatively small area, usually based in a single room or building

Linux – An open-source operating system modeled on UNIX


Malware – Software which specifically disrupts or damages a computer, or gains access to a users system

Megabyte – A unit of data that contains data equal to one million, forty eight thousand, five hundred and seventy six bytes

Motherboard – A printed circuit board containing the principal components of a computer or other device


NOS (Network Operating System) – A computer operating system that is designed primarily to support a personal computer

NTFS (New Technology File System) – A file system that Windows uses for storing and retrieving files on a hard disk


Operating System – This is the software that supports a computers basic functions


Phishing – A practice of sending fraudulent emails pretending to be from reputable companies, with the aim to induce individuals to reveal personal information

PDF (Portable Document Format) – A file format for capturing and sending electronic information, so it can be viewed in exactly the intended format

Peer to peer – Networks in which each computer can act as a server for the other, allowing file sharing without a central server

POP (Post Office Protocol) – A type of computer networking that extracts and retrieves email from a remote mail server

Protocol – The official procedure or system of rules for transmitting data between electronic devices, such as computers

Proxy Server – A server that sits between a client application, like a web browser, and a real server


None… yet


Ransomware – A type of malicious software designed to block access to computer system or network, until a sum of money has been paid

RAM (Random Access Memory) – A type of computer memory that can be accessed randomly. This means any byte of memory can be accessed without touching the preceding bytes

Router – A networking device that transfers data packets between computer networks

ROM (Read Only Memory) – A type of storage medium that permanently stores data, meaning it can only be read and not written


Server – A computer or computer program that manages access to network resources

Software – A set of instructions or programs instructing a computer to do specific tasks. Software is the universal term to describe computer programs

Spyware – Software that is installed on a computer device with the computer users knowing about it

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – The practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to a website

Spam – Internet messages that are irrelevant and unsolicited, typically to many users. Usually for the purposes of advertising, phishing or spreading viruses


Troubleshoot – The process of analysing and solving a serious problem

Trojan Horse – A computer program designed appear harmless, but is actually malicious and loaded with a computer virus


UX (User Experience) – The concept of encompassing all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with a web site, program or application

UNIX – A multi-user operating system  designed for flexibility, UNIX was one of the first operating systems to be written in C language

UAC (User Account Control) – A feature that is in place to stop unauthorized changes to your computer, by telling the user that an action could potentially affect your computers safety

USB (Universal Serial Bus) – A common interface that enables communication between devices and a host controller, such as a computer


VPN (Virtual Private Network) – A network that is constructed using public wires, to connect remote users or regional office to a companies network

Virus – A piece of code which is capable of destroying itself and having a detrimental effect, usually corrupting the system or destroying computer data

Virtual Memory – Computer memory that appears to exist as main storage although it is supported as secondary storage


Worm – A standalone malware computer program that replicates itself in order to spread to other computers

WAN (Wide Area network) – A network that exists over a large scale area. The purpose is to connect different smaller networks, such as LAN and metro area networks.

WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) – A security protocol that is designed to provide a wireless local area network (WLAN) with a level of security and privacy

Wifi – A wireless networking technology that allows computers and other devices to communicate over a wireless signal

WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) – A wireless distribution method for two or more devices that use high frequency radio waves to include an access point to the internet


XML (Extensible Markup Language) – A metalanguage which allows users to define their own customized markup languages, in order to display documents on the internet


None… yet


Zip file – A computer file whose contents are compressed for storage or transmission

You made it to the end, leave a comment below if you have any jargon you’d like busted!

If you’re looking to put your mind at rest and want to ensure the safety of your own or your clients personal data. Get in contact with us on 02920 887 362 or send us an email at

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