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Handy Glossary
 - of Nerdy Terms -
404 error page:

A 404 error page appears when you try to reach a web page that doesn't exist. This usually happens when the web page has been deleted or the URL has been mistyped.


API (Application Programming Interface):

APIs allow one software application to take information from another software application. An API literally "calls" one application and gets information to bring to you to use in your software.


AWS (Amazon Web Services)

AWS is a secured cloud services platform that offers compute power, database storage, content delivery and various other functionalities


Access point:    

A device that allows wireless computers, tablets, cell phones, etc. to communicate with a wired network.



Identifies the location of an online resource; like a home address that identifies a location where someone lives. There are 3 types of addresses:



The process of identifying yourself and the verification that you're who you say you are, often involving a username and password. Authentication is moving toward involving a second layer of verification by using multi-factor authentication (MFA). 



An extra copy of a file, document or complete set of data stored on a computer.



The measurement of the amount of data that can be transmitted over a network at any given time. The higher the network's bandwidth, the greater the volume of data that can be transmitted, and the faster you're able to perform online functions.


Blog (or weblog):

A web page that contains journal-like entries and links that are updated regularly for public viewing.



A wireless networking technology that allows users to send voice and data from one electronic device to another via radio waves.



A device which connects two parts of a network together at the data link layer (layer 2 of the OSI model). Network bridges work similarly to network switches, but the traffic is managed differently. A bridge will only send traffic from one side to the other if it is going to a destination on the other side. 



A program used to access World Wide Web pages. Examples: Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer. 


BYOD (Bring Your Own Device):

"BYOD" is a business and technology policy that allows employees to bring in personal mobile devices and use these devices to access company data, email, etc.



A cache is a block of memory for storing data which is likely used again. You may have heard the phrase “clear your cache” which means delete the copies of files or web pages you have saved so your computer goes and gets the newest version.


Cloud computing:

Cloud computing is when computing services are provided by a company or place outside of where they are being used. The cloud is a metaphor for the internet based on how the internet is usually displayed in a cloud. 



A small piece of information placed on your computer you when you visit a website that is used throughout your session as a means of identifying you. 



A term describing the online world of computer networks and especially the Internet.


DaaS (Desktop-as-a-Service) – 

Also called virtual desktop or hosted desktop services, desktop-as-a-service uses cloud computing for data storage, backup, security and upgrades. 



Any information stored by a computer; for example: files, emails, apps, video games, songs, and pictures.



A collection of information organized so that a computer application can quickly access selected information; it can be thought of as an electronic filing system. 


Data Center:

Data centers host physical IT equipment. In other words, they provide a storage environment for servers; which includes space, power, cooling, security, and connectivity.


Desktop Computer: 

A full-size computer, with a central processing unit (CPU) connected to a monitor.


Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery is an organization's method of regaining access and functionality to its IT infrastructure after events like a natural disaster, cyber attack, or other large scale business disruptions.


DNS (Domain Name System):

A service for accessing a networked computer by name rather than by numerical IP address.



A domain name is the unique name of a computer on the Internet that distinguishes it from the other systems on the network. They are sometimes colloquially (and incorrectly) referred to by marketers as "web addresses". 



The where you copy something from another computer or the internet, and save it on your computer. 


Drag and Drop:

The act of clicking on one piece of information (icon, picture, file, etc.) and moving it to another location. 



Shopping and/or buying things online.



Name given to learning and education using digital resources.


Email (Electronic mail):

A way to send a message from one computer to another.



Allows information to be hidden so that it cannot be read without special knowledge (such as a password). This is done with a secret code or cypher. The hidden information is said to be encrypted. 



Ethernet is a way of connecting computers together in a local area network (LAN). It has been the most widely used method of linking computers together.


External Hard Drive: 

A device that acts like a computer hard drive without being installed in the computer; plugs into a computer via a port and you can copy files to it.


FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

A resource (as on a website) that provides answers to a list of typical questions that users might ask regarding a particular subject.



Prevents unauthorized access to or from a particular network. Where antivirus protects a single computer, firewalls is another layer of security that protects a whole network. 


GPS (Global Positioning System):

A radio system that uses signals from satellites to determine the user's location and give directions to other places.. 


GUI (Graphical user interface):

A way of interacting with computer applications through icons, drop-down menus, and windows where you point and click to indicate what you want to do. 



A picture or an image.


Hard Drive / Hard Disk:

A data storage device that stores and retrieves digital data using magnetic storage and one or more rigid rapidly rotating platters coated with magnetic material. "Hard disk" and "hard drive" often are used interchangeably but technically, hard drive refers to the mechanism that reads data from the disk. 



The physical components of a IT equipment including the keyboard, monitor, disk drive, internal chips, wiring, access points, routers, etc.. Hardware is the counterpart of software. 



A business unit set up to provide a centralized resource to answer questions, troubleshoot problems and facilitate solutions to known problems



A computer that provides services to other computers connected to it 

HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol):

A set of instructions that defines how a web server and a browser should interact. 



Connects one piece of information (anchor) to a related piece of information (anchor) in an electronic document. 


IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol). 

A way of accessing e-mail messages on a server without downloading them to your local hard drive; it is the main difference between IMAP and POP3, where POP3 requires messages to be downloaded to a user's hard drive before the message can be read. 



A network, or system, that connects millions of computers and devices (cell phones, tablets, televisions, etc.) worldwide. 


IP address (Internet Protocol address):

A unique identifying number that every computer or device receives when they are connected to the Internet Example:


ISP (Internet Service Provider): 

An organization or company that provides Internet connectivity.


IT Assessment:

An IT Assessment is the practice of gathering information on part or whole of a IT network infrastructure, and then presented in a report. This report typically analyzes the current state or health of technology or services and identifies areas needing improvement or prepare for a some type of system or application upgrade. 


Knowledge Base:

A database of information common to a particular topic that is stored online for easy reference. 


LAN (Local Area Network):

A network that extends over a small area. Connects a group of computers for the purpose of sharing resources such as programs, documents, or printers. This is the most common network in an office. 



A very large computer capable of supporting hundreds of users running a variety of different programs simultaneously. Often the distinction between small mainframes and minicomputers is vague and may depend on how the machine is marketed.



Software programs designed to damage or do other unwanted actions on a computer; common examples of malware include viruses, worms, trojan horses, and spyware. 



Where a computer stores data. There are 2 types of memory:
RAM: temporary memory, called random access memory.

ROM: permanent memory, called read only memory.



A device that enables a computer to send and receive information over a normal telephone line. Modems can either be external (a separate device) or internal (a board located inside the computer's case) and are available with a variety of features such as error correction and data compression.



Screen that shows you what you are doing; a viewer that displays what the computer sends to it.


MSP (Managed Service Provider): 

A business model for providing information-technology services where the provider manages all of a company’s IT needs for them but in partnership with them.



The delivery of information in a combination of different formats including text, graphics, animation, audio, and video. 


MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication)

A authentication system that is a second layer to the traditional username and password authentication. Common MFA formats include email, text or through verification applications.


NaaS (Network as a Service): 

A network approach where the network equipment and functionality are the responsibilities of a third-party provider. 



A group of interconnected computers capable of exchanging information. A network can be as few as several personal computers on a LAN or as large as the Internet, a worldwide network of computers. 


Network Adapter:

A device that connects your computer to a network. 


Onsite Support:

Technical support that takes place at a customer’s place of business.



A term that has commonly come to mean "connected to the Internet". It also is used to refer to materials stored on a computer (e.g., an online newsletter) or to a device like a printer that is ready to accept commands from a computer.



A unit of transmission in data communications. 



An accessory that you use with your computer; not part of the computer itself, but it connects to the computer via a cable or wireless access; for example: mouse, keyboard, printers and scanners.



A con that scammers use to electronically collect personal information from unsuspecting users. Phishers send e-mails that appear to come from legitimate websites (such as eBay, PayPal, or other banking institutions) asking the user to reply and send personal or financial information.


Plug and Play:

A set of specifications that allows a computer to automatically detect and configure a device and install the appropriate device drivers without any complicated steps to set it up. 


POP (Post Office Protocol):

A method of handling incoming email and its storage. 


Pop-up Blocker:

Any application that disables the pop-up, pop-over, or pop-under ad windows that appear when you use a web browser. 



Device that prints out data sent from the computer onto paper.



A set of instructions that tells a computer how to perform a specific task; often used interchangeably with software or software application.


RAM (Random Access Memory) 

The amount of memory available for use by programs on a computer. 



A database used by Windows for storing configuration information. 


Remote Backup:

A remote, online, or managed backup service that provides users with a system for the backup and storage of computer files. 


Remote Desktop:

A Windows feature that allows you to have access to a Windows session from another computer in a different location.


Remote Login:

An interactive connection from your desktop computer over a network to a computer in another location (remote site). 


Remote Support:

Technical support for a customer that takes place outside of their place of business.


RJ-45 Connector:

An eight-wire connector used for connecting a computer to a local-area network. 



A device used for connecting two Local Area Networks (LANs); Routers can filter packets and forward them according to a specified set of criteria. 


SaaS (Software as a Service): 

A software delivery model in which software and associated data are centrally hosted on the cloud. 



Device that scans something that is flat and sends the image to the computer.



A picture that pops up when you are not using your computer.


Search Engine:

A tool that searches documents by keyword and returns a list of possible matches; most often used in reference to programs such as Google that are used by your web browser to search the Internet for a particular topic. 


Secure Server:

A special type of file server that requires authentication (e.g., entry a valid username and password) before access is granted. 



A computer that is responsible for responding to requests made by a client program (e.g., a web browser or an e-mail program) or computer. 



Copyrighted software available for downloading on a free, limited trial basis; if you decide to use the software, you're expected to register and pay a small fee. 



An icon is a shortcut to a file or program.


Social Networking Sites: 

Websites that allow people to connect and communicate with other people; examples: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Snapchat.



A file containing a bit of personal information that you can set to be automatically appended to your outgoing e-mail messages. 



Any program that performs a specific function. Examples: word processing, spreadsheet calculations, or electronic mail. 



Computer abbreviation for "sending particularly annoying messages"; unsolicited or unwanted email.


SSID (Service Set Identifier)

A name that identifies a wireless network. 


Streaming (streaming media):

A technique for transferring data over the Internet so that a client browser or plug-in can start displaying it before the entire file has been received. 



Any software that covertly gathers user information, usually for advertising purposes, through the user's Internet connection.



Bar on your computer that shows what programs are open.


Trojan horse:

A harmless-looking program designed to trick you into thinking it is something you want, but which performs harmful acts when it runs. 



A post of up to 140 characters published by a Twitter user. 


Two-Factor Authentication:

An extra level of security achieved using a security token device. The token displays a number which is entered following the PIN number to uniquely identify the owner. The identification number for each user is changed frequently, usually every few minutes.



The process of transferring one or more files from your local computer to a remote computer.


USB Port (Universal Serial Bus): 

A connector on the back of almost any new computer that allows you to quickly and easily attach external devices such as mice, joysticks, printers, scanners, modems, speakers, digital cameras or webcams, external storage devices, etc. 



A name used in conjunction with a password to gain access to a computer system or a network service.


URL (Uniform Resource Locator): 

The address of a computer, a document or a website on the Internet



Commonly refers to a program used for managing system resources such as disk drives, printers, and other devices. 



Anyone using a computer.



A program intended to alter data on a computer in an invisible fashion, usually for mischievous or destructive purposes. 


VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol): 

A way of using the Internet to make and receive phone calls. An advantage is you do not incur any additional surcharges beyond the cost of your Internet access. 


VPN (Virtual Private Networking):

A way of securely to another computer over a network by connecting to a remote access server through the Internet or other network. 


WAN (Wide Area Network):

A group of networked computers covering a large geographical area (e.g., the Internet). Similar to a LAN except the distance between computers is much larger. 


WAP (Wireless Application Protocol): 

A set of communication protocols for enabling wireless access to the Internet. 


WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy): 

A security protocol for wireless local area networks defined in the 802.11b standard. WEP provides the same level of security as that of a wired LAN. 



A way for your computer to talk to other computers without wires connecting them together. Often used interchangeably with wireless access. 


Wild Card:

A special character provided by an operating system or a particular program that is used to identify a group of files or directories with a similar characteristic. 


Wireless (networking)

The ability to access the Internet without a physical network connection. 



A special utility within some applications that is designed to help you perform a particular task. Example: installation wizards take a user through the steps of installing a software application. 


WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network): 

The computers and devices that make up a wireless network. 



A machine that uses electronics to input, process, and then output data. 


World Wide Web:

A hypertext-based system of servers on the Internet. Hypertext is data that contains one or more links to other data. Also referred to as "WWW" or "the web". 



A program that makes copies of itself and can spread outside your operating system worms can damage computer data and security in much the same way as viruses. 


WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access):

A standard designed to improve on the security features of WEP. 



A common file compression format for PC or compatibles that makes a group of files smaller for storing or sending over networks.


  1. The act of enlarging a portion of an onscreen image for fine detail work; most graphics programs have this capability.

  2. Also, an online video communication software that has become popular for virtual or remote meetings.

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