Knowledgebase: General Questions
Basic Computer Terms
Posted by Jody Austin on 12 August 2015 01:44 PM

Basic Computer Terms:

  • Anti-Virus:  software designed to detect and destroy computer viruses
  • Apps:  an abbreviated form of the word "application." An application is a typically a small, specialized program downloaded onto mobile devices
  • Bluetooth:  a brand name for a wireless networking technology that uses short-wave radio frequencies to interconnect cell phones, portable computers, and other wireless electronic devices.
  • Cache:  type of computer memory used to hold frequently used data.
  • Cookies:  A small text file created by a Web site that is stored in the user's computer either temporarily for that session only or permanently on the hard drive. Cookies provide a way for the Web site to recognize you and keep track of your preferences.
  • Cyber Attack:  an attempt to damage, disrupt, or gain unauthorized access to a computer, computer system, or electronic communications network.
  • Data:  information processed or stored by a computer.
  • Encryption:  The process of encoding a message so that it can be read only by the sender and the intended recipient. 
  • Firewall:  system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network.
  • Hacking:  the unauthorized gaining of access to a computer 
  • Hard Drive:   where the computer data is stored.
  • Hardware:  The physical machinery and devices that make up a computer system
  • Instant Messaging:   transmission of an electronic message over a computer network using software that immediately displays the message in a window on the screen of the recipient.
  • Malware:  software that is intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems.
  • Mobile Device:   a portable, wireless computing device that is small enough to be used while held in the hand
  • Monitor:  video device attached to the computer which displays the task you are performing.
  • Network:  multiple computers and other devices such as printers that are linked together so they can communicate with each other to share data, hardware and other resources.
  • Network Drive:  a storage device on a local access network (LAN) within a business or home.
  • Operating System:  software that manages computer hardware and software resources and provides common services for computer programs.
  • PC (Personal Computer): a general-purpose device that can be programmed to carry out a set of operations automatically.
  • Phishing: an e-mail fraud method in which the perpetrator sends out legitimate-looking email in an attempt to gather personal and financial information from recipients.
  • Plug Ins: a software component that adds a specific feature to an existing software application.
  • Processor:  electronic circuitry within a computer which processes the basic instructions that drive a computer.
  • RAM:  an acronym for random access memory. It is the most common type of memory found in computers and other devices.
  • Social Engineering:  psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information.
  • Social Media:  collective of online communications channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration. (ex:  Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  • Social Networking: the use of dedicated websites and applications to interact with other users, or to find people with similar interests to oneself.
  • Software:  general term that describes computer programs
  • Virus: small programs or scripts that can negatively affect your computer.
  • Web Browser: a program used for displaying and viewing pages on theWorld Wide Web.  (ex: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome)
  • Wi-Fi: wireless networking technology that uses radio waves to provide high-speed Internet and network connections.










References: ( retrieved Aug. 6, 2015

Tech Terms ( retrieved Aug. 6, 2015

The Free Dictionary ( retrieved Aug. 6, 2015

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