A lot of IT terms can be extremely intimidating. While this may be the case for most professions, the IT (information technology) and the computer sector is a relatively young industry. Although the first computer was built as far back as the 1940s, they didn’t become widespread until the 1980s.
In this blog post, Nuvex Solutions provides a simple glossary of 14 commonly-used IT terms for you to refer to. Have a question about anything mentioned in here or want to recommend a word? Send us a message via our contact page!
IT Terms #1: Access Point
An access point is a wired device that allows wireless equipment and devices to communicate with a Wi-Fi network. It’s often used in an office or large building so people can access Wi-Fi from all or specific parts of the building. For example, if you want to enable Wi-Fi access in a reception room that is out of range, you can install an access point in the room with an Ethernet cable running through the ceiling.
Access points can handle more simultaneous connections than range extenders. This makes it a better choice for large companies with more office space and employees. Users can roam freely from room to room without experiencing network interruptions. Their devices switch between access points to keep them connected. Learn more about access points and whether they’re for you in this article by Linksys.
IT Terms #2: Anti-spam
Anti-spam are techniques applied by end-users and administrators of email systems to prevent email spam. No one anti-spam technique is a total solution. Each solution still has the potential to accidentally flag and reject legitimate emails. That’s why it’s important to check your spam folder first if you find an email hasn’t come through. Although not a perfect solution, anti-spam greatly reduces the amount of junk mail that gets sent into your inbox.
IT Terms #3: Anti-virus
Anti-virus areprograms that help protect your computer from malware and cybercriminals. Antivirus software performs a scan of data such as web pages, files, software, and applications. It then compares this data to a list of known threats. If applicable, it flags any suspicious behavior and alerts you of their presence. In many cases, antivirus software will also automatically quarantine and clean infected files. Suspect a crack in your cybersecurity? Let Nuvex Solutions take a look!
IT Terms #4: Applications
Applications are sometimes referred to as programs and are designed for specific purposes. This can include word processing (Microsoft Word) or graphic design (Adobe Illustrator). Examples include Microsoft Powerpoint, Audacity (audio-editing software), and more. While not actually considered an application, printer drivers are a piece of software that allows your computer and other applications to interact with your printer.
IT Terms #5: Attachment
When applied in IT terms, an attachment is a file that is sent along with an email message. Attachments are typically “clipped” (literally attached) to the message. Some can also be embedded in the message itself, such as an image.
IT Terms #6: Authentication
Authentication is the process of verifying your identity on a website or device. One common example of this is entering a username and password when logging into a website. Recently, dual-factor authentication is becoming increasingly common as it’s an extra layer of security. This is the process of identifying yourself with an additional verification that you are who you say you are. This could be in the form of inputting the answer to a security question or a PIN that you would have set up before.
Nowadays, authentication using a PIN sent to your smartphone has become more popular for many online services. For example, if you log into your email from a different IP address, your email service may flag the activity. A PIN then gets sent to your phone to verify that it is you trying to access your account.
IT Terms #7: Buffer
Buffer is a term commonly used for when a file (most commonly a video) is collecting data, but that data is not immediately available. When you click on a video link, it can take a short time for your internet and the URL address to be paired up. With high-speed internet, this usually takes only a few seconds before data begins to flow into your device.
Many streaming services like Netflix or Youtube start off the video in low quality so that you can access the video faster. Then, as data continues to flow, the video switches to a higher resolution. Buffering usually occurs due to an issue with either your internet speed or your router. Unstable Wi-Fi connections can also be the cause of the problem, even if there are no problems with your internet or router.
IT Terms #8: Business-class Email
A business-class email functions exactly like Gmail or Outlook, but is an email with YOUR name and website domain as an address. Most people see a business email as a sign of trust and professionalism. Another pro to having a business-class email is being able to build a consistent image for your whole team and strengthen your brand. Learn more about business class emails here!
IT Terms #9: Cache
A cache is a reserved storage location that collects temporary data in order to help websites, browsers, and apps load faster. Because data has previously been saved, this makes it easy to quickly retrieve data, which in turn helps devices run faster. Think of it as a memory bank that reserves data instead of redownloading it every time you visit a website or open an app.
Caches usually make everything run faster because they store information for the next time you visit. In some cases, it can also allow some websites and applications to work offline because there is enough stored data. In fact, because you are only downloading the file once, you don’t waste time or battery power to download all the information a second time. However, cached data can take up a lot of storage space, which ends up limiting the free space on your device. For that reason, it’s recommended to clear the cache on browsers and applications every so often to recover memory.
IT Terms #10: Cloud Storage
Cloud storage is made up of at least one data server that a user connects to via the internet. This makes your files accessible online from anywhere in the world (as long as you have access to the storage provider). Many businesses are increasingly working exclusively with Cloud storage due to how easy it is to save and backup files that everyone can access. Want to make sure your files are easily accessible? Learn more about Nuvex’s Cloud storage solutions.
IT Terms #11: Cookie
Under normal circumstances, cookies cannot transfer viruses or malware to your computer. However, in order to protect your privacy online, you may want to periodically clear your cookies on your internet browser.
IT Terms #12: Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity refers to the technology designed to protect networks, devices, programs, and data from attack, damage or unauthorized access. Antivirus software can be categorized as a cybersecurity program or measure. Find out more here.
IT Terms #13: Defragmentation
Defragmentation, also known as “defrag”,is the process of reorganizing data on a hard drive so that they are put back together in a lined up and continuous fashion. This helps improve the speed of access and retrieval of files.
Defragmentation is a bit like cleaning house for your servers or computers. Over time, disk defragmentation naturally occurs because files are constantly being written, deleted, and resized. When a file is spread out over several locations, this makes it take longer to read and write. If you haven’t recently defragmented your computer drives, you may find that it can greatly improve your computer performance! It is generally recommended that you defragment your computer once every few months.
IT Terms #14: Disaster Recovery
Disaster recovery isthe process related to recovering technology infrastructure and files after a natural or human-induced disaster. Nuvex Solutions recommends taking a proactive approach to the storage of your data so that you are protected if anything happens. Nuvex’s disaster data backup ensures that all your files are backed up frequently to mitigate any downtime in the case of a lost device, malware, or system crash. Learn more here.
When you have a problem with your computer systems, it can be especially frustrating to deal with when you don’t know or understand the terminology. We know how isolating it can be when you’re not familiar with the jargon or how things are done, but we promise it doesn’t have to be that way. At Nuvex Solutions, our goal is to improve a client’s IT support experience, alleviating stress and anxiety. We focus not just on quick response times, but also on the quality of our service, making sure that our clients clearly understand what we’re doing and why. Send us a message today or talk to us about what makes Nuvex different!