IT glossary

IT Glossary – 20 Common IT Terms Defined!

It’s easy to get lost in the sea of IT jargon, so we've created this IT glossary of

ISP, cookies, VoIP, the cloud…

It’s easy to get lost in the sea of IT jargon, especially if your IT knowledge is limited.

But fear not, we’re here to help!

We’ve created this IT glossary of 20 common IT terms / acronyms and their definitions. Carry on reading to gain a better understanding of the tech world!

1. IT

Let’s start simple – IT (short for Information Technology) refers to the use of computers, networks and other tech to store, process and transmit information.

IT is the backbone of modern business operations and that’s why our mission is to drive businesses forward through the strategic use of IT.

2. Backup

Backup is the process of creating a copy of data to use in the event of data loss or a cyberattack. It essentially allows your data to be recovered, should disaster strike.

It’s really important for businesses to have a backup system in place.

Learn about our data backup solutions here.

3. Cloud Technology

Cloud technology uses remote servers hosted on the internet, rather than on a local server, to store, manage and process data.

The cloud can really aid business growth and development – read more about it here.

4. Cookies

No, we’re not talking about the tasty kind!

In tech jargon, cookies are small text files sent by the website you’re visiting to the device you’re using.

When you accept cookies, they are stored on your device’s web browser to track and collect data. This data is sent back to the website owner to use in a variety of ways, usually for marketing purposes.

Read more about cookies here.

5. Database

A database is an organised collection of business data, typically stored electronically.

Databases ensure information is easily accessible and manageable.

6. Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery is the process an organisation undertakes to regain access and functionality to its IT systems after a disaster strikes.

7. Encryption

Encryption is the process of converting data / information into a code to prevent unauthorised access.

8. Extranet

Extranet is a controlled private network that can be partially accessed by users outside of an organisation. It enables businesses to communicate and exchange information with others securely.

9. Firewall

A firewall is a security system that protects a network by monitoring and controlling incoming and outgoing traffic. It is essentially a barrier against cyberthreats.

10. Intranet

Intranet can be defined as a local private network only accessible to those within an organisation. It’s used for employees to communicate and share files / information securely.

11. ISP

The term ISP, AKA Internet Service Provider, refers to a company that provides an internet connection, both to personal and business customers.

12. LAN

A Local Area Network (LAN) is a network of devices connected within a physical area, like an office. It allows them to share resources and communicate.

13. Malware

Malware is malicious software designed to cause disruption or harm to a device or network. There are different types of malware including viruses, spyware and ransomware.

14. Network

A network is essentially multiple computers linked together. They can share resources and communicate with each other.

15. Phishing

Phishing is a malicious process of obtaining confidential information through emails. These emails often look very convincing and are designed for individuals to open, click on links and enter private data.

Phishing can be very harmful to individuals and businesses so it’s important to be vigilant.

Read our blog post on how to spot a phishing attack here.

16. Server

A server is a computer that provides shared resources or services to other computers on a network.

17. VoIP

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) essentially allows users to make calls and stay connected over the internet.

Traditional phonelines are being replaced by VoIP so if you’re still operating on one, it’s time to switch!

Read more about VoIP here.

18. VPN

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) protects your internet connection and privacy online. It encrypts your data to keep you private and protected online.

19. WAN

A Wide Area Network (WAN) is a collection of Local Area Networks (LANs) that communicate with one another.

20. 2FA / MFA

Two-Factor / Multi-Factor Authentication requires you to provide multiple forms of verification, e.g. a temporary code sent to your mobile, in addition to your password.

Enabling 2FA/MFA wherever possible is a great way to improve security.

Read more about password security here.

Anything else?

The list of IT terms are endless but we hope the 20 definitions above have helped broaden your tech knowledge!

Let us know if there are anymore IT terms you’d like explaining in future blog posts.

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