Make sense of IT requests with the non-techie guide to IT jargon

28 April 2016 by Mark Williams

Handling IT requests is hard if you don’t understand IT jargon. Learning the basics will not only make relaying the request to your IT support provider easier and quicker, but you will also begin to understand what the problem is and whether you even need to bother IT support.

So we’ve put together a glossary of some common business IT terminology to help you field requests more efficiently and confidently.

Cloud infrastructure

The cloud is a virtual environment (so it’s not in your office building). It’s used to store files and run applications over the internet (think Pinterest or Gmail – you access them via the web).

Cloud infrastructure has become more widely used in businesses because it’s reliable, secure and you only pay for what you use.

Malware

The term malware refers to any kind of software designed to infect, damage or disrupt a computer. It can take many forms, including ransomware that locks your computer until you pay a fine to unlock it or a zero-day exploit that makes use of a vulnerability in a piece of software that no one realised was there.

The end goal of using malware is usually to steal information and money from individuals or businesses.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a broad term that covers all the software, hardware and processes that keep your company’s data, networks and programs safe. (It’s much more than just anti-virus software.)

Encryption

Encryption is a method used to secure data. The information gets scrambled and the only way to get access to the unencrypted data is with a key or password.

Server

A server is a physical box with much more processing power and storage than a normal PC. Companies use servers to run all kinds of applications such as email, intranet and line-of-business systems.

HTTP and HTTPS

HTTP is a set of rules used when transferring data on the internet. HTTPS is a similar set of rules but they’re more secure. A web address beginning with HTTPS means the connection between your server and the browser is secure and any data you send, such as contact information, is encrypted.

Knowledge is power

The right IT support partner will not only manage your IT services, they will offer advice and knowledge to help you understand the problem.

We know that not everyone is a techie, but we believe that when every employee understands some IT jargon it helps them to stay secure online and, ultimately, makes for a stronger business overall.

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