Keeping up with the latest IT jargon can be difficult. Refer to this guide to look up common words you hear but may not understand!

Back up

The process of copying data to ensure it’s not lost in the event of a computer failure.


Often used when talking about the internet, this term describes how quickly a network can transmit data.


This is the programme you use to browse the internet. Some common browsers are Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Safari.


A flaw in a software programme.


A unit for measuring memory or storage on computers.

Cloud computing

Cloud computing is the storing of data and accessing programmes over the internet, something which has traditionally been done on your hard drive. It is becoming more popular as people want to access more data (like songs, images, videos) from multiple devices.


A small file that allows websites to personalise your experience. An example of cookies in action is when shopping websites have a sidebar showing items you recently viewed. Law now states that websites must ask you whether you accept cookies when you visit.

Domain name

A unique name that identifies an IP address (see below) or a group of IP addresses. Domain names are used in website and email addresses. Parenta’s domain name is parenta.com.


The process of converting data into a special code so it can’t be read by unauthorised parties. The person receiving it will be given a password to decrypt the code.


Software that prevents unauthorised access to a computer via the internet.


A measure of computer storage or memory. It is equivalent to 1000 megabytes.

Hard disk (also known as hard drive)

A disk built into a computer that is used to store data.


Wireless internet access that is available to the public.


This stands for HyperText Markup Language. It is a code used to build web pages.

IP address

An IP address is a unique number that identifies a computer. If you think about how every phone line has a unique number so one can reach another, IP addresses perform a similar function for computers.


A programming code that is used to make web pages more interactive.


JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. It is a type of picture file. When you save a picture on your computer, you will usually have the option to save it as a JPEG file. JPEGs are widely used on the internet.


A kilobyte is a measure of computer storage or memory. It is the equivalent of 1024 bytes.


Software that is designed to damage your computer or mobile device.


A unit of storage or memory on computers. It is the equivalent of 1024 kilobytes.


Computers use memory to store information, like documents, photos or music.


Portable Document Format. A way of saving a document so it can be viewed on different computers or devices, without losing its format.


This is a kind of fraud and is the process of trying to trick someone into sharing personal information, usually passwords or bank details. The best known examples are emails pretending to be from a bank, asking the victim to confirm their account number. Beware of any email that asks you for information, even if they appear to be from legitimate sources.


Pixel comes from the words ‘picture element’. Images are composed of thousands of pixels, which are tiny points of light or colour. They are so small and so close, that they appear joined to the naked eye.

QR code

QR (Quick Response) codes look similar to bar codes, but they can be read by devices like smartphones with special apps. They can often be found in stores or magazines and, when read by a camera, usually lead to online content. It’s important to only scan QR codes from trusted sources as they can be used by scammers.


This is the number of pixels in a given area. High resolution images will have more pixels in any given area than a low resolution one. The resolution of a screen determines how good the picture quality displayed is.


A device that joins two data networks together. You may have a router in your office that joins your computers to the internet.

Search engine

This is a system, like Google or Bing, which helps you to find things on the internet. You can improve where your website appears on search engines with well written content.


A phone that can run applications in a similar way to a computer. Usually touch screen, smartphones are more advanced than traditional mobile phones.


Also known as junk mail. This is the use of email to send unsolicited messages to people. Most email systems are very good at filtering spam into a separate folder so you don’t see it.


This is software that collects information about users without them knowing. It can be used to gather information about the user, even passwords.


A portable touchscreen computer. Tablets tend to have similar functionality to smartphones but are larger and more powerful.


A unit of storage or memory on computers. It is the equivalent of 1000 gigabytes.


URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator and is the unique address for a web page. The URL for the training section of the Parenta website is www.parenta.com/getting-qualified/


Universal Serial Bus. A USB is used to connect a computer to another device, like a digital camera or a smartphone.

USB stick (also known as memory stick)

A device that connects to a USB port on a computer and can be used to store and transport data.


A virus is a harmful and manmade programme that infects your computer and runs in the background without you knowing.


Virtual Private Network. A secure connection between two networks. Often used in business to allow members of staff to connect remotely and securely to the office network.

Parenta offer a wide range of IT help, from systems that really cut down your paperwork, to great custom websites!

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