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Computer Terminology Every PC Owner Should Know

Computer terminology is everywhere. There is so much of it, with more being created all the time that it can be impossible to keep up. I see it all the time in my career, working with beginner computer users that struggle with learning how to use a computer, partly because it's unfamiliar but also partly because of this new language they now have to learn. I call it "geek speak" but in reality it's just a bunch of terms that refer to different parts and functions on a computer. Below I'll break down 10 of the most commonly used and heard computers terms so that next time you hear them, you'll be on the road to understanding what they mean and how to use them yourself.



Operating System: This is the software that runs a computer. Most computers won't do much without an operating system. Common operating systems include Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows 7 and now Microsoft Windows 8, MacOSx and Linux. You use the operating system to access the programs and files you have on your computer.

Desktop: This is the main screen on most operating systems. It's where you find the Start Menu in Windows. Generally it's just a starting point to access all of the programs and files on your computer.

Browser: This is software that allows you to access the Internet. Common browsers include Internet Explorer (This comes with the Windows operating system. Usually I refer to it as the "big blue E" that you see on your desktop.), Mozilla Firefox, Safari (for Mac users), and Google Chrome. If you're on a computer or smartphone and you're reading this you're probably using a browser. Don't know which one? Find the "Help" menu in the toolbar at the top and look for "About". That will tell you what you're using.

Download: This term gets thrown around a lot. In reality downloading happens any time you bring anything on to your computer. You download programs, pictures and music from the Internet.

Upload: This is the opposite of download. When you send somebody else a file of any kind you upload that file. You upload videos onto YouTube and you upload pictures onto Facebook. You upload files when you attach them to an email.

URL: This is an acronym that means Uniform Resource Locator. That's not particularly important and I won't test you on it later. All it really means is that it's an address on the Internet, like your house address on a map. http://www.google.ca is an address or URL on the Internet. It's the means we use to locate or find specific websites on the Internet.

Spyware: This is a term that's become quite common lately. Spyware is any program that allows a company or individual to essentially spy on you. They can track which websites you visit, what your search terms are in Google or any search engine, how often you use the computer, among other things. Common forms of spyware are toolbars, like those that typically get installed into browsers. Often they show up accidentally when you download and install or put in a new program on your computer. Finding a good anti-virus program that has spyware protection included is usually a good way to protect yourself.

Virus: Viruses are different from spyware. While spyware can slow down your computer and make it difficult to use, viruses can completely shut down your computer and destroy all of your files. They are designed to spread through email and websites and infect as many computers as possible. Just like with spyware, getting a good anti-virus program and keeping it updated and running is a great way to help prevent getting infected with a virus.

Malware: Malware is malicious software or software that's meant to make your computer hard to use, gather personal information off of your computer (common personal information kept on computers can include banking information, usernames and passwords, name, address and phone numbers along with names of family and friends through email contact lists) or gain access to personal or sensitive files. Malware is the broader term that includes things such as viruses and spyware. Most people use anti-virus programs to help prevent malware.

Firewall: Typically on home computers firewalls are software that are designed to help prevent unauthorized or unwanted access to your computer by unknown people. Microsoft Windows comes with it's own firewall called Microsoft Defender. You can find it in the Control Panel. Big companies often use hardware based firewalls (basically a computer) to help protect their networks from attacks. If you have a network at home you may have a router. That router can also act as a firewall to help prevent unwanted access.

Don't forget to print this article for future reference! Knowing some basic computer terms can go a long way in helping you understand what your friends are saying or what the guy at the computer store is trying to tell you. It can be confusing, but if you start trying to use the terms in your everyday language they will become familiar in no time.

Computer Terminology Every PC Owner Should Know Computer Terminology Every PC Owner Should Know مراجعة من قبل Steven Raiss في 9:01 ص تصنيف: 5