A guide to understanding computer terminology
There’s so much terminology surrounding computing that it can be difficult to know exactly what you’re dealing with. However, understanding the most important terms can be a big help, so here’s some important computer terminology you should know.
Specific to Your Computer
When it comes to buying a new computer, there’s certain terminology you might hear a lot. It can be very confusing if you’re unsure what they mean, so here are some of the most important terms.
CPU stands for “central processing unit” and is where all the data is processed on your computer. The CPU is what receives and processes instructions, and hence it’s often known as the processor. The speed of your CPU is measured in MHz, so the higher the number of MHz, the faster your computer will process commands.
RAM is your computer’s short-term memory. The data that your software commonly needs access to be stored here for super quick access, allowing your computer to run more quickly.
Hard Disk Drive
The hard disk drive is another place your computer stores data and serves as a secondary, more long-term storage device after RAM.
The hardware of your computer is all the physical parts you can see and touch. The keyboard, mouse, monitor, and tower are all part of your hardware. When you buy a new Lenovo computer, these are probably the bits you’re thinking of.
Software is all applications that you have on your computer that help it function. For example, you might have a browser, anti-virus, a photo editor, and other pieces of software that help you interact with the computer.
Related to Internet Use
Understanding your computer’s parts is one thing, but understanding the terminology surrounding your internet use is perhaps even more important. These are some terms you might hear a lot, and they are important to know.
There’s only so much data you can store on your computer, so many applications instead store data on what’s known as the cloud. These are remote servers that house data, allowing you to access and store it securely through the internet.
To speed up processes, your browser stores information from the websites you visit in the cache. While this can be helpful, it can also be negative, so sometimes you might like to clear your cache and get rid of the data.
When you go to a new website, you will often be asked about cookies and whether you’re happy with your tracked information. If you accept, cookies will log in to your browser and allow that website to recognize you when you return.
Related to Security
Online security is vitally important, and there are some key terms you should look out for.
Malware is malicious software that infects your computer. They can include viruses, spyware, blastware, and ghostware.
Phishing is when you get sent emails that look like they’re from legitimate sources but are actually from people looking to steal your personal information, such as passwords and bank details.