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I.T. Jargon for Everyone

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Yes, this is the age of IT Jargon. It seems that even things we have done for an entire lifetime now have new terminology. We used to “turn off” an electrical device. Now we “power down.” LOL used to mean lots of luck. Now it stand for laughing out loud. So here are some of the more commonly used technology terms that you should know:


Malware is a term used to identify software that is intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems. This include viruses, which is software designed to keep replicating until it has infected and/or destroyed a network. But viruses are not the only type of malware; any software intended to do harm is malware.


A type of malware that will lock down (encrypt) all or part of a data base until a ransom fee is paid and the “key” to unlocking the system is provided.

Intrusion Protection

Currently the most effective means of protecting a system from malware, it sits inside the firewall and identifies suspicious files before they can cause infection, then shuts it down before it can cause damage. Essentially, it stops the intrusion before it happens.

Crypto Containment

Software that identifies the first instance of encrypted files and quarantines them to prevent the spread of the malware. This keeps the network up and running and makes recovery of encrypted files much quicker.

Social Engineering

Simply put, social engineering is the tricking of people to give up sensitive information using any number of schemes. For cyber thieves, if they can trick you into giving them the information they are looking for, they don’t need to create complicated software programs.


A common form of social engineering these days is phishing…they put out the bait and try and hook you. Common occurrences, often called "spear phishing" because they target people and companies directly, include fake emails from banks, insurance companies or the IRS. Just so you know, none of these institutions will ask for sensitive information via an email. Another good piece of advice: if you don't know the sender, don't open it. And more: if you DO know the sender and they are asking for personal information, assume the sender has been hacked and this email is a phishing attack. Just delete it and advise the real owner of the account. He/she may want to alert others on his/her contact list.


This software scans your hard drives to find and stop well-known viruses. The key word here is “well-known”.  Sometimes people believe that anti-virus protection is total and complete. It is not. It is only part of the solution. If a virus hits a computer before that virus is identified and added to the anti-virus protection, the software will not stop it. This is known as a…

Zero Day Attack

The most dangerous time to be attacked by malware is before it has been unearthed by cyber security experts. As we said above, anti-virus protection will not work. This is called a Zero Day Attack. This is where Crypto Containment (see above) and Redundant Data (see below) become invaluable.


As the name implies, this is a fix for vulnerabilities or “holes” a software company discovers within its code. This is important because the bad guys are always out there looking to exploits these gaps, always finding new ones, so be sure to download the updates you receive for your software.

Redundant Data

The reality is that no matter how much protection you have, there is still a chance an attack can get through. Top managed service provider

s have seen as much as an 80% drop in successful attacks over the past year, but some really smart criminals never stop trying to find a way in. When that happens, Redundant Data, another term for backed up data, is vitally important.

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