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In the Information Technology industry many professionals have a reputation for using jargon that is often unfamiliar to those outside of the industry.

We always try to use plain, universally understood terms, but we know that many professionals don’t always try to do this, making it a struggle for many business owners trying to work with their IT company. So we thought we would put together a small list to give some clarification on some of the most common terms.

Cloud Computing

  • Cloud computing refers to the act of storing and accessing data or applications of the internet instead of having it stored directly on your computer’s hard drive. This allows employees to stay productive and get work done even when they aren’t in the office.

Managed IT Services

  • Managed IT Services in essentially an umbrella term for all of the services and support your company needs. This often includes remote monitoring, regular maintenance, patch management, data backup and more – all offered at a flat monthly fee.

Encryption

  • This is the process of encoding sensitive information within messages, making it unreadable to end-users unless they have a decryption key. Encryption works to prevent interception of sensitive information by hackers, and to make sure data isn’t getting lost or stolen.

Remote Access

  • This is the ability to connect to a system from a separate, remote location. This occurs through a virtual private network (http://blog.itfreedom.com/what-is-a-vpn) or remote desktop. This allows users to stay connected from any location while enhancing the ability to recover from disasters

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)

  • VoIP is a set of hardware and software that allows end-users to make and receive phone calls over the Internet. This gives them the ability to leverage advanced tools, such as video conferencing, phone conferencing, voicemail to email, and much more.

Business Continuity

  • This is a set of processes and procedures, like onsite/cloud based data backups and comprehensive plans, designed to make sure your business stays up and running even after a disaster.

Anti-malware, Anti-spam, Anti-virus Software

  • These are various forms of software each designed and created to eliminate the potential of unauthorized users gaining access to your network/email/device in order to reduce the risk of infection.

Patch Management

  • Patch Management is the process of applying patches or upgrades to computer systems at a specific time, in order to ensure consistent protection against vulnerabilities and threats that could be exploited if the patch/upgrade isn’t installed.

While these aren’t the most complex terms that IT professionals use, they are the most common that you’re likely to hear when trying to get an issue fixed or when talking to a new IT company for your business.