Technical terminology can be confusing. When sorting out the IT for your business, the last thing you want is to have lots of industry specific terms thrown at you. Here’s our second edition of IT jargon busting to help make these terms more clear – the first can be found here.


Firewall is a security device that monitors the network traffic, deciding whether to allow or block traffic based on the security rules of the network. It’s the main defence mechanism for a computer operating with an internet connection. They determine all incoming and outgoing traffic and regulate it. Firewalls can take the form of a piece of software, hardware or a mixture of both. Anti-Virus An Anti-Virus is a piece of software that finds and destroys computer viruses. Not only reactionary, Anti-Viruses are preventative and will warn the user of any actions online it thinks could cause a virus being transmitted to the computer. The software will raise alarm bells when the computer accesses untrustworthy or suspect websites, emails or files. Phishing Phishing is a type of fraud where somebody will pretend to be a trustworthy organisation or person in order to steal sensitive information like usernames, passwords, debit card details and private information. Phishing is normally a targeted attack where some thought has got in to trying to get somebody to click or download. If you’d like some advice on what to look at if you’re suspicious of an email, check out our blog on spotting phishing. Spam Spam is most likely an email but can also come in the form of social media posts and direct messages. They can be malicious but are often not as malicious as most phishing emails. Most of the time, barely any thought goes into spam posts or emails and are just trying to get people to randomly click. Clicking spam can lead to your computer being infected with viruses. Cookies Sadly not the kind you can eat. Cookies are a small piece of data collected by websites to help them remember your preferences. Most websites will ask for your permission in a pop up as soon as you land on their page. This means it will remember you if you return to the website in future. You can edit your browser settings to reject all cookies if you wish.