Techie Terms Part One

Virtual Assistant Techie Terms

I had a great conversation with someone last week and she made me realize that not everyone knows these common “IT” terms.  So here is the first part of a two-part blog post on IT Terms, enjoy!

Affiliates – Website affiliates are what drive Internet Marketing. Companies run affiliate programs to generate leads and sales from other Websites.

API – An application programming interface (API) is a protocol intended to be used as an interface by software components to communicate with each other.

Archive – is a single file that contains multiple files and/or folders. Archives may be created by several different file archiving utilities and can be saved in one of several different formats.

Autoresponder – an email message that is sent based on a trigger; i.e. a purchase is completed, a user signs up for an offer, etc.

Backup – a backup, or the process of backing up, refers to the copying and archiving of computer data so it may be used to restore the original after a data loss event.

Bandwidth – the amount of data that can be carried from one point to another in a given time period (usually a second). This kind of bandwidth is usually expressed in bits (of data) per second (bps).

Blog – short for “Web Log,” this term refers to a list of journal entries posted on a Web page.

Broadband – refers to high-speed data transmission in which a single cable can carry a large amount of data at once. The most common types of Internet broadband connections are cable modems (which use the same connection as cable TV) and DSL modems (which use your existing phone line).

Buffer – contains data that is stored for a short amount of time, typically in the computer’s memory (RAM). The purpose of a buffer is to hold data right before it is used.

Cache – stores recently-used information in a place where it can be accessed extremely fast. For example, a Web browser like Chrome uses a cache to store the pages, images, and URLs of recently visited websites on your hard drive.

Captcha – is a program used to verify that a human, rather than a computer, is entering data.

Cloud Computing – refers to applications and services offered over the Internet. These services are offered from data centers all over the world, which collectively are referred to as the “cloud.”

CSS – stands for “Cascading Style Sheet.” Cascading style sheets are used to format the layout of Web pages.

Data Transfer Rate – commonly used to measure how fast data is transferred from one location to another.

Database – a data structure that stores organized information. Most databases contain multiple tables, which may include several different fields. For example, a company database may include tables for products, employees, and financial records.

Disk Space (Storage Space) is the total amount of bytes that a disk drive or disc is capable of holding.

Domain Name a specific name that you apply to your website. Once you apply it, users can reach your website by typing this domain name into the browser’s address bar.

Domain Name Registrar is an organization that manages the reservation of Internet domain names.

E-Commerce – (electronic-commerce) refers to business over the Internet.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a common method of transferring files via the Internet from one computer to another.

Firewall limits the data that can pass through it and protects a networked server or client machine from damage by unauthorized users.

Flash Drive is a small data storage device that uses flash memory and has a built-in USB connection.

GUI stands for “Graphical User Interface,” and is pronounced “gooey.” It refers to the graphical interface of a computer that allows users to click and drag objects with a mouse instead of entering text at a command line.

Hashtag is a number symbol (#) used to label keywords in a tweet.

Host a computer that acts as a server for other computers on a network.

HTML stands for “Hyper-Text Markup Language.” This is the language that Web pages are written in.

Interface can refer to either a hardware connection or a user interface.

IMAP stands for “Internet Message Access Protocol” and is pronounced “eye-map.” It is a method of accessing e-mail messages on a server without having to download them to your local hard drive.

IP Address also known as an “IP number” or simply an “IP,” this is a code made up of numbers separated by three dots that identifies a particular computer on the Internet.

ISP stands for “Internet Service Provider.” In order to connect to the Internet, you need an ISP.

I’d love to hear your comments. Please take a moment to leave me a comment and share your thoughts.

Please share if you know someone who might benefit from this information.

Thanks for reading!

Enjoy your day – Susan

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Written by Susan Mershon

Susan Mershon started The Techie Mentor™ in 2013 to teach her no-fluff approach to the strategies and skills that Virtual Assistants need to create, build and grow a profitable and sustainable business.

With a strong base in project management, Susan brings her love of systems and teaching to offer in-depth training and mentoring to new and experienced Virtual Assistants.

She’s taught thousands of Virtual Assistants her proven strategies and systems for getting started, getting clients, and charging premium rates that can earn them 4x more than typical admin skills.

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  1. Kathy Anderson

    Good one… cant wait for the next batch.
    PS you forgot “DOS”. 😉

  2. Eva

    Great reference list. It’s so easy as an IT person to forget that a lot of people don’t know/haven’t heard these words before. As I make my way into the health and wellness world, I am thankful to have my IT background every day.

  3. Denise Marie Filmore

    Thanks for the resource. I shared it on FB, Twitter and Pinned it for my clients.

  4. Flesché

    Thanks for this! I will be sure to send my newbie clients here as well.

  5. Gretchen Duhaime

    Great list and reference! I don’t know if I’m proud or ashamed to say I knew all of them on the list. My knowledge is definitely a barrier to getting the VA and tech help I need! Hard to turn it over when I know what I’m doing, but it’s not enough to know. I don’t have passion for it and am fine with things working 95{118470d0f4f3718dfdd0f3eeb2eb014ae26d46ca78c59b6a979d3ffc612de011} which can be a problem!

  6. Toni Nelson

    Very good list:) i have many clients who are starting a business and don’t know these terms until we start going over them.

  7. Pam McCall

    I hope everyone pins this to their pinterest boards this is a great tool to hang onto.

    Pam McCall
    Time Engagement Expert and
    Women’s Small Business Resource

  8. Jen Jones

    I find that I believe that if I know it, everyone else does too…and then I’m surprised that they don’t. Great job getting your knowledge out to us lay-people 🙂

    • Susan Mershon

      Thanks Jen!

  9. Cathy Severson

    As I reading the list, I was thinking about terms I was wondering about a few days ago. I can’t remember, but saved your link so I know where to go to find out.

    • Susan Mershon

      Thanks Cathy!

  10. Lisa Rothstein

    Finally — all the techie words I’ve always wanted to know what they meant but was afraid to ask!! This one is going straight to the printer 🙂


    Too many half-done passion projects in your life? Free ebook “How to Accomplish ANYTHING in an Hour a Day”

    • Susan Mershon

      Lisa – love your enthusiasm 🙂

  11. Stacy Harshman

    This is a very helpful list, thank you for sharing!

    • Susan Mershon

      My pleasure Stacy!

  12. Chris Babcock

    I consider myself to be pretty techie, but I have to admit I always wondered about API.

    Great list!

    • Susan Mershon

      Thanks Chris!

  13. Jennifer

    Very nice list!
    “Backup” — what I should’ve done more recently before updating my WP site. “Crash” — what I’m afraid I did.
    A helpful list and I may share it. Nicely done site!

    • Susan Mershon

      Thank you Jennifer – sorry to hear about your website! I know that is now fun. I hope everything is fixed.

  14. Diana Ennen

    Love it Susan! I’ve been enjoying your tips so much on LinkedIn, but really find this a great resource. There were a few there that I didn’t realize. Yikes!

    So look forward to connecting more.

    Diana Ennen
    Author / Speaker / Coach / Publicist

    Sign up for our free PR informational Package at

    • Susan Mershon

      Thank you Diana!

    • Susan Mershon

      Great idea to put it on the bulletin board, Karen. Thank you!

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