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Spyware that tracks your Internet browsing and can install malicious cookies on your computer

Antispyware software

A utility program used to search your hard drive for spyware and remove those that are found

Antivirus software

A utility program used to search your hard drive for viruses and remove those that are found

Application software

Programs that accomplish specific tasks, such as word processing, photo editing, or sending email, and using the computer in a productive manner

Arithmetic logic unit (ALU)

Handles addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, and also makes logical and comparison decisions

Arrow keys

Keys located at the bottom right of the keyboard between the standard keys and the numeric keypad that enable the user to move the insertion point around the active window

Audio port

Similar to video ports, these ports connect audio devices, such as speakers, headphones, and microphones to the computers sound card

Backup tape drive

A storage device used to save data to tape media resmebling audiocassettes


A type of wireless technology thaqt relies on radio wave transmission and doesn't require a clear line of sight. It is typically limited to less than 30 feet.


The process of starting up a computer; the computer begins when power is turned on.


Term associated with malicious software or software robots.


The process that saves data by using a laser beam that burns tiny pits into the storage medium.

Bus topology

In a computer network, it connects each node to a single, central high-speed line known as a bus.


Acronym for compact disc; a polycarbonate material with one or more metal layers capable of optically storing digital information.

CD burner

Type of optical drive capable of reading and writing data from and to a CD (provided the media is recordable; like CD-Rs and CD-RWs)

CD drive

Type of optical drive that can read CDs (compact disks)


CD media that was burned once and from that moment on can only be read.


Also known as CD-Recordable, a type of compact disc that can be recorded using a CD burner (drive)


A rewritable disc that enables data to be recorded, revised, or deleted, and new data written to the disc, similar to magnetic media.

Central processing unit (CPU)

The part of the computer responsible for controlling all the commands and tasks the computer performs, acting as the brain of the computer.


A mouse function in which you point at an object, press and release the left (or primary) mouse button once.


In a client/server network, the computer used at a desk or workstation to write letters, send email, produce invoices, or perform any of the many tasks that can be accomplished with a computer.

Client/server network

A network in which two different types of computers have different functions.

Clock speed

A measure of the speed at which a CPU processes data (number of instructions per second).

Communication and organizational software

A program such as Microsoft Outlook 2007, used to send and retrieve email, manage day-to-day tasks such as appointments and contacts.


A programmable electronic device that can input, process, output and store data.

Computer fluent

Describes a person who understands the capabilities and limitations of computers and knows how to use computer technology to accomplish tasks.


To put together by selecting a combination of components, features, and options.

Connectivity port

Ports such as Ethernet and modem that are used to connect a computer to a local network or to the Internet.

Control keys

Keys such as the Ctrl, Alt, and the Windows key that provide shortcuts or increased functionality to the keyboard when used in combination with other keys.

Control unit

In the CPU, the component responsbile for obtaining and executing instructions from the computer's memory.


A small text file that contains information that can identify you to a website.


Represents text, numbers, graphics, sounds, and videos entered to the computer's memory during input operations.

Database software

Programs, such as Microsoft Access 2007, used to store and organize large amounts of data and perform complex tasks such as sorting and querying to generate specialized reports.

Data mining

A function is some database software that looks for hidden patterns in the data to anticipate future trends.

Dedicated server

A server in a network that is assigned to handle only specific tasks.

Denial of Service (DOS)

Attacks that occur when a large number of computers try to access a website at the same time, effectively overloading it and causing it to shut down.

Desktop computer

A class of microcomputer, such as PC or a Mac, that typically occupies a working area around a desk.


A hardware component that attaches to a computer. Includes disk drives, printers, mice, keyboards, and modems.

Dialog box

A frame or window that shows the presets or defaults for a specific function and enables the user to make changes before moving ahead.

Digital camera

A device that stores pictures digitally rather than using conventional film.

Digital video recorder

Devices that let you capture digital images and movies and transfer them directly to your computer.

Digital Video Interface (DVI) port

Ports that transmit a pure digital signal, eliminating the need for digital-to-analog conversion and resulting in a higher quality picture on an LCD monitor.

Docking station

Device that enables the user to connect a notebook to a full-size keyboard, monitor, and other devices in an office setting.


The original OS for personal computers in the early 1980s. This was a text-based or keyboard-driven operating system.

Dot matrix

Printers that have small hammers, similar to a typewriter
s that strike a ribbon against paper, leaving behind the image of a character or symbol.

Dot pitch

A display characteristic in monitors that refers to the diagonal distance between two pixels of the same color. The smaller the dot pitch results in a crisper viewing image because there is less blank space between the pixels.

Dots per inch (dpi)

How resolution is expressed. The higher the dpi, the better the print quality.


The action of clicking and releasing the left mouse button twice in rapid succession while keeping the mouse still.


The action of moving something from one location on the screen to another; the action includes pointing and clicking (releasing the mouse button at the desired time or location).


Acronym for digital subscriber line. Type of communications line in which signals travel through copper wires between a telephone switching station and a home or business.


A computer that can run more than one operating system.


Processors that have several advantages over a single processor CPU, including improved multitasking capabilities, system performance, and lower power consumption.


Acronym for Digital Video Disk or Diversified Video Disk; media that holds data written by an optical device.

DVD drive

Digital Video Disk drive capable of reading and writing DVD media.


DVD media that was burned once and from that moment on can only be read.

Embedded computers

Small specialized computers built into larger components such as automobiles and appliances.

Ethernet port

A port, slightly larger than a telephone jack, that can transmit data at speeds up to 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps) and is usually used to connect to a cable modem or a network.

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