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by Vault Careers | October 01, 2019

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Have you ever been in a meeting where everyone's talking about a certain technological term and it seems like everyone but you knows what that term really means? If so, you're not alone. And to help you get in the know, below are 15 common tech terms along with their definitions.

blockchain technology
A distributed ledger database that maintain a continuously-growing list of records that cannot be altered, except after agreement by all parties in the chain.

cryptocurrency
A digital cash system that is increasingly being used as a substitute or complement to traditional currency. Cryptocurrency payments are not processed through a central banking system or trusted third party, but are sent from payer to payee. Bitcoin is the most-popular cryptocurrency. 

data mining
The process of analyzing data to find commercially useful relationships or patterns. It’s what enables sites like Netflix to recommend other movies you might enjoy based on your (and others) recent picks.

encryption
The technique of making data unreadable to anyone who doesn’t have a special “key.”

fintech
Stands for financial technology. Any instance in which technology is used to help companies manage the financial aspects of their business.

firewall
Hardware/software combinations that protect a network from outside attacks.

green computing
The study and practice of using computing resources efficiently. The goals are to reduce the use of hazardous materials, maximize energy efficiency during the product’s lifetime, and promote recyclability or biodegradability of defunct products and factory waste.

HTML (hypertext markup language)
A code that helps control the way information on a web page is transferred and presented and the way that hypertext links appear on the page.

machine learning
A method of data analysis that incorporates artificial intelligence to help computers study data, identify patterns or other strategic goals, and make decisions with minimal or no intervention from humans. Examples of machine learning include the self-driving car and online recommendations from Netflix.

malware
An umbrella term combining the words malicious and software, and used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or program code, such as worms, viruses, Trojan horses, and more.

middleware
Software that connects other software components or applications. It includes Web servers, application servers, and similar tools that support application development and delivery.

open-source
The concept of sharing programs freely with anyone, as long as people also share any changes or improvements they make to the program.

SEO (search engine optimization)
The process of finding key words or phrases that will be picked up by search engines.

spyware
Software that is installed surreptitiously on a personal computer to intercept or take partial control over the user’s interaction with the computer, without his or her specific consent. Spyware programs can collect various types of personal information, such as Internet surfing habits and sites that have been visited, and can also interfere with user control of the computer in other ways, such as installing additional software and redirecting web browser activity.

XML
“Extensible markup language” is a translator technology for any networked computing system, but mostly for Web sites.

This post was excerpted from the Vault Guide to Information Technology, Second Edition. You can download or purchase the guide here.

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