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You've seen the terms. But what do they mean?  Here are a few terms that are commonly used by OTS team members so you can better understand our "tech speak."

Bandwidth - The capacity of a network or data connection to transmit data.

CMS - Content Management System. A Web CMS is software that stores and organizes content on Web pages, plus information about how it can be used and presented. A CMS can make it easier to keep Web sites current, and can create a more consistent look among Web pages. 

CPU - Central Processing Unit. Think of the CPU, or microprocessor, as the brain of a computer system. The CPU is a chip that deciphers and initiates your commands.

CSS - Cascading Style Sheets. A feature added to HTML that allows users to create templates that define how certain elements of a Web page appear. Multiple templates can be applied to the same page, hence the name “cascading. ”

Encryption - A way of scrambling information so that data can stay secure.

Ethernet - A networking technology that supports most local area network architecture. 

Flash Drive - A portable, flash memory data storage device that includes a USB (universal service bus) connection. They are often small enough to fit on a keychain. 

FTP - File transfer protocol. A standard protocol for transferring files between computers over a network.

GIF - Graphics Interchange Format. One of the two most commonly used formats for Web graphics. More suited for illustrations and graphic art than photographs. See also JPEG.

HTML - Hypertext Markup Language. A standardized markup language used to create electronic documents, especially Web pages, that contain connections (links) to other related documents.

JPEG - Joint photographic experts group. Together with GIF, JPEG (or JPG) is one of the two commonly used image formats on the Web. JPEG format is best suited to photographs.

KPI - Key Performance Indicator. A measure of performance which is used to help define and evaluate how much success has been achieved, typically in terms of making progress towards long-term goals.

KnowledgeBase - A library of technology service-related information and instructions located within ServiceNow for both internal and external use.

Malware - Short for malicious software, such as a virus or a Trojan horse, designed to damage or disrupt a system. 

Network - A set of conjoined computers that can share storage devices, peripherals, and applications. Networks may be connected directly by cable, or indirectly by telephone lines or satellites, and can be part of a small-office system, or of a global web of numerous other networks.

OTS - Abbreviation for Office of Technology Services 

PDF - Portable document format. Refers to a file format in which formatted documents can be transferred over the Internet. PDF files can be read with Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Phishing - A form of fraud. Phishers send email messages that appear to come from a reputable business (often a financial institution, and sometimes LSCS) in an attempt to gain personal or account information. The message typically includes a link to a fake website that resembles a legitimate page. The fake page collects the information, then uses it for fraud. Lone Star College will never ask you to disclose your password by phone or email, so if you receive a message asking for that information, delete it.

Portal - More commonly known as "myLoneStar." The myLoneStar portal provides a one-stop-shop access point for key services like registering and paying for classes, online learning, email, and technology help.

RSS - A family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format.

Service Desk - Your first stop for technology-related help. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. No question is too big or small.

ServiceNow - The OTS Service Desk's online portal for technology help where service tickets are tracked, updated and assigned. Students, faculty, and staff can access ServiceNow to report a technology issue, request services, or to look up information regarding technology services.

SLA - Service Level Agreement. A part of a service contract where the level of service is formally defined.

SNOW - aka Service Now - The environment in which service tickets are tracked, updated, and assigned

SOP - Standard Operating Procedures. A set of fixed instructions or steps for carrying out usually routine operations.

Spyware - Spyware is software that gathers information about your Web-surfing habits for marketing purposes. Spyware piggybacks on some programs you may download.

SSL - Secure sockets layer. A protocol allowing secure transmission of confidential material via the Internet.

UPS - Uninterruptible power supply. A plug-in, battery-powered device for your computer, to keep your machine running during a power outage. A UPS can usually keep your computer up for several minutes, so you can save files and safely shut it down.

VoIP - Voice over IP. The delivery of voice communications over IP networks, such as the internet.

VPN - Virtual Private Network. A software application that creates a secure connection between a public computer network and a private one.

Wireless Network - A communication system that uses low-power microwave radio signals to connect laptop computers, PDAs, and web-enabled cell phones to the Internet. 

WYSIWYG - What you see is what you get (pronounced "whizzywig"). Typical of a program or application that displays formatted material on the screen in the same way it appears when printed.