Don’t know your bit from your byte? Or your cookie from your cache? Don’t worry. The technophobe’s guide to common digital jargon is here to help.
Productivity software is a catch-all term for any particular software or app that aids productivity. It generally comes in the guise of word processing, spreadsheet, presentation or database software and virtually anything that could be used in a work environment. More recently, collaborative online workspaces have come to be regarded under the umbrella of productivity software. This software can bring teams together, wherever they are in the world, to work on projects and achieve common goals in a shared online space.
We’re constantly being told to back up to the cloud and that our work will be safer in the cloud than on our computers, but what exactly does that mean? Is it a real cloud? If our files aren't shot into the sky when we send them to the cloud, where are they going? The answer is: a server. A server is simply a big computer or a series of big computers that are constantly operating, storing and disseminating data across the internet or on a local network as and when required. Cloud storage services will keep your files safe and enable you to access them from anywhere.
You may have noticed that when you delete an email from your phone it disappears from your computer too and vice versa. Just like the cloud, your email is stored on a server and part of the server’s job is to automatically update any device that connects to it with the very latest available information. A few online services offer a collaborative document-editing service which means when you update a doc, the server recognises that update and makes sure that any changes are disseminated to any particular device that later connects to it, ensuring that everyone has the most up-to-date version of the doc.
Most of us will be somewhat familiar with the terms “encryption”, “decryption” and “end-to-end encryption”. We’ve seen it appear in our messaging apps and we’ve even seen it appear on the news when law enforcement agencies implore technology companies to de-code the digital messages and files of potential criminals. Encryption is essentially the scrambling of data for security purposes. Look for services that offer 256-bit encryption to protect your files and keep them safe.
City A.M. and our partner Dropbox have collaborated on an editorial series which explores better ways of working. Read more at: cityam.com/workinflow.