Glossary of tech terms

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A visual display that tells you what is happening on the device. A screen is also known as a display or monitor.


The act of moving up or down a web page or document when all the information (text, images, videos) can't be seen on the screen.

Scroll wheel

On some computer mouses, a scroll wheel can be an inbuilt physical wheel located on the top surface of the mouse, and can be rotated by touch to scroll up or down a page on a computer program. Other computer mouses don't have the physical wheel, but are touch sensitive, so that scrolling can be achieved by gently running a fingertip forward or backward over the back of a mouse.

Search engine

Much like a directory for the internet, users can search for anything on the internet by entering keywords or phrases into a search engine. Google and Bing are examples of a popular search engines.


A software application used for video calling, voice calling and sending messages.

Smart device

Any electronic gadget that understands simple commands sent by users and that help in daily activities. Some of the most commonly used smart devices are smartphones, tablets, smart speakers, smart watches, smart glasses and other personal electronics or appliances.

Smart home

A home that has its devices, appliances and other attributes connected and controlled by a home Wi-Fi network.

Smart speaker

A type of device that can be used to assist in daily living. Smart speakers come in a variety of sizes and shapes, depending on the brand. Examples of smart speakers are Amazon Alexa and Google Nest. Smart speakers connect to the internet and can be controlled by voice commands. They can be used to switch lights on and off, change TV channels, play radio, ebooks or stream music and much more.

Smart TV

A TV is 'smart' if it can connect to the internet via your home Wi-Fi network. A smart TV can display content from your own smart devices or the internet using an app or in-built web browser.


A mobile phone that makes calls and send messages, but is also connected to the internet so you can search for things online or read and send emails.

Social network

The broad term used for any site that allows users to interact with many other users. Examples of popular social networks include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.


The set of instructions that tell the computer hardware what to do. Applications and programs are examples of software.


Unwanted or junk email.


A digital music, podcast and video streaming service that gives you access to millions of songs and other content from artists all over the world. Offers both free and paid-for content for subscribers.


The act of signing up for a service. Some subscriptions are free, but others incur a fee to access content or services provided by the company offering the subscription. Even if there is no monetary fee, by signing up for a service, companies are gaining knowledge about you, such as your age, gender and location.


A term used to describe the act of using a browser to search (or surf) the internet, or for just spending time on the internet. Surfing the internet is also known as browsing the internet.


The act of moving horizontally from one screen to another on a mobile device. Lightly place your fingertip on the screen and drag it left or right in a gentle motion.


The process of sharing and accessing the same file (e.g. photo or document) across all of your different devices via your cloud subscription.