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Computer terms

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Technology and Society Vocabulary

By: Gavin Gonzalez

A USB drive -- also known as a flash drive or keychain drive -- is a plug-and-play portable storage device that uses flash memory and is lightweight enough to attach to a keychain.

USB Flash Drive

a device, no longer widely used, for reading information on a 

punched card and transferring it to a computer Compare card punch

Card Reader

computer software distributed without charge.


software that allows users on a network to work together 

and communicate effectively

software that allows users on a network to work together andcommunicate effectively


software intended to damage a computer, mobile 

device, computersystem, or computer network, or to 

take partial control over itsoperation:


Open source software is software with source code that anyone can inspect, modify, and enhance.

Open Source Software

Productivity software is a category of application programs that help users produce things such as documents, databases, graphs, worksheets and presentations.

Productivity Software

Proprietary software is software that is owned by an individual or a company (usually the one that developed it). There are almost always major restrictions on its use, and itssource code is almost always kept secret.

Proprietary Software

Programs that are uncopyrighted because their authors intended to share them with everyone else are in the public domain.

Public Domain Software

Shareware is software that is distributed free on a trial basis with the understanding that the user may need or want to pay for it later.


program that performs a very specific task, usually related to managing system resources.

Utility Software

Pharming is a scamming practice in which malicious code is installed on a personal computer or server, misdirecting users to fraudulent Web sites without their knowledge or consent.


Phishing is a form of fraud in which the attacker tries to learn information such as login credentials or account information by masquerading as a reputable entity or person in email, IM or other communication channels.