6 Cyber Security Terms to Know

Oct 31, 2016 4:52:45 AM

Cyber security attacks are continuously on the rise as hackers evolve their cyber scams. The best way to avoid a hack is to have a proactive and preventative approach to protecting your data. Familiarizing yourself with common cyber security terms can help you recognize a threat and help guard your information from an attack.

Here are six cyber security terms to know:


Short for malicious software, malware is the umbrella term referring to intrusive programs and viruses that collect your important information and/or harm your computer. Malware comes in many forms including codes and scripts, pop up advertisements, deceptive links, and damaging software. Spyware, ransomware and adware are just a few examples of malware.


Speaking of types of malware out there, a Trojan is another example. Many Trojans appear as computer programs that seem harmless and even legitimate or useful, however this is misleading. Some Trojans can appear as legitimate programs that will eliminate viruses on a computer when in fact they do the opposite and put viruses on a computer. Other Trojans can be found in free game or music downloads. Once a Trojan is on your computer, cyber hackers can steal sensitive information, delete or modify data, or disrupt your computer’s performance.


Phishing is an online scam where a cyber security criminal poses as a legitimate business or organization and baits a victim into disclosing sensitive information such as their social security number, account numbers, date of birth and more via email. Cyber hackers usually use phishing scams to steal a person’s identity.


A firewall is a barrier that does its best to block unauthorized access from cyber hackers, viruses and threats to your computer or network while communicating over the internet. Many computer security programs like Norton and McAfee, for example, offer both antivirus software and firewall protection in their packages.


Encrypted data, also referred to as cipher text, requires a password to decode and read information. Unencrypted data, or plain text, is readable data that doesn’t require a password. Encryption is one of the best security measures to safeguard data and is great to use on messages containing sensitive information.

Secure Sockets Layer

Also known as SSL, secure sockets layer is a security technology that protects information between a web server and web browser through an encrypted link. Any data passed on a SSL website keeps a user’s information safe and private. An SSL certificate (websites that begin with “https:” or have a padlock icon next to the URL) should be on legitimate websites that involve online shopping or financials so you know your data is secure before entering it on a site.

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Written by staff

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