Glossary - What the Words Mean


                What the Terms Mean


                  Definition of Terms / Words

adware a form of spyware that monitors viewers' surfing habits, web sites viewed, sends this data to advertisers who then invoke popup ads
anti virus term applied to software designed to detect and keep a virus from entering and infecting a computer
Anti-virus Software  Anti-virus software scans a computer's memory and disk drives for viruses. When a virus is found, the result is displayed. The software   may clean, delete or quarantine any files, directories or disks affected by the malicious code.
Anti-antivirus Virus  Anti-antivirus viruses attack, disable or infect specific anti-virus software
Attack An attempt to subvert or bypass a system's security. Attacks may be passive or active. Active attacks attempt to alter or destroy data. Passive attacks try to intercept or read data without changing it.  Some attacks result in Denial of Service, Hijacking, Password Attacks, Password Sniffing, virus attack
Back Door A programmer's tool sometimes built into programs to allow special privileges normally denied to users of the program. Often programmers build back doors so they can fix bugs. The feature can pose a security risk if hackers or others learn about it.
Backup A duplicate copy of data made for archiving purposes or for protecting against damage or loss. Some programs backup data files while maintaining both the current version and the preceding version on disk. To be considered secure, the Backup must be  stored away from the original.
Blog a quick and easy way to share timely information (updated news, trends, developments), answer questions, express opinions and exchange views.
Browser Hijacker a program that attempts to alter home page, search page and/or other browser settings.
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backup device includes floppy disks, CD's, Zip disks, tape drives, on  which clean files and data can be recorded for future use
CAN SPAM Act legislation signed into law in 2004, designed to establish guidelines for commercial email to minimize spam and penalize spammers 
chat loggers a type of spyware that detects and records chat room messages. It is capable of screening for specific topics and reporting to the person who installed it, who can actually be at a remote location.
child safe Internet resources that are free of pornography, hate, mayhem, etc., that are available to children through responsible search engines, websites, when surfing the World Wide Web.
compromise To access or disclose information without authorization.
cookie Cookies are blocks of text placed in a file on your computer's hard disk. Web sites use cookies to identify users who revisit the site. Cookies can be used to gather more information about a user than would be possible without them.
data recovery disaster recovery... see hard drive recovery
email recorders software that monitors email exchanges. Some available  email recorders automatically save POP or SMTP email packets in easily viewable Outlook Express format, displaying details including real contents.
file sharing Peer to Peer exchange of files for music, images, etc, such as Kazaa, and others. Requires caution to avoid hidden viruses and malware
firewall Hardware and/or software designed to keep unauthorized outsiders from tampering with a computer system or network. (The system can be a standalone computer, a small Local Area Network  or a company-wide network with thousands of users).
hacker / cracker Generally, internet hackers like to think of themselves as an elite group of information seekers, very good at exploring computer systems and networks.

Briefly, Crackers are criminal Hackers
hard drive recovery saving the files and data on a hard drive after it has had a virus infection removed (also names 'Data Recovery')
identity theft  the deliberate assumption of another person's identity, usually to gain access to their credit or frame them for some crime.
keylogger software and hardware keystroke loggers that monitor, record and often transmit your keystrokes to undesirable third parties
keystroke monitor see Keylogger
malware malicious programs, ie, adware, spyware, etc,. that monitor your internet and other computer activities and report stolen personal information and surfing habits to unknown third parties, often for criminal purposes.
message blocker software that minimizes or stops Messenger Spam pop-ups on your monitor screen. Po up messages are among  the fastest growing type of unsolicited advertising on the Internet today!
MyDoom one of many similar worms that use infected computers' address lists to send emails containing other viruses to all listings in your address book
online security The state of being free from danger or injury while using a computer connected to the internet
password recorders Spy software that secretly records all passwords, email, and keystrokes
personal privacy the right of individuals to protect financial, historical, and  other personal and secret information from identity thieves and other parties who have no reason to have it

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phishing Criminal use of the Internet to send official-looking (but fraudulent) e-mail that purports to have been sent by a familiar business or organization -seeking personal and private information from unsuspecting individuals, to be used by criminals for stealing identities and money.
popups additional windows that appear suddenly on top of the page your are viewing which are triggered by code buried in the source code of the window that that was opened originally
SCAM A scam is any attempt to remove money from you by promising you something you’ll never get; a swindle; a fraudulent business scheme
SPAM Spam is email that appears in email inboxes without our permission that often contains pornography, scams, unwanted ads and spyware
spoofing a practice of Spammers who use misleading information in the subject line of your incoming email to entice you to open a message which usually contains ads for undesirable or unwanted products, etc.
spyware malicious programs that often send personal data, passwords and other private personal and financial data to third parties
Stinger A FREE downloadable program (not an online virus scanner) from McAfee that finds and removes viruses on an infected computer
trojan / trojan horses are impostor files that claim to be something desirable but are actually malicious. Trojan horse programs do not replicate themselves. They contain malicious code that causes loss, or even theft, of data when triggered
UCE unsolicited commercial email, the accepted official terminology for Spam

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virus A computer program file capable of attaching to disks or other files and replicating itself repeatedly, typically without user knowledge or permission. Some viruses display symptoms, and some viruses damage files and computer systems, but neither symptoms nor damage is essential in the definition of a virus; a non-damaging virus is still a virus.
virus grief Unhappiness brought about by a computer virus infection including the problems encountered in recovering lost files and data and restoring normal system operation.
virus hoax Hoaxes are not viruses, but are usually deliberate or unintentional
e-mail messages warning people about a virus or other malicious software programs that aren't actually viruses.
virus infection the existence (visible or hidden) of viruses, worms, spyware, malware and other similar threatening and harmful  software injected into your computer system.
virus symptoms The apparent indications of something not quite right with the system operation,  the complete failure of certain programs, repeated email bounces, and other abnormalities
virus protection the practice of creating security systems for your computer, such that  viruses, worms, trojan horses, malware, etc, are unable to penetrate and infect it.
worm a parasitic computer program that replicates, but unlike viruses, does not infect other computer program files. Worms can create copies on the same computer, or can send the copies to other computers via a network
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Editor's Comments

Understanding the words that describe the realm of internet activity, especially  those that pertain to the security and privacy of our computer systems, can help us maintain the safe and pleasurable use of our computers and the World Wide Web.

How many ways are there to destroy the usefulness, benefits and pleasures the World Wide Web has to offer?

If the mal-contents, crackers, and outright thieves haven't found them all yet -

it's a sure bet that
         they will!

It isn't as though nothing
is being done about it.

Many organizations (like
 i-cop), the Federal Government, private individuals, small and large software companies, major enterprises, and more, are working to minimize the threats and dangers.

What can we, as every- day internet users do?

Generally, we must keep our virus protection, spy detection, and all other protective programs up to date.

We Must be diligent! We cannot disregard the real dangers. If we do, we will eventually feel the pain and grief that comes with underestimating the determination of the malicious individuals who are not going to stop using us and stealing from us.     ...Richard       


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