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Cybersecurity Terms

Cybersecurity doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Whether you want to educate others or yourself, it is important to know the ins and outs of cybersecurity. Read our glossary below that presents technology terms with simplicity.

Advanced Persistent Threat (APT)

An APT is a cybersecurity threat that establishes a long-term, unauthorized presence on a network or in a computer system. APTs pursue their objectives repeatedly and through multiple types of cyberattacks.


A type of malware that downloads to your device and appears as a promotional ad. When downloaded it can slow down and disrupt your device.

Antivirus Software

Software (also known as anti-malware) that is used to prevent, identify, and remove viruses and other malicious software from your computer. Examples include Norton and McAfee.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Machines and software designed to mimic human intelligence. “Generative AI” refers to a class of artificial intelligence techniques that create new and original content. Unlike traditional AI models that analyze existing data, generative AI uses neural networks to imagine and generate diverse forms of content, such as text, images, audio, and more.

Attack Vector

Describes any technique a hacker uses to gain access to or harm a system.


A process that is used to verify and identify a user / their device upon log in.


A network of private computers infected with malicious software. It may be controlled without the owner’s knowledge or used to send spam messages.

Business Continuity Management Plan (BCMP)

A BCMP ensures an organization’s ability to continue essential functions during disruptions (such as cyberattacks or natural disasters). It outlines protocols and processes to minimize disruption.

Click fraud

A person acting as a website visitor who clicks on advertisements on a fake website only looking to generate revenue.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing delivers computing and IT resources through the internet, including data storage, servers, and development tools.


Data files on websites that store users’ preferences and browser information. Help’s websites track a user’s website activities.

Credit Monitoring

Often done through a credit monitoring service, an individual can receive updates or notifications about changes or transactions that may affect credit score / reputation.


The act of protecting systems from cyberattacks.

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

Federal agency that protects nation’s critical infrastructure.

Dark web

A part of the web where illegal and personal information such as SSN, credit card numbers, and more are exchanged. Users and visitors are hidden by accessing the dark web through a special software.

Data leak / breach

Release of personal or organizational data without authorization.


Taking coded / encrypted information and converting it back to its original form.


Synthetic media including images, videos, and audio generated by artificial intelligence (AI) technology. These manipulated creations convincingly replace one person’s likeness with that of another and can be used to create entirely new content of events that never actually happened or to spread disinformation.


A way of hiding data from hackers by converting it into secret code.

Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry

Created to prevent phones from receiving unwanted sales calls. Registration is free.

FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

Division of the FBI that receives cyber crime reports and investigates cyber criminal activity.


Individual (or group) who uses computers and software to receive access to personal or unauthorized data.

Identity theft

When an individual accesses another’s personal information and identity for the usage of their funds.

IP address

A string of numbers that identifies a computer and differentiates the various computers using the internet.

Malicious code

Code used to weaken system security.


Also known as malicious software, it is used to disrupt computer systems and mobile devices.

Multi-factor (two-factor) Authentication

A method of logging into an account that requires the user to provide more than one method of authentication to verify their identity. Used to keep account information secure.


A set of updates released by software developers meant to fix security issues or vulnerabilities.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

Information that can be used to identify, locate, or contact an individual (ex: name, date of birth, address, phone number, SSN, and more).


A type of social engineering attack, in which a cybercriminal sends deceptive emails to infect a user’s device with malware and / or obtain personal information, such as credit card numbers, login credentials, and other sensitive material.


Malware that prohibits users from accessing their computer until they pay money.

Retinal scan

Technology that scans a retinal blood vessel pattern as a means to verify one’s identity.

Social Engineering

The act of tricking a user into giving out personal information and the using it to access unauthorized data, accounts, or systems.


A type of phishing attack that uses text messages instead of email to access personal information.

Software Bug

A bug refers to an unintended software or hardware problem. It can range from minor issues to more significant problems that render a system inoperable.


Cybercriminals disguising themselves as a legitimate source to access personal or private information.


A program that infects computers without knowledge or permission of the user. Viruses have the ability to spread from computer to computer.

Voice Phishing (vishing)

A social engineering scheme, that aims to gather personal and confidential information using verbal scams (via phone call).

3 Major credit Bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion)

Credit monitoring services that alerts users of unexpected activity within their credit.
For Informational/Educational Purposes Only: The content expressed on this site is educational and not intended as specific advice/recommendations/safeguards for any individual. You should carefully consider your needs and consult the appropriate professional(s) for the best solution to meet your needs. Outlooks and past performance are not guarantees of future results.