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Software that displays sponsored advertisements in a section of your browser window or as a pop-up ad box

Antivirus Software

Software specifically designed to detect viruses and protect your computer and files from harm

Backdoor Program

A program that allows hackers to take almost complete control of your computer without your knowledge


Copies of files that you can use to replace the originals if they are lost or damaged

Biometric Authentication Device

A device that reads a unique personal characteristic such as a fingerprint or the iris pattern in your eye and converts its pattern to a digital code

Black-Hat Hacker

Hackers who use their knowledge to destroy information or for illegal gain

Bomb Software

An optional self-destruct mode that can destroy data on both internal memory and external data cards if repeated attempts are made to crack passwords

Boot-Sector Virus

Replicates itself into a hard drive's master boot record


A large group of software programs that runs autonomously on a zombie


(aka Tracking Cookies) Small text files that some websites automatically store on your computer's hard drive when you visit them


Any criminal action perpetrated primarily though the use of a computer


Individuals who use computers, networks, and the internet to perpetrate crime


(aka Cyberslacking) Doing anything with a computer, while you are being paid to do your job, that is not an approved function of your job

Data File

A file you have created or purchased

DoS Attack

(aka Denial of Serivce) Legitimate users of a computer are denied access to a computer system because a hacker is repeatedly making requests of that computer system through a computer that he or she has taken over as a zombie

DDoS Attack

(aka Distributed Denial of Service) A DoS attack launched from more than one zombie at the same time

Drive-by Download

Malicious web sites that attack your computer by downloading harmful software

Dynamic Addressing

The procedure in which IP Addresses are given

E-mail Virus

Use the address book in the victim's email system to distribute the virus

Encryption Virus

A Virus that runs a program that searches for common types of data files and compresses them using a complex encryption key that renders your files unusable


A program or hardware device designed to protect computers from hackers


Anyone who unlawfully breaks into a computer system


An attempt to make someone believe something that is untrue

Identity Theft

Someone using personal information about you to assume your identity for the purpose of defrauding others

Image Backup

(aka System Backup) Means that all system, application, and data files are backed up, not just the files that have changed

Incremental Backup

(aka partial Backup) Involves backing up only files that have changed or been created since the last backup was performed


When the antivirus software records key attributes about files on your computer and keeps these statistics in a safe place on your hard drive. When scanning for viruses, the antivirus software compares the files to the attributes it previously recorded to help detect attempts by virus programs to modify your files

IP Address

(aka Internet Protocol Address) A computer's unique internet address

Keystroke Logger

Monitors keystrokes with the intent of stealing passwords, login IDs, or credit card information

Logic Bomb

A virus that is triggered when certain logical conditions are met- such as opening a file or starting a program a certain number of times

Logical Port

Virtual communications gateways or paths that allow a computer to organize requests from information from other networks or computers

Logical Port Blocking

When a firewall is configured to ignore all incoming packets for a specific port

Macro Virus

A virus that attaches itself to a document that uses macros (such as Excel or Word). A macro is a short series of commands that usually automates repetitive tasks


Software that has a malicious intent

Master Boot Record

A program that executes whenever a computer boots up, before virus protection programs

Multipartite Virus

A virus designed to infect multiple file types in an effort to fool the antivirus software that is looking for it


(aka Network Address Translation) A process used by firewalls to assign internal IP addresses on a network


A small piece of data that would travel through the internet

Packet Filtering

The process in which a firewall is configured to filter out packets sent to specific logical ports

Packet Sniffer

A computer program deployed by hackers that looks at each packet as it travels on the internet

Personal Firewall

A firewall specifically designed for home networks


When malicious code is planted on your computer that alters your browser's ability to find Web addresses


Lures internet users to reveal personal information such as credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, or other sensitive information that could lead to identity theft

Polymorphic Virus

A virus that changes its own code (or periodically rewrites itself) to avoid detection


Creating a scenario that sounds legitimate enough that someone will trust you

Program File

Used to install software and usually comes on CDs or DVDs or is downloaded from the web


When a virus is placed in a secure area on your hard drive so that it won't spread infection to other files


A series of commands (a miniprogram) that is executed without your knowledge

Script Kiddy

Teenage, or amateur hackers

Social Engineering

Any technique that uses social skills to generate human interaction that entices individuals to reveal sensitive information


Unwanted or junk email

SPAM Filter

An option you can select in your email account that places known or suspected spam messages into a folder other than your inbox


An unwanted piggyback program that usually downloads with other software you want to install from the internet. It runs in the background of your system

Static Addressing

In which, your IP address is always the same and is assigned by your ISP

Stealth Virus

A virus that temporarily erases it's code from where it resides and then hides in the active memory of the computer

Surge Protector

A device that protects your computer against power surges

Time Bomb

A virus that is triggered by the passage of time or on a certain date

Trojan Horse

A program that appears to be something useful or desirable, but while it runs does something malicious in the background without your knowledge


(aka Uninterruptible Power Supply) A device that contains surge protection equipment and a large battery

Urban Legend

A hoax that has been accepted by society as true even though it is false


A computer program that attaches itself to another computer program and attempts to spread to other computers when files are exchanged

Virus Signature

A portion of the virus code that is unique to a particular computer virus

White-Hat Hacker

A hacker who breaks into computer systems for the challenge, and not to do any damage

Whole-House Surge Protector

A device that functions like other surge protectors, but it protects all electrical devices in the house


A virus that attempts to travel between systems through network connections to spread an infection


A computer controlled by a hacker

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