Glossary

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A

AntiVirus Software

Software that detects and removes computer viruses.

B

Browser

A program that allows a user to find, view, hear and interact with material on the World Wide Web. Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer are examples of popular browsers.

E

Encryption

A way to make data unreadable to everyone except the recipient of a message. Encryption is often used to make the transmission of credit card numbers secure for those who are shopping on the Internet.

F

Firewall

A firewall is hardware or software that enforces security on your computer or system. It's like a locked door, preventing dangerous material from getting into the room.

H

Hacker

Someone who tries to get access to a computer system without authorization.

Hardware

The mechanical devices that make up a computer system, such as the central processing unit, monitor, keyboard, and mouse, as well as other equipment like printers and speakers.

Home Page

The first page on a website, which introduces the site.

I

ISP (Internet Service Provider)

A company that sells direct access to the internet, most often through dialing a local phone number.

IdentityTheft( ID Theft)

A criminal activity where a thief appropriates vital information such as your name, birth date, account number, or banking card numbers without your knowledge.

K

Keystroke logger

Hardware device or a software program that records each keystroke made on a particular computer. Marketed as a way for parents to monitor their children's activities on a computer, keystroke loggers are sometimes downloaded unwittingly by users. The keystroke logger then records the keystrokes and periodically uploads the information over the Internet. See also Spyware , Trojan horse.

L

Link

A word, phrase, or image highlighted in a document to get someone from one place to another, typically on the Internet, but also within a document.

O

Operating System

The main program that runs on a computer. An operating system allows other software to run and prevents unauthorized users from accessing the system. Major operating systems include UNIX , Windows and Linux.

P

Patch

A software update meant to fix problems with a computer program. This can range from fixing bugs, to replacing graphics, to improving the usability or performance of a previous version.

Pharming

The criminal process of electronically gathering and selling the personal and financial information for multiple users through the use of phishing. See also Phishing.

Phishing

An online identity theft scam. Typically, criminals send emails that look like they're from legitimate sources, but are not. The fake messages generally include a link to phony, or spoofed, websites , where victims are asked to provide sensitive personal information. The information goes to criminals, rather than the legitimate business. See also Spoofing.

Pop-up ads (Pop-ups)

Unsolicited advertising that appears as a " pop-up" window on a computer screen. Sometimes these can be created to look like a financial institution's request for personal information.

Privacy Policy

The policy under which a company operating a website handles personal information collected about visitors to the site.

S

Secure Socket Layer (SSL)

SSL technology encodes information that is sent over the Internet between your computer and your bank's website, helping to ensure that the information remains confidential.

Service Pack

A software program that corrects known bugs or problems, or adds new features to a software program already installed on your computer.

Software

A computer program that enables computer hardware to work.

Software Update

A software install that is performed to enhance or repair a previously installed computer program.

Spam

Unsolicited "junk" email sent to large numbers of people to promote products or service.

Spoofing

An online identity theft scam. Typically, criminals send emails that look like they're from legitimate sources, but are not. The fake messages generally include a link to phony, or spoofed, websites, where victims are asked to provide sensitive personal information. The information goes to criminals, rather than the legitimate business. See also Phishing.

Spyware

A program that is loaded onto your computer without your knowledge. These programs gather information from your computer activities and send them to an unknown source. These programs are especially dangerous when capturing financial information that can be used to commit fraud.

T

Trojan Horse

An apparently legitimate software that carries an unwanted payload that is typically used by hackers to gain unauthorized access to your computer. See also Spyware.

V

Virus

A program that is loaded onto your computer without your knowledge. Viruses can make copies of themselves, quickly using up all available memory. Some viruses can transmit themselves across networks.

W

Worm

Typically, a malicious program that reproduces itself over a network and uses up computer resources or shuts down the system.