• 03 December 2017
  • 2 min read

Cybersecurity Glossary - Jargon Buster

We'll be the first to admit that cybersecurity terminology can be a little tricky. So to help you stay cyber safe this Christmas we've created...

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We'll be the first to admit that cybersecurity terminology can be a little tricky. So to help you stay cyber safe this Christmas we've created a Cybersecurity Glossary, below. 

Anti-virus or antivirus

Software designed to detect, stop and remove viruses.


An online space where resources are stored so they can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.

Cyber attack

Unauthorised access to technology by an individual or organisation, usually with criminal or disruptive intentions.


The conversion of data into an unreadable code to prevent unauthorised access.


Hardware or software that acts as a network barrier by controlling incoming and outgoing network traffic.


An individual who will intentionally violate computer security systems to gain unauthorised access to data.


Online adverts or posts in social media that may tempt you with offers, deals or discounts, but actually take you to a fake site to gather your information or install malware.


Software designed to disrupt, damage, or gain access to a computer system.


An overall term for attempts to trick you into downloading malware or supplying personal or confidential information. They usually ask you to act urgently, open an attachment, click on a link, verify your account or make a payment.


A type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system or device until the victim pays a sum of money to the attackers account.

Smart device

A device with internet connectivity and the ability to run programs or apps. For example, some mobile phones, tablets, televisions and watches.


A phishing attempt via text (SMS). They usually ask you to click a link or reply with personal information.

Social engineering

Social engineering is behind most scams. Criminals try to manipulate (engineer) you into doing what they want, such as clicking to install malware, supplying login credentials or providing financial details.

Spear phishing

A customised attack to target a specific group, organisation, department, or person.

Two-factor or multi-factor authentication

Often shortened to 2FA or MFA, two-factor authentication is a method to confirm your identity when logging into a restricted area. For example, entering a password to an online account and receiving a pass code via a mobile phone.


A piece of malicious code which is loaded onto a computer without the user's knowledge, usually to cause damage to the device.


A phishing attempt over the phone (voice-phishing). They usually claim to be a company, such as your bank, utilities company or insurer.

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