We know it can be tough to keep up with the latest tech terms and lingo. Whether you’re a straight-A computer whiz or just learning how to read ‘tech’. ‘Back-to-school’ is the perfect time to review your cybersecurity ABCs!
Adware – An unwanted software or application that displays advertisements on your computer. It normally disguises itself as legitimate software or comes bundled in another program or application to trick you into installing it. We have tons of tips for how to remove these pesky pop-ups here.
AdBlocker – A software designed to prevent advertisements from showing up on an application, network, or web browser. A common and trusted version of this software is Adblocker Plus.
Antivirus – A software program designed to monitor a system for malicious software, and then remove or quarantine any malicious programs found. The FixMeStick is a virus removal device so it is not ongoing protection. It is a deep clean to remove any viruses that sneak past your antivirus software. This is why we trust McAfee Total Protection to provide ongoing protection for our team and our customers! Then we run the FixMeStick at least once a month for a deep clean.
Authentication- The process of proving you are who you say you are on the Internet. This is done by giving one or more ‘authentication factors’. Authentication factors can be something you know like a password, something you have like a pre-approved phone or laptop, or something that is a part of you- like a fingerprint. Many platforms are now asking for two-factor (two types of) authentication (2FA). The idea is the more types of authentication you have in place, the more secure your account.
Back Up: Creating a copy of your data onto a separate physical storage device (like an external hard drive) or online/cloud storage to prevent data loss. This way damaged or lost files can be restored. Backups should be created on a regular basis as you never know when accidents will happen. Here’s a good rule of thumb: run your monthly FixMeStick scan and then back up your computer!
Backdoor: A tool installed after a computer has been breached to allow the hacker to easily get around any security systems in place. The FixMeStick runs from outside your main operating system, which allows it to catch these backdoor threats that an antivirus might miss!
BIOS – Basic Input/Output System – the program a personal computer’s microprocessor (circuit-based data processor) uses to get the computer system started after you turn it on. It also manages data flow between the computer’s operating system (such as Windows) and attached devices such as the hard disk, video adapter, keyboard, mouse and printer. It’s a bit like the computer’s brain! You can often find a simulation on your computer manufacturer’s website, here’s an example of what we’re referring to.
Boot – The processing of starting a computer is called “booting”. The boot menu is a menu available when a computer is first starting. It can contain a number of different device options to boot to (or in other words, to start up from), including CDs, DVDs, flash drives, hard drives, or a LAN (network). Think of it as the main highway, and the devices you can start from are all the possible exits/destinations.
Broadband – Allows users to access the Internet and its related services at higher speeds.
Bug – A bug refers to an error, fault, or flaw in a computer program that may cause it to unexpectedly quit or behave in an unintended manner. All programs have them once and a while!
Cache- Pronounced “cash”, is a high-speed storage mechanism, either as a special section of the computer’s main memory or a separate high-speed storage device.
Cloud storage – “The cloud” is for storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet, instead of having the programs and data saved on your computer’s hard drive itself.
Cryptocurrency – A digital or virtual currency where transactions are verified and ledgers are maintained by a non-centralized computer database that uses strong cryptography. This makes it very difficult to counterfeit or double-spend. But be careful, there are many scams out there!
Cyberattack – An attempt to gain illegal access to a computer or computer system for the purpose of causing damage or harm.
Cybersecurity- Last but certainly not least, cybersecurity is protecting critical systems and sensitive information from digital attacks against systems and applications regardless of origin or threat type. It’s also often called Information technology (IT) security.
We hope you learned a thing or two and enjoyed this refresher course. Leave a comment below if you want to see the rest of the alphabet- cybersecurity style!