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IT Security Terminology


Adware is the common name used to describe software that is given to the user with advertisements embedded in the application. Adware is considered a legitimate alternative offered to consumers who do not wish to pay for software.


Browser Extensions

A browser extension is a computer program that extends the functionality of a web browser in some way. Depending on the browser and the version, the term may be distinct from similar terms such as plug-in or add-on.



Malware, short for malicious software, is software used to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or to gain access to private settings on your computer. Malware is defined by its malicious intent, acting against the requirements of the computer user, and does not include software that causes unintentional harm due to some deficiency. Malware may be stealthy, intended to steal information or spy on computer users for an extended period without their knowledge.



A computer network, or data network, is a telecommunications network which allows computers to exchange data. In computer networks, networked computing devices pass data to each other along data connections (network links).


Phishing Emails

Phishing is the attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.



The abuse of electronic messaging systems to indiscriminately send unsolicited bulk messages.



Software that is secretly or surreptitiously installed into an information system to gather information on individuals or organizations without their knowledge; a type of malicious code.



A computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user. A virus might corrupt or delete data on a computer, use email programs to spread itself to other computers, or even erase everything on a hard disk.


Boot Virus

This type of virus affects the boot sector of a floppy or hard disk. This is a crucial part of a disk, in which information on the disk itself is stored together with a program that makes it possible to boot (start) the computer from the disk.


File Infectors

This type of virus infects programs or executable files (files with an .EXE or .COM extension). When one of these programs is run, directly or indirectly, the virus is activated, producing the damaging effects it is programmed to carry out. The majority of existing viruses belongs to this category, and can be classified depending on the actions that they carry out.


FAT Virus

The file allocation table or FAT is the part of a disk used to connect information and is a vital part of the normal functioning of the computer.


Trojan Horse

A computer program that appears to have a useful function, but also has a hidden and potentially malicious function that evades security mechanisms, sometimes by exploiting legitimate authorizations of a system entity that invokes the program.



A self-replicating, self-propagating, self-contained program that uses networking mechanisms to spread itself. See Malicious Code.


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