Not sure about the language and words that describe online security? Get an understanding of some of the more common used words and phrases here.
Encryption refers to the process of transforming data so it cannot be read by anyone except the person who is authorised to receive it. Online shopping and banking services often use encryption to make the transmission of credit or debit card numbers, or other security details safe. When you are in an encryption-secured part of a website, the web address will begin with 'https://'. A locked padlock icon will also be displayed in your browser's status bar.
A firewall is a program that is designed to protect your computer and the data stored on it from outsiders on the internet or within your network. It prohibits unauthorised traffic to and from your computer. A firewall also keeps a record of all online activity which may be used if an investigation is ever necessary. Well known commercial firewalls include: F-Secure, Zone Labs, Symantec (Norton), McAfee and Computer Associates.
Phishing is when internet fraudsters send out emails that claim to be from a legitimate companies or organisations. These emails direct the recipients to visit a website where they are asked to enter secure personal information like your passwords for your online banking or credit card details. These are details which any legitimate organisation would already have. For example, your bank would never ask for details in this way. However, the website itself will probably be a bogus imitation of the organisation's actual site.
SSL (Secure Socket Layer)
SSL provide enhanced security for internet communication. It uses encryption to ensure the confidentiality of sensitive information – such as credit card numbers, account balances and other financial and personal data.
A virus is when your computer becomes infected with pieces of malicious code. These can attack websites, email attachments, or a network of computers. Some viruses are harmless or ineffective but the more harmful types, Trojans and Worms, can do permanent, damage to a computer's system files and to the data stored on it. Viruses may also try to steal your personal information and security details. It is essential to use anti-virus software to try to combat this threat.