5 Security Terms You Absolutely Have To Know To Keep Criminals At Bay

You need to learn these security terms to protect yourself against hackers.

The year 2016 could rightly be called as the year of cyber attacks. From the massive DDoS attacks that wrecked the internet for most people in the United States to the individual attacks that cybercriminals used to defame twitter celebrities, the increase in the number of cyberattacks was there for all to see.

There is little doubt about the fact that 2017 doesn’t look the kind of year which would stop hackers and other cyber criminals from relentlessly attacking critical internet infrastructure and infect large corporations with ransomware along with malware in order to make money and steal information.

And we haven’t even talked about the fact that, these days, evils like the virus or other infections aren’t the only online threat the users need to worry about.

Gone are the days when in order to protect yourself and your computer from harm, all you needed to do was install a good antivirus program.

Simply put, if you don’t know the basics about internet security on the internet, then it is a safe bet that you’ll find it extremely hard to protect yourself from hackers and other cyber criminals.

That is one of the reasons why we have rounded up the five key terms, security terms in other terms, that you must know if you’re serious about safeguarding your online privacy and securing your privacy.

But Let’s Understand The Two Important Terms Before We Dive In

As we have already mentioned that we will go over about five internet security related terms, but there are an additional two terms which you must understand before you understand the rest of them.

Make no mistake, these two terms also fall into the category of internet security terms. The first of these two terms if cyber attack and the second one is cyber security. There is a difference between the two, so pay attention if you want to benefit from knowing them.


If you thought a firewall was the only thing you needed to secure yourself against hackers then you thought wrong

It is a relatively simple term. All that you need to know is that any action that has originated from outside your computer and whose aim is to only steal information from your computer, or spy on you or even damage and destroy your hardware or your entire network, is called a cyber attack.

Cyber attacks used to be simple and few. But the modern web is a place of great commerce and that means it presents an ample amount of opportunity to hackers and other cyber criminals to really take advantage of all the folks out there who don’t know the meaning of cyber attack let alone defend themselves from one.

Cyber attacks are difficult to guard against because they come in a variety of sizes and shapes. You’ll learn more about them later in the article.

Most of the cyber attacks aren’t even aimed at a single computer user. Modern cyber attacks are used to destroy whole networks of computers. They are also used to bring down key internet infrastructures such as the Google search engine, Facebook, Twitter and other vital internet services.

But that shouldn’t lead you to believe that hackers along with cyber criminals don’t target small individual users. For hackers and other cyber criminals no target is too small and no organization is too large to go down. Anyone and everyone is at risk of becoming a victim.


Cyber security is a bit different from cyber attacks as the name suggests. If you want to protect yourself from cyber attacks and want to secure your network then that act is known as cyber security.

To protect yourself against cyber attacks you can do a number of things. You can start by locking down your machine and network which is operating from your home.

You can hire experienced network administrators and other cyber security specialists along with other IT professional to bulletproof your network for your business as well.

Cyber security is a booming industry and that is all because of hackers and other cyber criminals.

As you might have figured it out by now, you need to stay one step ahead of all the hackers in the word in order to be completely safe in the online world.

To start off your journey towards that destination, you’re going to need to learn a bunch of cybersecurity-related terms.

Let’s get to it then.


Adware doesn’t necessarily harm you. It just records you.

What does it mean?

Adware is, essentially, one form of malware. An annoying one that is.

Any Adware basically works the same way. It inundates your screen with useless advertisements whenever you connect to the internet and go online.

It can also show you ads where you least expect them. Like in your favorite programs or your devices or even programs you don’t even know exist on your machine.

Does it really matter?

Yes. But it is true that most forms of adware are nothing but an inconvenience.

However, that doesn’t hold true for all forms of adware. Some adware, developed by the right kind of hackers and cyber criminals, will go well beyond showing your popups in order to make you play the Russian roulette.

There are forms of adware out there whose sole purpose it to collect your data and then use it for marketing purposes. This kind of adware can track your online behavior and record your online habits.

Some even stinkier Adware can even take partial control of your browser or program and redirect you to another website. Usually, this website is full of scammers and hackers. Most of the time, you wouldn’t even recognize the name of the site, let alone what’s on it.

Now, do you want to hear the good news?

The good news is that if your computer machine or any other device is infected with Adware (you can know for sure if you notice that it is showing your advertisements left and right whenever you are trying to get something done online) you can track it because of its abnormal behavior.
After that, it is just a matter of installing the right program and then running a complete scan of the system.


Botnets can bring down even the most secure internet infrastructure in a matter of hours and minutes.

What does it mean?

As mentioned before in the article, hackers are a bunch of very clever people who just don’t want to work for a legitimate company doing legitimate business. With botnets, hackers basically gain control of a large number of computers or devices that are connected to the internet.

The hackers take control of these devices remotely with the help of a malware that is injected into these machines.

So what are these internet connected machines?
Well, just about anything that has a chip in it. If you have a laptop, it is certainly vulnerable to a botnet attack. It doesn’t matter if you consume your content from devices such as a TV, a small monitor, smart refrigerators, smart coffee maker or even a security camera.

Anything and everything can be infected with malware and then hacked. And then exploited as a part of a large number of inter-connected devices in a botnet.

If you’re not careful, your device could be used, along with thousands of others, to take down the online services you revisit on a daily basis, such as Twitter, GMAIL or even Google.

Does it really matter?

Yes. Hackers and other cybercriminals just love to use botnets in order to carry out an outlandish variety of cyber attacks.

These cyber attacks include the likes of DDoS attacks and click fraud. We’ll come to those in a bit.

What you need to know now is that these attacks aren’t specifically designed to harm your computer machine in a direct manner.

In other words, if your machine is infected then it means that there are some gaping holes in your security systems.

You must look into your router settings in order to set things right. You could also go one step ahead and secure the whole of your network in order to make sure that no one can connect to your network without proper authorization.

Card Skimmer

What does it mean?

First of all, you don’t need to worry about card skimmers if you don’t go outside and just look at your screen all day long.

In other words, card skimmers are fundamentally devices that are installed on ATM machines and other machines that have the necessary means to act as card readers. Card skimmers are usually set up by scammers along with hackers.

These card skimmers collect crucial pieces of data from anyone who uses the infected ATM machine. Card skimmers read off data from the magnetic strips that are present on most, if not all, credit cards and debit cards.

Does it really matter?

Yes, it does.

Card skimmers are bad news as far as cyber security is concerned. Any hacker with a couple of years of experience can install these at any ATM machine. Card skimmers enable hackers and other cyber criminals to copy your credit card information.

After that, they can use that information to purchase anything they want to without your authorization.

Sometimes, if the hackers are really interested in targeting an individual, mini cameras are installed on machines that already have skimmers on them.


Because that allow hackers to actually record a video of you entering your pin while taking out some predetermined amount of cash from the ATM machine.

Now, there are a lot of card skimmers available to hackers in special places known only as dark markets. Some of these card skimmers are not very useful because they can be spotted easily.

But there is a class of card skimmers that are called new insert card skimmers. These bad boys are, for all practical purposes, invisible to anyone using an ATM machine.

As mentioned before, hackers only want to card skimmers because they can’t find any other way to steal your credit card information along with your financial records. That enables hackers to purchase all sorts of stuff from any shop they like. The worst part is that you wouldn’t even know about it until the damage has already been done.

You can guard against becoming a victim of a card skimming attack by using only those credit cards and debit cards that have EMV chips on them.

If you don’t know how to do that then there is an even simpler option. Just cover the keypad whenever you’re entering your pin code.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t’ find out how to make use of EMV chips, but at least you’ll be more protected than the next guy.

Click fraud

What does it mean?

Click Fraud is a practice where hackers and other unethical people manufacture artificial clicks on advertisements and other “boxes” to fiddle with pay-per-click advertising campaigns. This allows them to increase their revenue without increasing their traffic. They can also charge their advertisers more money because click fraud gives advertisers the impression that the site in question is visited by many people who are actually willing to click on ads in order to buy something.

Does it really matter?

Most certainly.

Let’s just say this first. There is a very little chance that you’ll get tangled up in a click fraud if you have any ethics (or have a college degree for the obvious reasons). Click Frauds don’t affect individuals under normal circumstances.

The problem is that, in order to carry out click frauds, hackers along with other cyber criminals need to make use of a Botnet. Without a botnet, these hackers cannot initiate the scam.

And you should already know how hackers create botnets. Well, go back and read the Botnet section of this article again or just know that hackers infect hundreds if not thousands of web-connected devices in order to create a botnet and then launch a click fraud campaign.

Cyber Espionage

What does it mean?

Just Google the definition of espionage and you’ll know what this security term is all about. Espionage is basically the act of spying on others.

Usually, it is done to track users and then collect their private information. Cyber espionage is the same as espionage with the only difference being that cyber espionage is mostly done over the internet through the use of computers against other computers.

Does it really matter?

Indeed it does.

On the bright side though, cyber espionage is usually carried out against large companies and important government organizations.

Of course, that again does not rule out the fact that hackers along with cyber criminals might also target individuals for various reasons.

If a user happens to have that special piece of information that a hacker wants, then that user’s device can be attacked and then exploited.

Cyber espionage is basically the first step in a much larger process as hackers usually, spy only to collect data and then they use that data to perform other cyber attacks.

Did this list help you out? Did we miss some important security term? Do let us know by using the comments section.


Zohair A. Zohair is currently a content crafter at Security Gladiators and has been involved in the technology industry for more than a decade. He is an engineer by training and, naturally, likes to help people solve their tech related problems. When he is not writing, he can usually be found practicing his free-kicks in the ground beside his house.

1 thought on “5 Security Terms You Absolutely Have To Know To Keep Criminals At Bay”

  1. This article was helpful. Thank You. Although I was waiting for the “helpful hints” that give those of us that did not go to college (since it isn’t so “obvious” to us) an idea of what type of “anti-this” or “anti-that” is a good defender and/or exterminator to use. If one type of online “security” is made to defend against & remove a particular form of “information theft” than another. What would be the best option as an “all around threat protection”? What are the Free options & Buying option choices that would help prevent or get rid of the security threats mentioned in your article?

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