The Cyber Safety Glossary provides useful information to educate you about illegal, fraudulent schemes and how to avoid them.

A computer user’s most important protection is his or her own awareness.

Adware Annoying pop-up and banner ads? System slowdowns? Your computer may be infected with Adware
Bots & Botnets Hackers use bot programs for theft, fraud, and denial-of-service attacks on Web sites
Browser Highjacking  
Cookies A Web page that welcomes you by name uses cookies
Digital Signatures

Businesses rely on what is called a digital signature to recognize their customers


A software program that encrypts essential personal files - taking them hostage and demanding money for their safe return

Keylogger Hackers illegally use software keyloggers to identify their victims’ computer passwords, login names, bank account and credit card numbers
Malware Any software program developed for the purpose of doing harm to a computer system or to create mischief
Man-in-the-Middle Attack Cyber criminals eavesdrop on electronic communication between a consumer and a legitimate organization
Nigerian Scam Unsolicited email messages from a stranger who promises great wealth — a get-rich-quick scheme
P2P File Sharing Peer-to-peer file sharing is very popular on the Internet, but it can also lead to virus infections and a host of other problems
Pharming A technically sophisticated scam designed to trick individuals into disclosing sensitive information such as bank account, credit card, and Social Security numbers
Phishing Official looking and sounding messages that urge immediate action to update sensitive financial and identity information
Social Engineering Scams A scam that preys upon our acceptance of authority and willingness to cooperate with others
Social Networking Sites Never under any circumstances should your child or young teenager agree to meet in person someone from one of these sites
Software Piracy The illegal use and/or distribution of software protected under intellectual property laws
Spam The cyber equivalent to junk mail – spammers have developed many ways of obtaining email addresses
Spim Unsolicited product or service advertisements that appear as instant messages
Sping Spam from a fake blog tricking the unwary into visiting
Spit A spam campaign against VOIP voicemail
Splog A spam campaign directed against blogs
Spoofing A criminal pretends to be a business or organization in order to gain access to a computer user’s sensitive information such as bank account, credit card, or Social Security numbers
Stealth, Polymorphic, and Armored viruses
Bots & Botnets Hackers use bot programs for theft, fraud, and denial-of-service attacks on Web sites
Trojan Horses Files or software programs that appear to be legitimate, but once installed can cause havoc
Viruses Malicious programs or codes inserted into computer systems without the user’s permission
Warez Sites Any site that hosts pirated software
Worms These malicious software programs spread automatically from computer to computer
Zombie Drones Personal computers secretly under the control of hackers