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Personal Cyber Security Resources for Older Adults: Glossary

A guide to building personal cyber security awareness for older adults

Cyber Security:  The practice of defending mobile devices, computers, servers, data, and electronic networks from malicious attacks.

Cookies: Cookies are messages that web servers pass to your browser while you visit sites on the Internet.  Typically these messages contain information about your visit to that page and any information you entered in an effort to save your site login information for your next visit and to track your activity.  

Data Breach: Also known as a “security breach” is when someone gains unauthorized access to private or confidential information from an organization such as a list of a company's subscribers passwords or emails. 

Data Tracking: The practice in which websites collect, store, and share information about users for the purpose of personalizing advertisement.  This can be done through the use of cookies.  

Email Attachment: A computer file that is sent along with an email message for download. 

Hacking: The act of gaining unauthorized data either in a system, computer, or mobile device, typically for illicit purposes. 

Malware: A collective name for a variety of malicious software including viruses, ransomware, and cyberware designed to cause damage to data and systems and or gain unauthorized access to networks and devices.

Mobile Device: Portable computing devices, including smartphones and tablets.

Personal Information: Any type of information that relates to a person's identity, for example names, social security numbers, and dates of birth.  

Passwords: A string of characters used to verify the identity of a user during the authentication process. They are typically used with a log in or username, and are designed to only be known by the user for access to a device, application, or website account. 

Password Manager: A is a software application that generates and stores your login and password information for online accounts under one master password. 

Phishing: A type of email or text message scam aimed at tricking individuals into click a 

link or downloading malicious software onto your device in order to gain access to your 

personal information. 

Security Questions: A security feature that asks additional questions to verify that you 

are the owner of the online account when logging in. 

Social Media: Interactive software applications that people can create content and 

share in an online social network like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  

Two-step Verification: Also known as “two-factor authentication,” is an additional layer 

of security that requires two forms of authentication to login to an online account. 

An example is requiring a Personal Identification Number (PIN) that is sent to your mobile device via text message upon logging in. 

Web Browser: Is a software application for accessing the information on the World Wide Web such as Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer.

Web Browser plug-ins: Also known as “add-ons,” is software that allow browsers additional functions like automatically filling in passwords from your password manager.