Terms and Definitions

Review this list of helpful tech terms:

Anti-spyware:
An umbrella term for programs, software, and systems that block spyware from harming your computer.

Anti-malware:
An umbrella term for antivirus programs, spyware blockers, intrusion detection systems (IDS's) and other software that detects and get rid of unwanted input, which in almost all cases comes from the Internet. 

Authentication:
The process of verifying your access to the network by confirming your username and password and associating it with your computer.

Blacklist:
"Generally, a blacklist is a list of people or things that have incurred disapproval or suspicion or are to be boycotted or otherwise penalized. Related to e-mail, blacklisted IP addresses wil not be allowed to send mail to someone trusting the blacklist. Blacklisted e-mail addresses will not be allowed to send mail to a user or organization." (definition from www.mxes.org)

Chain email or letter:
Email sent to successive people. Typically the body of the note has direction to send out multiple copies of the note and promises good luck or money if the direction is followed.

Email:
The electronic transmission of information through a mail protocol such as SMTP, IMAP, or POP. BHSU supported email clients include Microsoft Outlook and OWA.

Forwarded email:
Email resent from an internal network to an outside point.

Network Access Process:
The process of authentication and validation of your computer required for network access.

Malware:
Short for malicious software. can include viruses, trojan horses, worms, logic bombs, and other harmful computer code.

Phishing:
Phishing is the act of attempting to fraudulently acquire sensitive information. Phishers send an email or pop-up message masquerading as a trustworthy person or business with a real need for such information in a seemingly official message. The message may ask you to “update,” “validate,” or “confirm” your account information. The “phishy” email may look exactly like what you would receive from your bank, eBay, PayPal or any other legitimate company. Since it may be difficult to determine the legitimacy of the suspect message, it is best to check with the company in question about the suspicious email.

Sensitive information:
Information is considered sensitive if it can be damaging to Black Hills State University's reputation or market standing.

SMART Board:
Instructional multimedia that combines the simplicity of a whiteboard with the power of a computer. The SMART Board interactive whiteboard uses touch recognition software, writes in digital ink, and puts all instructional materials in one place, and saves any notes or content this is written during a lesson that can be shared with students later on.

Spam: 
"The electronic equivalent of junk mail often in the form of commercial announcements. The act of sending a spam is called, naturally, 'spamming.' To crash a program by overrunning a fixed-site buffer with excessively large input data. Also, to cause a person or newsgroup to be flooded with irrelevant or inappropriate messages." (definition from www.techdictionary.com)

Spyware:
A non-malicious piece of software used by companies to report how you use your computer.

Trojan horse:
An apparently useful and innocent program containing additional hidden code which allows the unauthorized collection, exploitation, falsification, or destruction of data. A program or file that appears to be useful and harmless but which has harmful side effects such as destroying data or breaking security on the system on which it is run. It is similar to a virus except that it does not propagate itself as a virus does. (definition from TechDictionary.com)

Unauthorized Disclosure:
The intentional or unintentional revealing of restricted information to people, both inside and outside Black Hills State University, who do not have a need to know that information. 

Validation:
The process of confirming that certain security measures are in place on your computer.

Virus:
A program that can "infect" other programs by modifying them to include a, possibly evolved, copy of itself. A program that infects a computer by attaching itself to another program, and propagating itself when that program is executed. A computer can become infected by files downloaded over a network, or by the installation of new software or floppy disks that are infected with viruses. Some viruses are only pranks, and perform harmless actions like displaying a screen with a joke message on it. Others can destroy files or wipe out a hard drive. To avoid damage from viruses, write-protect the boot disk and other important disks, check new software or disks for viruses, and have virus protection software installed on the computer at all times. Disinfectant programs must be updated periodically because new viruses get into circulation over time. There are some virus protection programs available on the Internet for free. Knowingly spreading a computer virus is a crime punishable by law. (definition from TechDictionary.com)

Virus warning:
Email containing warnings about virus or malware. The overwhelming majority of these emails turn out to be a hoax and contain bogus information usually intended only to frighten or mislead users.

Whitelist:
"A whitelist is a list of e-mail addresses or domain names from which an e-mail blocking program will allow messages to be received. E-mail blocking programs, also called spam filters, are intended to prevent most unsolicited email messages (spam) from appearing in subscriber inboxes. But these programs are not perfect. Cleverly crafted spam gets through, and a few desired messages are blocked. Most Internet users can tolerate the occasional unsolicited e-mail advertisement that a spam filter misses, but are concerned by the thought that an important message might not be received. The whitelist option is a solution to the latter problem. The list can be gradually compiled over a period of time, and can be edited whenever the user wants. Some spam filters delete suspected junk e-mail messages straightaway, but others allow the user to place them in a quarantined inbox. Periodically, the quarantined messages are observed to see if any of them are legitimate messages. This option is used by some Web-based e-mail clients in place of, or in addition to, a whitelist." (definition from searchsecurity.techtarget.com)

Worm:
A computer program that can make copies of itself, instead of spreading from file to file they spread from computer to computer, infecting an entire system using up resources in affected computers or causing other damage. They can penetrate the computer's memory from a computer network, calculate network addresses of other computers and send their own copies to these addresses. Such "viruses" (Worms are not viruses in the strict sense) sometimes start files on the system disks, but can't apply themselves to computer resources (with the exception of main memory) generally. (definition from TechDictionary.com)

Missing term?
Consult TechDictionary.com or contact the Help Desk.