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Internet Security Dictionary



Data Encryption Key: DEK - Used for the encryption of message text and for the computation of message integrity checks (signatures).

Digital Signature: A code which is used to guarantee that a email was sent by a particular sender.

Firewall: A way that prevents unauthorized from interfering with a computer or network.

Internet monitoring: The practice of watching, or monitoring, how someone uses the internet. It is becoming a common practice of employers to track employee productivity.

IP spoofing: The practice of connecting to a website and reporting an IP address that is different than the one that you are really using for your connection. The use of this method is not ethical and may break some computer and technology laws.

Secure Socket Layer: A method of encrypting data as it is transferred between a browser and Internet server. Important for online payments.

Security Certificate: A large amount of information used in the SSL protocol to establish a secure connection. A security certificate contains information about who it owns the certificate, who issued the certificate, a unique serial number or other unique identification, dates of validity, and an encrypted "fingerprint" that can be used to verify the information held within the certificate.

Signature: A personal tag automatically appended to an email message. May be short, such as the author's name, or quite long, such as a favorite quote.

Trojan Horse: A computer program which carries within itself a means to allow the creator of the program access to the system using it.

Virus: A program which replicates itself on computer systems by incorporating itself into other programs which are shared among computer systems.

Worm: A computer program which replicates itself and is self-propagating. Worms, as opposed to viruses, are meant to spawn in network environments.


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Revised: November 21, 2007