Data Security Glossary

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Data Security Glossary

Data Security Glossary


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Anti-Spyware Program

A program that combats spyware in order to protect your computer from spyware being installed.

The use of such programs improves the level of the security on your computer and of the information stored on it.

Antivirus Program

An antivirus program is designed to identify known viruses (which in themselves are a type of program), to prevent them from getting onto your computer and to eliminate them.

New viruses are distributed rapidly, and therefore, it is important to update the antivirus program on a current basis.

Automatic Disconnection in the Absence of Activity

For data security reasons, websites that require a high level of security are automatically disconnected after a set period of inactivity.

Biometric Identification

Biometrics is an identification and authentication technique based on physical information about a person, such as: fingerprint, iris recognition, palm vein recognition or voice signature.


Software for viewing web pages. For example: Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Netscape Navigator.

Computer Virus

A computer program that penetrates a computer or a computer device (such as a palmtop computer or a smart phone) without the user's knowledge, and that deliberately causes computer disruptions and faults.

The program comprises lines of code, actually instructions to the computer, which are transferred from computer to computer via input/output operations (by diskette or file download from the Internet or similar ways).

Because a biological virus also works the same way (a virus penetrates the cells of the body and causes them to execute instructions written in their genetic code), the term "virus" was adopted in this context.


Small files saved on the hard disk. In most cases, these files are harmless and are used to identify the user.

When you visit a particular website, the cookie enables the website to identify you and to direct appropriate advertisements to you as well as other information tailored to you and to your profile, including display of the website in a personalized manner defined by you in the past.

Declaration of Privacy

Exists on some websites. Describes the measures taken by a company to maintain the privacy of its customers and the information on them.
On such websites, customers can usually choose to refuse transfer of information about them to a third party and refuse to receive advertising material from the

Digital Signature

A digital signature is a subset of the term "electronic signature". An electronic ID card that identifies surfers in a secure manner and enables execution of transactions/business over the Internet.
The ID card can be a program integrated in the browser or hardware in the form of a smart card (token).
An electronic signature corresponds in a sense to a handwritten signature.
A digital signature is a tool that provides encryption of a piece of digital information.
The Electronic Signature Law in Israel defines the electronic signature as a special program, object or information designed to create a signature or an electronic sign linked or attached to an electronic message that enables identification of the owner of the signature. This definition applies to a digital signature in the encryption sphere.


Encryption converts your information into an encrypted format that cannot be understood and that prevents unauthorized entities from reading the contents.
The SSL protocol is generally used for such encryption.


A system that monitors and blocks undesirable communication over the network to the computer connected to it, implemented in the form of computer software or dedicated hardware.
The firewall constitutes an important component of computer security, along with an antivirus program.

Hacker / Cracker

Hacker: a concept used to describe different types of computer experts, especially computer experts who have the technical knowledge to circumvent boundaries. They are known for their programming and rapid program writing skills.

Cracker: like hackers, they have extensive knowledge and expertise in computers and programming. However, distinct from hackers, crackers are known for their unauthorized breaching of computer systems. The actions of crackers constitute a transgression of the law. A cracker is in effect a criminal version of a hacker.
Hackers are generally called White Hats; crackers are called Black Hats.
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Identify Theft

A type of fraud that involves collecting personal information in order to impersonate the owner of the information, such as: date of birth, bank account details and driver's license details. The information collected is used to conduct unlawful actions, to purchase products and services or to attempt access to bank accounts. Fraudsters exploit human nature to choose passwords that are easy to guess, such as: names of children, pets, addresses or dates of birth.


Impersonation, fraud and identity theft on the Internet are called phishing.
This type of offense also includes methods of deception designed to obtain sensitive information.
The bait appears in several forms: from an innocent looking message on a forum to junk mail sent to the recipient disguised as e-mail from the bank or as a message about a special lottery.
Information obtained in this manner is used to make purchases at the expense of those who were lured. The word "phishing" comes from fishing for passwords; the first letter of the word "Fishing" is replaced with the first letter of the word "Password".


Ransomware is computer malware that installs covertly on a victim's computer, executes a cryptovirology attack that adversely affects it, and demands a ransom payment to restore it.

Secure Session

When logging in to a bank website, after typing in username and password, the web user is transferred to a "secure zone" in which executed transactions are encrypted using a protocol such as SSL (see separate explanation). Sometimes, in order to emphasize entry and leaving of a secure zone, a window appears stating the change of zone.

Secure Socket Layer (SSL/TLS)

A protocol that enables highly secure and encrypted communication. It enables encrypted traffic between your browser and the web server.

Security Vulnerabilities

Software faults or errors (security weaknesses or bugs). These vulnerabilities are liable to be exploited by unauthorized entities/hackers in order to log in to computer networks, applications and databases. When such vulnerability is discovered, antivirus companies generally issue a patch or a fix to resolve the vulnerability.

Smart Card

A smart card stores information and applications on a processor component integrated in the body of the card. A digital certificate can also be installed on the card (see separate explanation) to identify users to the system.


Companies purchase databases containing lists of email addresses to distribute advertising material about them. For the most part, such information is not useful and constitutes a nuisance. There are several automated software tools that identify such mail and prevent it from entering your inbox, redirecting it instead to the junk mail folder or deleting it.


A computer program that secretly tracks the surfing habits of the users on the computer on which it is installed, and that transfers the information about these habits to the sites that planted them.

Spyware is designed to identify user preferences and areas of interest, generally in order to custom tailor advertisements to users when they surf the Internet, for purposes of financial gain.


Automatic password generator which displays one-time passwords valid for a short, pre-specified time period.

Trojan Horse

A malicious computer program that tries to penetrate a computer by posing as an innocent program (the name is taken from the story of the Trojan horse in the Trojan War).
A Trojan horse is generally contained in a file attached to an e-mail or in downloadable freeware, and when executed, performs something amusing or useful to cause the recipient of the virus to send it on to friends. The amusing activity (for example, a short animated clip) disguises the fact that the program installs itself on the computer and is liable to cause damage.


A computer program capable of replicating itself.
A worm uses a network to copy itself to other nodes (terminals on the network) without necessary intervention by users. In contrast to a computer virus, a worm does not have to attach itself to an existing program.
Worms always affect the network (not least because they consume precious bandwidth), while viruses always affect files on the targeted computer.