Data Encryption Dictionary


Security is important. Just as you secure your house with doors, locks, fences and security systems, computer data security depends upon numerous layers. If you don’t have a handle on what encryption is, or how to keep your data secure, anyone might have access, including identity thieves or even Google. Knowing the vocabulary behind data encryption is the first step in securing your data.

SEE ALSO: Top 5 Ways To Avoid Being Tracked Online

Anti-Malware Software: Powerful programs that seek a wider array of computer threats than mere anti-virus software. There are very free and paid options available. Anti-virus and anti-malware software must be updated frequently to remain fully effective.

Anti-Virus Software: These programs search computers to identify and destroy malicious viruses that would damage a computer or extract data.

Backup: Protecting your data by backing it up often, and in as many ways as possible. Flash drives, external hard drives, DVDs, and the Cloud are the most common ways of backing up important data.

Common Sense: Your own intuition is the first line of defense. Don’t click on links in emails from people you don’t know. Don’t keep private information unprotected and visible on your computer. Don’t use the same password for Facebook and your bank account. Use your common sense!

Data Encryption Protocol: A security technology for encrypting Wi-Fi networks; examples include WEP, WPA or WPA2 (see below).

Data Erasure: Also known as file shredding, data erasure goes beyond deletion, which eliminates the pointers to data, and actually pulls apart the data while leaving the drive operable. If you want to destroy your data, there are free tools available for wiping your disk drive clean.

Encryption: The process of transforming data via an algorithm that encodes and protects the data for storage or transmission, making it unreadable to those without access. There are different methods used on the Internet to appropriately encrypt your data.

Encryption Software: Creates an encrypted, password-protected volume on your hard drive. The data is scrambled and inaccessible without the password.

Hidden Volume: A sort of “safe-within-a-safe,” a password-protected volume within a larger encrypted volume that only shows up when the correct password is provided.

Internet Protocol (IP) Address: A number assigned to each device using a computer network. As the name suggests, it provides location and identification information. Unlike a home address, however, your computer’s IP address changes every time you connect to a new network.

Internet Service Provider (ISP): A company that provides internet access.

Modem: Short for “modulator-demodulator,” a modem is a device that delivers broadband internet access from an ISP to a computer, sometimes passing through a router.

Network Sniffer: A computer program designed to find and log network traffic by capturing packets as they are transmitted. Google is facing charges regarding sniffing on unprotected Wi-Fi networks.

Packet: A unit of data that is transmitted across a network. Encryption helps protect packets for secure transmission. Router: A device that creates a wireless network by transmitting data packets between modem and computer. They are also known as Wi-Fi “gateways.”

SEE ALSO: Beginners Guide To Wireless Routers

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL): A common cryptographic protocol for securely transmitting information over the Internet.

Service Set ID (SSID): The name of your wireless network. For added security, users can disable SSID broadcasting so their network does not show up to users seeking a wireless network.

Transport Layer Security (TLS): The successor of SSL, an updated way of securing information transmission. TLS and SSL are built into numerous applications such as web browsing, email and instant messaging.

Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA): A data encryption protocol that is commonly used. WPA2 is an updated variation designed to patch known holes in WPA’s security. WPA uses Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) to encrypt data. Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)An easily-broken encryption protocol, WEP is outdated and not recommended for use.
Date of original publication:
Updated on: November 10, 2015

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