We’ve all heard the term “cybersecurity” thrown around in articles,  TV shows and other forms of media.

More companies are enforcing companywide cybersecurity standards and having more discussions about cybersecurity.

Whether you realize it or not, every single person is affected by cybersecurity. If you use the Internet for any personal activity like social media, work, etc., you’re at risk for a cyber attack.

In the case of an attack, it would be extremely helpful to know what’s happening when your computer starts acting up.

Read on to decode what each cybersecurity term means and learn their origins.

Hack: Hack



The act of using a computer to access unauthorized data in a system; a shortcut or modification—a way to bypass or rework the standard operation of an object or system.

The very first group of hackers met and tested their skills on electric train sets at MIT in the 1960’s. Later they moved on to computers and software.






A type of malware that cuts off all access to a user’s data stored on their computer, until the victim pays a set ransom.

The first type of ransomware made in 2005 was named Trojan Horse.  In true Trojan Horse style, the virus was emitted onto people’s computers disguised in the form of a download or link.  The malware would then search for files and encode them.  All original files are then deleted and the newly encrypted ones are unreadable.






A software that is intended to damage or disable computer systems or computers. Short for “malicious software”, also known as a virus.

Computer scientist Frederick Cohen first coined the phrase “virus” in one of his published books to describe a computer program. The supposed first virus, named the “Creeper Virus”, was created as an experiment in 1971.




Dark Web


A compilation of thousands of websites that are masked by anonymity tools to hide their IP address.

Created in the early 2000’s, the dark web is an encrypted network.

The dark web masks around 30,000 to 40,000 websites, and requires a special browser for access.  Illegal activities like drug trade, trade of illegal weapons and child pornography take place over the dark web because of the network’s privacy.







The act of using faux emails and websites as lures to defraud and prompt people to voluntarily hand over sensitive information.

The first phishing attempts were aimed at AOL account holder in the early 90’s. Hackers would pose as AOL employees and send messages to users through the AOL instant messenger and email systems.   In the messages they would request users to verify their accounts or confirm their billing information and most victims would unknowingly hand over that information since phishing was a new phenomena.





Transforming information into an unrecognizable translation that requires a cipher and key in order to decode.

The first documented example of encryption can be traced back to 1900 BC, when an Egyptian scribe used unrecognizable hieroglyphs in an inscription.

The first form of computer encryption was DES, a type of algorithm developed in 1977 by IBM and modified by the National Security Agency. DES at the time was unbreakable and a federal standard.