We don’t blame you if you’d feel lost whenever friends or strangers drop tech terms that you scarcely know anything about. It’s natural to pretend you do (while praying no one asks you questions), especially if an attractive member of the opposite (or same) sex is present, but for how long can you keep it up?
Technology is going to get more and more complicated, and it’s better to start getting familiar with the buzzwords so you can hold your own in any conversation. Not only can it raise your profile, it could also impress your crush.
Well, I am here specifically to help out those who are struggling with tech lingo by explaining it to them in simple terms. Let’s start with these three, shall we?
Term 1: Computer Worm
A real worm is that cold and squirmy thing that does its business beneath the soil, right? So what is a computer worm then? Well, this one was coined to play upon that burrowing analogy. But this time, it’s infesting a computer, hiding inside its operating system, and doing all sorts of bad stuff like stealing data, slowing bandwidth, and even wrecking its functions.
In reality, a computer worm is what is called malware, which is short for malicious software. It’s created by hackers and spread through email attachments or infected website links that you click on unsuspectingly. Once a computer worm gets inside your computer, you’ll start noticing that something’s wrong because the monitor could turn on or off unexpectedly, startup is very slow, or certain functions are disabled.
Term 2: Ethical Hacking
First off, how can hacking be ethical? Hackers are bad people that do all sorts of weird stuff to other people’s computers. So how can any of it be ethical? Well, for starters, there are bad hackers, and there are good hackers.
The latter are those hackers who use their skills not to victimize but to help companies defend their networks. They do so by deliberately hacking into your system in order to test its defenses or identify its weak spots and exploitable vulnerabilities.
Ethical hacking is undertaken for the purpose of knowing the problems so that necessary steps can then be made to find their solutions before the issues cause damage. So, when next time someone asks you what is ethical hacking, you’ll definitely know what to say.
Term 3: Pharming
If you’ve been in a situation where, while driving, you were tricked into taking a diversion and subsequently taken advantage of by bad elements waiting in ambush along the way, you have the answer to the question of what is pharming?
In other words, it’s a scheme hatched by cybercriminals who redirect you to a fake website which they control and, once there, they steal your important information like bank account and credit card numbers, user names, passwords, etc. They do so by corrupting the entry to a legitimate site so that when you input its URL, you are automatically sent to the bogus site where you are helplessly at their mercy.
Understanding tech terms can be frustrating if you don’t know where to look for answers. They might be tough, yes, but they’re cool once you get to know, and people — including your techy dates — will be impressed once you start explaining it to them.
3 Cybersecurity Terms Non-Techies Can Use to Impress a Techy Date was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.