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Glossary

Anonymous Something or someone which is unnamed. On the Internet it refers to the ability to access a server or information without reference to the person or entity who is making the request.
Carnivore An FBI project for monitoring email.
Certificate A computer record which associates a public key to a specific person or company
Certificate Authority Service which manages security credentials for web-sites and other online transactions.
CGI Common Gateway Interface. Rules for running programs on a web HTTP server providing a "gateway" to its information.
CIA Central Intelligence Agency
Cookies A block of data which is stored on the user's computer by a website for later use. Cookies are not necessarily bad, but can be used to track behavior or store personal data which was previously supplied by a user.
CRL Certificate Revocation List. A list of certificates which have been revoked by the certificate authority which issued them.
Cryptography The field of study in which information is protected by converting it with algorithms. See encryption.
Data Mining The practice of searching databases for hidden patterns of data which reveal additional information to create detailed profiles -- which may or may not be sold to third-parties.
Decrypt To convert scrambled (encrypted) information back to a usable or readable format.
DES The U.S. government's 56-bit encryption standard.
Digital Signature A digital code which verifies the person or company sent the information.
ECPA Electronic Communications Privacy Act. A federal statute which prohibits a third-party from intercepting or disclosing communications.
Email Spoofing The practice of sending an email which has had the identifying headers forged or altered to conceal the sender for unethical reasons.
Encrypt To convert data (such as plaintext) into a format that is no longer readable without a password
Encryption A process of concealing information by scrambling the data via an algorithm.
FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation
FCC Federal Communications Commission
Firewall A combination of software and hardware which monitors a computer or network for unauthorized access.
HTTPS HyperText Transfer Protocol Secured. See SSL.
IP Address Internet Protocol (as in TCP/IP) which is a unique number identifying a machine connected to the Internet.
Key See password. Usually a key is not memorable to people but a password is memorable.
KGB Komitet Gosudarstvennoi Bezopasnosti [Russian] Which means the (Soviet) State Security Committee
Login To access by indentifying oneself, typically using a username and password
MD5 Message Digest [algorithm] 5. A specific encryption protocol, often used for accessing protected webpages.
NSA National Security Agency
Pass Phrase A password which is generally longer in length yet still memorable to a person.
Password A secret sequence known to a user to confirm their identity to a system being accessed.
PGP Pretty Good Privacy. A popular public-key encryption standard created by Phil Zimmerman.
PKI Public Key Infrastructure. A system supporting public key encryption.
Plain text Human-readable, unencrypted messages or data.
Privacy Policy A web document which states how that website or company uses their users information which was supplied directly or passively.
RSA Rivest, Shamir, & Adleman. The company RSA Data Security, Inc. developed a popular public key encryption standard, the patent for it expired in September 2000.
SET Secure Electronic Transaction, a protocol developed by Visa and MasterCard to allow secure credit card transactions of the Internet.
Spam Unwanted, and unrequested junk mail. For example, business opportunities, or items for sale.
SSL Secure Sockets Layer. Web security protocol to encrypt communication betwee a users browser and a web server.
Trust-e An independent non-profit entity which builds users' trust in a company's commitment to privacy through use of a seal.
UCE Unsollicited Commercial Email
User name An name which identifies the person acessing the system and is unique within the system being accessed.
VPN Virtual Private Network. A closed system which allows members to treat a public network as a private one by using encryption protocols.

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