Your guide to common terms used when talking about online security and fraud.
Icon expand Advance fee fraud
Any fraud - usually an email - which asks for a fee in order to release a large amount of money. The promised money will never arrive, and fraudsters will typically gather a series of payment from their victims.
Icon expand Anti-spyware
Software which protects your computer from spyware - harmful programmes that monitor computer activity and gather information.
Icon expand Anti-virus software
Software that protects your computer from viruses that could allow fraudsters access to your computer and the information stored on it.
Icon expand Card Reader
A small, hand-held security device that you use with a card and Personal Identification Number (PIN) to authorise certain transactions. It doesn't keep any personal information about you, it just validates the transaction you are making.
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Icon expand Firewall
A piece of software now built into modern operating systems that helps protect your computer from online attacks.
Icon expand Identity theft
Theft of your personal or financial details. Criminals then use these details to impersonate you, open bank accounts, obtain credit or set up businesses.
Icon expand Money mule
A scam where people are offered a one-off payment or series of payments in exchange for providing their account details. This scam helps third parties 'launder' the proceeds of crime.
Icon expand Phishing
Fraudulent emails designed to persuade you to give out your personal information such as passwords.
Icon expand Router
The hardware or software that manages the connection between to online networks. It tells your computer how to connect to your internet service provider (ISP).
Icon expand Screen Reader
A software programme that uses a synthetic voice to read computer screen content out loud. Users who are visually impaired may use screen readers (such as JAWS for Windows) to navigate the internet.
Icon expand Spam
An unsolicited email message. Many spam messages are scams, designed to gather your personal information or persuade you to buy low quality goods.
Icon expand Spyware
Spyware is software that can secretly gather your personal information and pass it to a third party.
Icon expand Trojans
Trojans are harmful programmes designed to steal personal information and send it to a fraudster. This can include online banking passwords and credit card details. They can be installed on your computer from opening attachments in scam emails or by visiting infected websites, and you probably won't be able to tell when they've been installed on your computer.
Icon expand URL
A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the address of a website on the internet, for example http://www.ulsterbank.ie
Icon expand Virus
Computer viruses can steal your personal information, destroy your data, or disrupt your computer.
Icon expand Wireless network
A wireless network allows you to connect your laptop to the internet without having to use a cable. The connection is made from your laptop using radio technologies, so your laptop needs to be close to a wireless router.