A serious take on silly-sounding cybersecurity terms
Critical data breaches and hacking incidents have entered the mainstream consciousness. In one way this is good, as people are becoming more aware of the types of things that can happen and taking a closer look at how they use technology. But when security breaches or hacking exploits are publicized, what comes along with the reports is new terminology. There is enough new terminology about cybersecurity to be confusing even for the technically proficient. And to be honest, some of the terms sound so silly that it is hard to take them seriously until you understand what they mean.
Take, for example, cyber hygiene. When I first heard it, at a cybersecurity conference, I almost laughed out loud. But the person using the term was a high-ranking military official, so I thought I’d better pay attention. Cyber hygiene simply means performing basic tasks to protect digital assets. For example, use strong passwords, do not write them down for others to see, and change them frequently. Validate the sender before clicking on links/URLs within email or text messages. Do not send a Social Security number or bank account number to another person via email.