With millions of families working and attending school from home, cybersecurity is more important than ever before. As the rate of cybercrimes continues to rise, protecting your family’s private information is a necessity. If the idea of cybersecurity seems complex to you, don’t worry: we can help. We’ve created a list of the 20 most important cybersecurity terms that you and your family need to know. With this valuable resource, you’ll be able to provide better online protection for your family for years to come.

Learn Important Cybersecurity Terms

Knowing key cybersecurity terms can mean the difference between your online safety and a serious security threat. Plus, identifying important aspects of your cybersecurity strategy helps you stay prepared in the event of an attack. Take a look at our guide to some cybersecurity terms that can benefit you in the future.


A breach is an online cybersecurity violation that causes private data to become accessible, often resulting in stolen information. These can also be known as “leaks” or “spills,” and they can have personal or financial consequences for victims.

Cloud Security

Cloud security protects private online data accessible through cloud computing, preventing breaches or theft. This allows users to safely protect their information in a nonphysical system or application. 


Encryption formats data so that it’s unreadable for users who don’t have the necessary authorization to access it. By encrypting private information, users can better protect their data with passcodes and more.


Firewall software helps monitor network traffic and blocks unauthorized outside access based on certain security rules. 

IP Address

An Internet Protocol address, known as an IP address, is a numerical code that labels a device on a network. These numbers, which are separated by dots, make it easier for a device to communicate with the Internet. 

Multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication, sometimes called MFA, is a security method that introduces additional requirements for accessing private information. MFA is seen on banking websites and social media platforms to verify credentials and protect sensitive data.


A Virtual Private Network (VPN) reroutes your IP address through another server and masks the true location of your device. This software can reduce IP throttling, protect your online activity, and even increase your connection speeds.


In cybersecurity, a vulnerability refers to any weakness that could allow criminals to access private networks or personal information. Criminals exploit these vulnerabilities and use them to threaten the security of a system or a device.

Important Cybersecurity Terms VPN

Important Cybersecurity Threat Terms to Know

Many of the most important cybersecurity terms are related to serious vulnerabilities that could affect the integrity of your system. Keeping these important terms in mind as you browse the Internet could help you navigate avoidable cybersecurity threats.


Bots, or “botnets,” are scripts or software that act under the command of an attacker. These bots give cybercriminals, or “bot-herders,” the ability to control another computer remotely. 


Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDoS) purposefully flood the bandwidth of an online resource to disrupt the service. Attackers coordinate their malicious actions to come from different points to take down the intended target.


A keylogger, or “keystroke logger,” is software that allows anyone who installs it to monitor the keystrokes of another keyboard. This can create serious threats from cybercriminals trying to obtain sensitive credentials, private data, and access to protected information.


Malware is a widely-used term that refers to any malicious software that exists to attack another system. This software comes in many different forms, depending on the information the cybercriminals are hunting.

Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

Man-in-the-middle attacks prevent communication between a user, or their system, and another entity. Commonly, this occurs during data transfers and existing conversations, stopping users from gaining access to their private information.


Phishing is a cyberattack that lures victims with believable emails, texts, or calls. These attacks hope to obtain sensitive information like banking credentials or other personal data. 


Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts files and prevents victims from accessing their own information. Cybercriminals require users to pay the attacker a specified ransom amount before they decrypt the data.

Most Important Cybersecurity Terms VPN

Social Engineering Attacks

Social engineering attacks involve cybercriminals who gather information on their victims by posing as legitimate individuals. The attackers then manipulate their victims into giving them secure information for fraudulent purposes.


Spyware is malware that hides within a device and monitors the activity of users to covertly access private information. This type of malware helps obtain personal data like online history, credentials, and more

Trojan Horse

Trojan horse viruses disguise themselves as another type of software to trick the user into downloading it on their device. Attacks embed malicious trojan horse codes into more legitimate software.


A virus is another type of malware made of code that alters the operation of a system and replicates itself. A virus attaches to documents, images, software, and other types of data to get better access to restricted systems.


A worm is a variety of malware that replicates itself as a standalone program and spreads copies between devices. These dangerous worms aim to infect as many other systems as possible.

Robust Privacy and Cybersecurity from PrivadoVPN

The safety of your family is too important to leave it to chance. These important cybersecurity terms can help you increase the security of everyone in your household. Start protecting your family’s privacy today with the help of a reliable VPN. 

With PrivadoVPN, you can create up to 10 device connections from just one account and protect everyone in your home. Plus, you get access to secure global servers backed by Swiss privacy laws and a true zero-log guarantee. It’s never too late to boost your security and take back your privacy.

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