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Hacking & Spam Glossary

12/01/2022 - Online safety

As a follow up to our mobile phone glossary, we have created a list of different terms you need to look out for when it comes to the security of your PC / laptop or tablet. As more and more people are connected to the internet, cyber-attacks have become much more common, so read on to learn more about some of the different ways with which a hacker can compromise your gadget.


A type of social engineering attack used mainly to steal user data. The attacker impersonates a trustworthy source and manipulates the user into opening an email, instant or text message. Once the user clicks, malware is then installed on their phone, tablet or laptop.


A type of unwanted software program which is installed without the user’s permission. It is used to infect computers and phones with viruses, adware, spyware, keyloggers etc. Malware can also be transmitted through USBs, hard drives and spam.


Hackers use spoofing as a masking technique to fool users into thinking that they are a legitimate source.


This is a search engine optimisation technique which is used to manipulate Google’s search results. Google and the user should normally see the same results. When cloaking takes place, the results that are shown to the user are different from the ones that the Google bot can see. Cloaking is used when hackers wish to distort page rankings of websites and get an advantage for their own content. 

Proxy Hacking/Hijacking 

A proxy is a server that acts as an intermediary between the user and the websites he/she visits by ensuring that your browsing experience remains safe and private. Proxy hacking occurs when authentic web pages are cloned or copied into another server that the hacker has control of. The motive is usually to exploit a competitor’s site by adding multiple advertisements and infecting it with viruses.

A good way for identifying potential harmful websites, is by looking at the website’s security framework, also known as HTTPS/SSL/TLS. HTTP(S) stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol (Secure) and it ensures safer browsing by:

  1. Controlling how data is transmitted on the web. 
  2. Adding a layer of encryption.
  3. Using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and TLS (Transport Kayer Security) protocols to further encrypt your identity.
    1. SSL creates an encrypted link between a web server and a web browser. 
    2. TLS secures the data agsinst hackers.

Does airplane mode prevent hacking?

Yes and no. Airplane mode temporarily disables wireless signal transmissions to and from your phone. It stops the cellular communication with other networks, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. Airlines request passengers to turn airplane mode on so that the phone’s signals do not interfere with the plane’s navigation equipment. Airplane mode temporarily isolates your gadgets from the communication networks and hackers are unable to attack them at the time when they are disconnected. If your gadgets have security vulnerabilities, they are still open to being compromised by malicious attacks.

Find out more about how you can protect your gadgets from hackers.

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