An A-Z guide to the technical terms used in digital security
Operating System (OS)
The main program responsible for organizing and managing the interactions between the hardware resources of a device and the software installed on it so that a user can effectively perform various tasks.
There are a handful of operating systems (OS) available for most users for various device types - Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android etc - with each offering unique advantages and disadvantages.
Understandably, since operating systems are so vital for a device's proper functioning, they are the main target of many types of attacks. An attack on an OS will typically subvert a legitimate operating process - such as opening a file or running a program - and 'hijack' it for the attacker's own purposes. Types of malware that do so include trojans, viruses, rootkits, backdoors and so on.
The background process used by an antivirus program to examine other running processes for malicious behavior.
The component of an antivirus program that a user must manually launch in order to scan files on the device.