It seems there’s a new acronym, term or hashtag trending every day and understanding it all can get very… #Confusing!!!

This article is going to serve as a living dictionary for security and fraud terms so you have one quick and easy place to refer to.

Wearable Technology

– Devices used to collect and communicate personal information captured in real-time. Examples include fitness bands, GPS-enabled cameras, digital glasses, smart watches and medical devices.

Chip & PIN Cards

– Instead of only swiping your credit card during a transaction like in the past, the new cards (with an embedded chip) require you to insert your card into the reader slot for processing. Next, you are prompted to either enter a 4-digit PIN or provide a signature. Chip cards should not be confused with RFID cards which offer a contactless way to pay by credit card.

Check Washing

– Unless you are using high-security checks, thieves can wash your checks in chemicals then re-write the “Pay To” and “Amount” lines to their benefit.


– A type of identity theft when thieves steal the identities of the recently deceased.

Credit Freezing

– Restricts access to apply for available credit unless you contact the credit bureaus and provide a password. This makes it nearly impossible for thieves to establish new credit under your good name. You can also apply a freeze to your children’s credit, too.


– Emails that appear to be from someone you know or businesses you trust that ask you to take immediate action. For example, “Please send me money ASAP” or “Please click here to verify your account information.”


– Thieves access your computer and completely lock it down until you pay a fee for the code to unlock your computer.


– The use of one electronic device to supply Internet connectivity to another device. For example, using a smartphone to connect a laptop to the Internet.

Two-Factor Authentication

– To login to an account, you need to complete Step 1 (entering a password that you know) and then Step 2 (entering a secret code that you have for a limited time.) Two-factor authentication is also called two-step login, multi-factor authentication, two-step verification, 2FA or a security token.

Internet of Things

– The trend of connecting traditionally non-digital items (“things” like: refrigerators, thermostats, etc.) to the Internet so that you can monitor and control them remotely.