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Account takeover: Occurs when someone other than the consumer has access to the consumer’s user ID and password, and transfers money out of a checking account or line of credit. It can also take the form of an automated teller machine (ATM) scam – for example, by copying ATM cards and videotaping the PIN entry.

"Dumpster diving": Going through someone’s garbage cans, communal dumpster or trash bins, to obtain copies of checks, credit cards or bank statements or other records that typically bear personal information. These types of records make it easier for criminals to get control over personal accounts and assume one’s identity.

eCommerce: (Electronic Commerce) The conducting of business communication and transactions over networks and through computers. Specifically, eCommerce is the buying and selling of goods and services, and the transfer of funds, through digital communications.

Encrypt: To encode (scramble) information in such a way that it is unreadable to all but those individuals possessing the key to the code.

FERPA: FERPA is a Federal law that applies to educational agencies and institutions that receive funding under a program administered by the U. S. Department of Education. The statute is found at 20 U.S.C. § 1232g and the Department's regulations are found at 34 CFR Part 99.

Fraud: An intentional perversion of truth; deceitful practice or device resorted to with intent to deprive another of property or other right.

Identity Theft: A type of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain.

Internet Service Provider (ISP): The company you have contracted with to provide Internet service. For USC students who live on-campus, faculty and staff, the University serves as your ISP. For off-campus home use, there are other companies that offer service through dial-up, broadband, satellite and high-speed networks.

Phishing: Cyber-attack in which an attacker impersonates a trusted company or provider and sends out a bulk message, typically in an e-mail, that directs people to a fraudulent channel or Web site to collect personal information for identity theft.

"Shoulder surfing": Watching someone from a nearby location as someone uses their card numbers, PINs, or listening to conversations when giving out personal and sensitive information.

Spam: Unwanted, unsolicited e-mail that often times is a ‘phishing’ scam to extract personal and/or financial information

Strong password: A series of letters, numbers and symbols not found in a dictionary. Strong passwords contain at least 6 characters and are not tied to the individual using it in anyway that a hacker could identify.

URL: An acronym for "Uniform Resource Locator," this is the address of a resource on the Internet. World Wide Web URLs begin with http://