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Common Security Terms Dictionary: G to H

written by: •edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 7/22/2010

If you’re new the computing world, all of the acronyms, nomenclature, and strange terms can become a little intimidating. It’s my hope that this dictionary series will help you absorb this information and shed some light on the world of “techno babble.”

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    G - H



    Usually refers to the point where one network meets another. Often times a gateway will connect networks that use different communication protocols (i.e. the meeting point between an Apple Talk network and TCP/IP or IPX/SPX network).


    Global Unique Identifiers are often used in computer software to identify certain computer components. They have often been used within the Windows operating system environment to identify Microsoft Office documents as unique objects. Some consider this a security issue. As noted by PCMAG.COM, “First developed to keep track of instances of COM objects, GUIDs were created by an algorithm that used the MAC address of the local Ethernet card. Microsoft later dropped the Ethernet address due to protests that documents could be traced back to a particular user's machine.”



    Hardening is the process of strengthening security holes and/or vulnerabilities within a network infrastructure.


    Hypertext Markup Language is the most basic “language” or coding model used to create web pages for viewing within a web browser.

    HTTP Proxy

    A proxy is usually a server or piece of network hardware (like a router) that acts as a network traffic filter. An HTTP proxy then filters internet traffic between an internet browser on individual PCs (hosts) and the public Internet. The primary purpose of an HTTP proxy is to “mask” the specific IP addresses of host computers in a network by using its own IP address. Hence the word proxy which means “a person authorized to act for another.”


    Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the basic protocol used to connect an internet browser to a web sever. The “S” at the end of the HTTPS header indicates that the connection is established over a secure port on the web server.

    Honey Pot

    A honey pot is a type of decoy that “lures” potential hackers away from your actual network services and ports. In addition to acting as a decoy, a honey pot can be used to track attempted attacks and then take measures to harden your real network accordingly.


    A host is any computer that is a member of a network. The computer must be able to participate in a two-way information exchange for it to be considered a true host.