Cyber Definition & Meaning

Cyber is a prefix that denotes a relationship with information technology (IT). Anything relating to computing, such as the internet, falls under the cyber category. It’s worth noting cyber carries a connotation of a relationship with modern computing and technology. For example, early computing from the 1980s and 1990s does not typically attract the term cyber.

Cyber origin

In the late 1940s, the term cybernetics was coined by mathematician Norbert Wiener. It’s defined as the study of control systems and communication between people and machines. Weiner used the ancient Greek word cyber, which is related to the idea of governing. In Weiner’s book, Cybernetics, he describes a computer system that ran on feedback essentially a self-governing system. This idea was groundbreaking for the 1940s.

Common cyber words

Cyber is typically used as the prefix of a compound word. Like many compound nouns, those featuring cyber can be written as one word (cyberspace), as two words (cyber space) or as a hyphenated word (cyber-space). For consistency, all examples will be one word. Commonly used cyber terms include:

  • Cyberspace: A metaphor for describing the non-physical terrain created by computer systems.
  • Cybersecurity: The technologies and processes designed to protect computers, networks, and data from unauthorized access, vulnerabilities, and attacks delivered via the internet by cybercriminals.
  • Cybercrime: Any crime carried out using IT or which targets IT.
  • Cyberattack: The unauthorized access of private or confidential information contained on a computer system or network.
  • Cyberbullying: Any form of online harassment.
  • Cyberforensics: The application of scientifically proven methods to gather, process, interpret, and use digital evidence to provide a conclusive description of cybercrime activities.
  • Cybernetics: The science of communications and automatic control systems in both machines and living things.
Abby Dykes
Abby Dykes
Abby Dykes is a newly-graduated writer and editor for websites such as TechnologyAdvice.com, Webopedia.com, and Project-Management.com. When she’s not writing about technology, she enjoys giving too many treats to her dog and coaching part-time at her local gym.

Top Articles

Huge List Of Texting and Online Chat Abbreviations

From A3 to ZZZ we list 1,559 text message and online chat abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Includes Top...

How To Create A Desktop Shortcut To A Website

This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a desktop shortcut to a website using Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer (IE). Creating a desktop...

The History Of Windows Operating Systems

Microsoft Windows is a family of operating systems. We look at the history of Microsoft's Windows operating systems (Windows OS) from 1985 to present...

Hotmail [Outlook] Email Accounts

  By Vangie Beal Hotmail is one of the first public webmail services that can be accessed from any web browser. Prior to Hotmail and its...

Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL)...

What is COBOL? COBOL stands for Common Business-Oriented Language. It is a 60-year-old programming...

Shared Hosting Definition &...

Shared hosting is a web hosting model in which multiple sites occupy the...

Database Integration Definition &...

Database integration consolidates data from multiple sources to provide businesses with more comprehensive...