Many organizations are examining language, terms and practices that have been commonly used throughout technology to ensure that they are not appealing to implicit racist or gender stereotypes and, at the same time, that they are conveying clearer meaning. The Security Industry Association (SIA) is adopting these preferred terms and general guidelines for use in SIA communications and recommends them for member-generated SIA content, including sessions at SIA and ISC Events, webcasts and submissions to SIA Technology Insights and SIA’s blog.

Common Technological Terms  » and Suggested Replacements

Blacklist »  Blocklist

A list of entities that have incurred disapproval or suspicion and are to have access restrictions

Whitelist » Allowlist

A list of entities that have been approved to receive access or privileges

Master » Primary or Commander

An entity that has control over another entity

Slave » Secondary or Responder

An entity that is subservient to or controlled by another entity

Black Hat » Bad Hat or Malicious Hacker

A computer hacker that carries out illegal or malicious hacking work

White Hat » Good Hat or Ethical Hacker

A computer hacker that carries out non-malicious hacking work in order to discover security flaws, usually on behalf of the hacked organization or with the intention of reporting the flaw to the organization

Male (Connector) » Plug

A connector attached to a wire, cable or piece of hardware, having one or more exposed, unshielded electrical terminals and constructed in such a way that it can be inserted snugly into a receptacle (female connector) to ensure a reliable physical and electrical connection.

Female (Connector) » Socket

A connector attached to a wire, cable or piece of hardware, having one or more recessed holes with electrical terminals inside and constructed in such a way that a plug with exposed conductors (male connector) can be inserted snugly into it to ensure a reliable physical and electrical connection.

General Suggestions for Eliminating Language Bias

Whenever possible, without any clarifying context, use gender-neutral alternatives for common terms and references:

Chairman, congresswomanChair, congressperson (or representative/senator)
Salesman, saleswomanSalesperson, sales representative
Man-hoursWork hours, project hours
Avoid generalizations like he/she or his/her:

If an employee does not present the correct badge, he will not be granted access.Employees that do not present the correct badge will not be granted access.
When the operator sees an incident on his or her screen, he or she can react quickly.When an operator sees an incident on the screen, the individual can react quickly.

Focus on people, not circumstance or disability:

The smart architecture takes the needs of the handicapped into account. The smart architecture takes the needs of people with disabilities into account.
Implementing this software, the foundation was able to focus on its mission of providing services to the poor.Implementing this software, the foundation was able to focus on its mission of providing services to people experiencing poverty.
The icons on the system helped the agency improve the success rate among foreigners. The icons on the system helped the agency improve the success rate among people from other nations.

When writing about a real person, use the pronouns that person prefers, whether it is he, she, they or another pronoun. It is OK to use gendered pronouns (like he, she, his and hers) when writing about real people who use those pronouns themselves.