What Everyone Should Know About Computer Hacking

“Hacking” is a term blown up by the media to describe evil criminals who sit behind computers all day and break into high security government systems and/or innocent citizen’s computer to spread viruses and create all kinds of havoc.

This is true about 10% of the time.

The word “Hacking” or “Hacker” are extremely broad and misleading terms. If you went to any community of technical experts and asked them how to become a “Hacker”, they would laugh at you and make fun of you. Hacking can mean anything – stealing passwords, social engineering, probing a network for open security holes, analyzing code from an application, or just plain programming. Hacking isn’t a simple 1-2-3 step process. It can involve many different fields of study and it’s constantly changing day to day.

Many times people have wondered why hackers do what they do. Many times amateurs ask how to become one. The first thing that anyone should learn about hackers is that they aren’t always who you think they are. Sure, there are immoral hackers out there that like to steal information and use it for harmful purposes. Sometimes these hackers do their hacking purely to improve their ego or just show that they can “do it”. However, there are also “good” hackers out there. These are referred to as “White Hat” hackers. They enjoy technology, they love computers, and they spend a lot of time learning about them. Part of this learning involves discovering what makes a computer vulnerable to attacks.

As the saying goes, “Know thine enemy.” If you want your computer to be protected from hacking attempts, you need to know what to protect against. There are professionals out there who make a living building and maintaining this protection, they are called Network Engineers. They usually spend hours setting up computers, connecting them together, testing them, installing and removing software, monitoring them, and doing all sorts of behind the scenes work to make sure our stuff runs smooth and no one puts a virus on your computer.

Also, hackers aren’t all creepy computer nerds who are out to get you. Some of them are just everyday normal citizens who happen to enjoy working with computer technology. It’s very hard to describe what exactly a hacker is like. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Usually, a hacker has knowledge of at least one computer programming language and generally knows a good deal about computer networking and TCP/IP protocols. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, chances are you are not a “hacker”.

I hope this short article has helped dispelled most myths about the rumors that surround what hackers and hacking are. If you are concerned with one of these “hackers” potentially harming your computer or stealing your information, I highly suggest you read up on the many thousands of articles out there that describe basic computer security and how to protect yourself from hackers. Technology evolves very rapidly, and it’s important to keep up to date on your information. It’s overwhelming to some, but it’s worth all that extra effort to be informed. Remember, knowledge is power.

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