The word “hacker” has become synonymous with unethical and criminal online behavior. But that is not always the case. Not everyone who learns these types of skills does so for nefarious reasons. Hacking also plays a huge role in development and security. Ethical hacking is something that doesn’t get a lot of coverage in the media in general, but it happens on a daily basis.
Since hacking is a broad term, there are ways to identify those hackers who are ethical from those who are not. That is why you can often hear people referring to them as “black hat,” “white hat,” and even “gray hat” hackers. As ethical hacking can be positive and productive, it is important to differentiate the types.
When it comes to the world of ethical hacking, these are the good guys. White hat hackers use their computer skills for the right reasons. A lot of large companies hire highly-skilled hackers to put them to test the defenses of their systems. Businesses need this hacking to keep their security tight and updated against new threats.
If the world didn’t have white hat hackers, it would be difficult for companies to figure out weaknesses in their security. They are essential for developers, looking to stay one step ahead of the bad guys. You may even see a few bad guys gone good in this realm, as developers get serious about privacy.
Here you have the stereotypical version of what a hacker has been for the last few decades. A black hat hacker uses their knowledge of computer systems to either do harm or bring some personal gain. These are the slick guys typing 1000 words per minute on those old sci-fi movies and breaking into who knows what.
Black hatters are a problem for organizations and governments across the world. They hack and steal information for malicious reasons, most of the time, for financial gain. Nowadays, they like to hold whole systems hostage. This is the type of hacking that hurts people and companies alike and the kind that needs to be stopped.
Like everything in life, hacking is not purely black or white. Within the confines of ethics, there are always some gray areas, hence the gray hatters. These guys are hard to peg as their reasons for compromising security systems may not always be clear, or even legal.
This type of hacking can cause headaches for companies and developers, but most of the time doesn’t do any real damage. Gray hatters tend to hack into systems to prove a point or to expose flaws to the general public. The biggest issue here is the legality of what some of them do and their reasons for doing it.
Always Keep Yourself Protected
Every time you go online, you can fall victim to cybercrime. You have hackers, data tracking, malware, viruses, and countless other things you need to be aware of. It is crucial to protect yourself against it all.
Learn to spot phishing and other scammy emails. Change all your passwords to make sure you never reuse any of them. Adopt a habit of always running files by antivirus before downloading. And to protect your data on public WiFi hotspots, use a premium virtual private network service.
You can start by signing up for a VPN free trial (https://nordvpn.com/risk-free-vpn/). Many different companies will offer the first 30 days free, so you can test out the service before committing. The same goes for antivirus, firewall, and other security software. Research them first, get a free trial, and then choose the one that suits your needs best. That’s the only way to stay protected nowadays.
Ethical Hacking is a Necessity
There are always going to be unethical hackers out there trying to break into systems and steal information. Companies need help. White hatters are there to try and do the same things the black hatters do but to beef up security, not do harm.
It is going to be an ongoing battle for the foreseeable future as information becomes a commodity. The next time you take a negative stance when hearing the word hacker, remember they aren’t all bad guys. Everyone needs hackers working daily to keep systems protected from the real criminals out there.