We’ve all heard of hackers. But what are they? Why exactly are they so dangerous? And what are the most common types of hackers?
We live in a digital age full of exciting advancements in technology. But the online world is rife with virtual dangers as well. Chief amongst those dangers is the threat of hackers. For several years now, the term hackers has sparked fear in the minds of internet users. The fact that hackers could strike from anywhere and at any time only adds to this stress. Not to mention, the frequency and overall cost of cybercrime continues to rise year after year.
So, what can you do? Thankfully there’s a service out there that can help you protect yourself and your family from the dangers of the web. But before we discuss that, let’s identify the most common types of hackers and the best way to defend against them.
What is a hacker?
First, let’s briefly define what a hacker is. A hacker is someone who subverts computer security to gain unauthorized access to data. To put it another way, a hacker is someone who leaps over the walls of the internet to get somewhere they’re not permitted to be. While many hackers are malicious and a serious threat to your privacy and safety, hackers are not exclusively nefarious. So which hackers are “good” and which are “bad”? Let’s examine the most common types of hackers and differentiate between them.
Black Hat Hackers vs White Hat Hackers
Black Hat Hackers are probably what you imagine when you hear the word “hacker”. These are the “bad guys” of the internet; they’re hackers who seek unauthorized access to data with the hopes of monetary gain or other criminal purposes. Their ulterior motives include everything from identity theft to credit card fraud, and without protection, you open yourself to their digital attacks.
As the name suggests, white hat hackers are the opposite of black hat hackers. In a general sense, white hats are the “good” hackers while black hats are the “bad”. White hat hackers typically infiltrate computer systems with the intent of exposing the weaknesses in said systems. This can also be referred to as “ethical hacking” and encompasses a broad spectrum of different methods of internet security testing.
Different Types of Hackers
While the white hats and black hats (and the various other colors of hats) are the very general terms for the two sides of the hacking spectrum, there are much more specific forms of hackers. It’s important to understand these as well so that you know the threats (and the allies) that exist on the internet.
Often politically motivated, cyber terrorists are hackers which infiltrate systems with the intent of spreading their message, or to carry out an attack. Regardless of their ideological alignment, these types of hackers are especially dangerous since they can cause chaos (or even violence) on a mass scale.
Perhaps the antithesis to cyberterrorists, “hacktivists” are hackers that strive to bring attention to a cause through their hacking. Perhaps the most well known hacktivist outfit, Anonymous, has been responsible for several cyber attacks on organizations which they have deemed harmful over the last several years.
Social Engineering Hackers
Now this is the big one. Sure, any and every type of hacker can affect you on some level, but social engineering hackers are far and away the most likely to exploit the personal information of individuals. While many of the other most common types of hackers focus their attacks on corporations or government organizations, social engineering hackers attack on the micro level. Yeah, they’re focused on you. More specifically, they’re focused on infiltrating the computer systems which have access to your data and then using it against you and your family.
And how exactly do they use it against you and your loved ones? Unfortunately, there are a litany of ways in which social engineering hackers can use your personal information against you. Often referred to as “human hacking” scams, social engineering attacks include phishing schemes, identity theft, and credit card fraud. And that’s just to name a few. Once these hackers get ahold of your info, they can use it to manipulate your loved ones or impersonate you. Social engineering hackers are likely the type of hacker the average person should worry about the most.
These types of scams are dangerous because they can take basically any form. Social engineering hackers use lots of strategies to trick you or your loved ones into divulging your most sensitive information. And once that info is in their devious hands, they can wreak financial havoc. So, how can you protect yourself against hackers? And in turn, stop identity theft and credit card fraud?
How to stop hackers
Now that you know a bit more about hackers and the different types, you’re probably wondering, “What can I do to stop them?. Well, the most effective way of securing your data and keeping it out of harm’s way is to employ the services of a data privacy solution like Privacy Bee. Privacy Bee works tirelessly to keep your data safe and out of the clutches of internet bad guys. They do this by allowing you to completely control the companies which you trust on the web. Meaning your personal information will be shielded from those you deem untrustworthy and hackers will have far less opportunities to expose your information in an attack. On top of that, Privacy Bee offers 24/7 365 vulnerability monitoring, so that they can immediately alert you to any potential privacy threats.
Hackers target corporate and government databases in the hopes of gaining access to your most sensitive information. Rather than allowing those databases unrestricted access to your personal info, start taking back control of your data with Privacy Bee. By customizing your privacy preferences and controlling the flow of your data, you make it much more difficult for hackers to ever get ahold of your valuable information. It’s incredibly difficult to keep your data protected if you surf the web without any protection, so start bolstering your digital defenses today!