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Avast Academy Security Other Threats The Essential Guide to Hacking

The Essential Guide to Hacking

While a hacker is just a programmer who can manipulate a computer system or network, a malicious hacker is someone who uses those talents for personal gain, such as stealing data or producing malware.


What is hacking

Computer hacking refers to manipulating the normal behavior of a computer and its connected systems. This is usually done using scripts or programs that manipulate the data passing through a network connection in order to access information from the system. Hacking techniques include using viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, browser hijacks, rootkits and denial of service attacks.

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    Where hacking comes from

    Pre-packaged hacking scripts are available online for anyone to use, including beginners, which means just about anyone with patience, the mind-set and motivation can learn to hack, including anyone who wants access to your personal data such as your bank login credentials. Besides novice hackers, there are the more advanced hackers who study and modify scripts as a way to develop new hacking techniques.

    How to recognize hacking

    It may be obvious that your computer or software has been hacked, for example if your friends and colleagues start getting phishing emails from your email address or if you find your computer held hostage by ransomware. On the other hand, if your browser has been hijacked, sending you, for example, to replicas of your bank’s websites designed to harvest your login credentials, you might never know you’ve been hacked until your money or identity has been stolen.

    How to remove a hack

    Since hacking refers to a method of accessing your computer system or network, the best way to remove hacks is to use high-quality anti-hacking software, commonly referred to as antivirus software, which will scan your computer for any malicious software and remove it.

    How to prevent hacking

    • Don’t open any attachments sent from suspicious email addresses

    • Never send your banking logins or credit card numbers via email

    • Don’t download unknown software to your computer

    Protect yourself against hacking

    Since there are so many ways to hack a computer or network, the best way to protect yourself from hackers is to use strong anti-hacking software such a Avast Antivirus which will protect you against viruses, malware, spyware, ransomware and more.

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