What Is It?
Data hacking. Two scary words that can mean something as little as a few scandalous things posted to your Facebook… or something as huge as having your credit card and SSN number stolen out of your pocket.
So what exactly is data hacking? Techopedia defines it as, “unauthorized intrusion into a computer or a network. The hacker may alter system or security features to accomplish a goal that differs from the original purpose,” but of course, this doesn’t cover all the nuances of hacking.
Once inside a computer, a person has as much control over it as the legitimate user does. They can, as stated above alter system or security features, but they can also install malicious programs to track which keys you press, recover sensitive information even if it’s been deleted, and remotely activate the microphone and camera functions to record you even if you’re not using the computer at the time.
If you’ve ever wondered why people cover their webcams, that’s why.
Hackers can access computer systems in a variety of ways, including checking the networks they’re connected to for weaknesses, simply trying to figure out the password, catching data as it’s transmitted to the internet to see the data and passwords inside, and employing a trojan horse virus, which is a program that acts as a back door into your computer for the hacker.
Of course, there are such things as good hackers, although chaotic good might be a better identifier. These hackers are employed by companies to try and hack into their own databases to see if there are any weaknesses that need to be fixed before they’re exploited by somebody else. Of course, even though their powers are being used for good, the fact that the security systems need to be tested at all is proof that your information might not be as safe as you think.