"Hacking" is a term that can be applied to
either computer software or computer networks. "Hacking"
computer software means altering it so that it achieves an effect
not intended by the original writer of the software, and "hacking"
a computer network means either attempting to gain or gaining unauthorized
access to it, for stealing information and/or resources.
2. What is the difference between a hacker and a cracker?
A hacker is anyone who is proficient
with computers and does no malicious damage whatsoever. A hacker is
driven by a passion for computing. A cracker on the other hand is
someone who uses various tools and techniques to gain illegal access
to various computer platforms and networks.
3. I didn't hack anyone, but I received a notice that
some hacking activity was traced to me. What can I do?
Check your computer for possible virus
or worm infections or Trojan horses. These may be the cause of the
hacking attempts trace to your account. You should also check the
software installed on your computer - some software run background
programs/ activities which may be interpreted as hacking attempts.
4. What precautions can I take to protect my computer
system and Internet account?
You can protect both by first installing a firewall
on your computer. A properly configured firewall can effectively
block hacking attempts. Do ensure that your firewall is active whenever
you are online.
Protect your password. Do not store your password
in your PC, share it with others or write it down somewhere that
others can see. Change passwords regularly; if you don't want to
keep coming up with so many passwords, what you can do is have a
few passwords that can be rotated regularly. Ensure that these passwords
are not easily guessed passwords such as someone's name, your birthdate
etc. Your password should be at least 8 characters long and should
contain a good mix of letters and numbers.