The American University in Cairo
School Of Business,Economics And Communication

1. What is hacking?

2. What is the difference between a hacker and a cracker?

3. What precautions can I take to protect my computer system and Internet account?

4. I didn't hack anyone, but I received a notice that some hacking activity was traced to me. What can I do?

 

1.  What is hacking?

"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?

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

 
 
 

    The American University in Cairo
       Updated 16th January 2005 | Site Feedback