Hackers are commonly known for being internet predators, identity thefts and all-around creators of online chaos. But did you know that the term ‘hacker’ has been used since the 1960s, and was typically a nickname for any computer programmer? Hackers could hack any computer code and were considered visionaries in the industry, building applications and operating systems that we use today. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs would have been considered hackers in their day, since they saw the potential that computers could offer.
Nowadays, we tend to associate the word ‘hacker’ with malicious intent, but what you may not know is that there are still plenty of hackers who break into computer codes for pure amusement or for the goal of actually improving your security system. In fact, there are so many different kinds of hackers that they’ve grouped and named themselves to show the different abilities and intentions of their hacking.
Script Kiddies – Are the least dangerous hackers to worry about, because they are simply the low-level hackers. They have little to no skills and just follow more advanced hackers’ examples to try to hack on their own.
Blue Hat Hackers – These hackers are unofficially named after Microsoft-type hackers (since they wear blue badges) and their job is to bug test systems before it launches in order to find any holes in the code. They are essentially posing as a hacker and use their high level hacking to guarantee that the system is as secure as possible.
Black Hat Hackers – Also known as “crackers,” these hackers are known for entering your computer for the fun and amusement of it. They’re typically mid to high level and think of hacking as a game or sport, and their intentions may even be malicious.
Gray Hat Hackers – A gray hat hacker is morally ambiguous or hacks into somewhat borderline illegal territory. Typically, the darker the “hat,” the more questionable ethics the hacker may have.
White Hat Hackers – These hackers, like the Blue Hats, are the good guys. White hats perform legal hacking and generally work with manufacturers and system owners to improve security. They have the best of intentions and a clearly defined code of ethics.
While there are still some well-intentioned hackers in the world, it’s always best to keep yourself safe from predators. Using tools like fake caller ID, good passwords, and strong security and anti-virus settings is the best way to protect yourself from hackers of any kind.