What is a hacker?
The term hacker was once used to describe a clever programmer. Today, it’s applied to those who exploit security vulnerabilities to break into a computer system. You can think of it as electronic burglary. Hackers regularly break into both individual computers and large networks. Once they have access, they may install malicious programs, steal confidential data, or perhaps use compromised computers to distribute spam.
What is a vulnerability?
Today’s computer software is very complex, comprised of thousands of lines of code. Since software is written by humans, it’s hardly surprising that they contain programming mistakes, known as vulnerabilities. These loopholes are used by hackers to break into systems; they are also used by authors of malicious code to launch their programs automatically on your computer.
How do I protect myself from hackers?
Hackers are like electronic burglars, who use loopholes in your programs - vulnerabilities - to break into your computer system. You can protect yourself from hackers by using a firewall. A firewall program, which often comes as part of an anti-virus software package, protects a PC by detecting potential intruders and making the PC invisible to hackers.