Different Types of Hackers? And How to Protect Yourself From These Hackers
Hackers: The internet is more enormous than most people can even fathom. It is so large and complex, it has caused the creation of an entire subculture of people who hunger to know the deepest workings of the technology that largely runs our world and our lives.
This is the subculture of the hacker. Born in the late 80s, hackers emerged as a loose association of people with similar abilities and goals in the digital world. Hackers are everywhere, and there are many different kinds of them.
The Different Types of Hackers
You probably hear about hackers all the time in the news, in cybersecurity blogs, and even while discussing physical and conventional home security. But what many people do not realize is that there are many different types of hackers, some are far more likely to be encountered as a private citizen than others.
The different types of hackers are largely referred to by their “hat” color. This is purely nomenclature to differentiate the various types of hackers and is not related to their appearance at all. The types of hackers, from least dangerous to most, will include:
- White Hat – These are the good guys of the cybersecurity world. They are largely motivated by a desire to help the cybersecurity industry as a whole. They often probe secure systems in an attempt to find holes to fix, rather than to exploit. Frequently these hackers will contract themselves out to large companies to ensure they are adequately protected from other hackers.
- Red Hat – Red hat hackers are the avenging heroes of the cyber landscape. They largely operate as distributed networks and are motivated by vigilante justice. Very similar to white hat hackers, red hat hackers turn malicious techniques against the people to frequently use them. This is a variety of hackers that most people will not encounter.
- Grey Hat – Just as with the force, there must be a balance in everything. A grey hat hacker is essentially a chaotic neutral hacker. They are motivated by personal enjoyment, rather than infrastructure improvement, monetary gains, or illicit purposes. Grey hat hackers have all of the skills of a white hat hacker, but use their skills purely for their education and enjoyment. They are drawn to the challenge of compromising systems and will often move on when they are finished with any given system, rather than stealing or otherwise inflicting harm to the system or business.
- Blue Hat – Generally speaking, most people will not encounter a blue hat hacker in their lifetime. Blue hat hackers are motivated by revenge and are often employed in industrial espionage situations. They are aggressive and vengeful, but only become a problem if instigated or hired by the competition. Due to the organizational tendencies of the blue hat hacker, they are unlikely to be a risk to your home.
- Black Hat – The black hat hacker is the hacker that you hear about on the news. Black hat hackers are responsible for many of the attacks that deal with malware, viruses, trojan horses, denial of service attacks, and theft of personal or financial information. Often, black hat hackers will steal information and sell it to other black hats on illicit marketplaces. Black hat hackers are mostly motivated by money. They will find holes and vulnerabilities and will exploit them for their own gain.
How the Different Types of Hackers Can Get Access to Your Home
Our current era of technology is evolving so rapidly, that now there are protocols for connecting some of even the most mundane equipment to the internet. Not only can the internet-enabled cameras you own become a risk, but almost everything that has internet protocol connectivity and even some things without can suddenly become a security risk for you and your family.
The risk is created when the hackers gain control or even simply visibility of your connected devices. This interconnectedness that everything is gaining is known in the tech sector as the “internet of things” or the IoT. While many aspects of the internet of things can make your life incredibly easy or more convenient, without the proper precautions those connected components and devices can put you, your family, and even your home at risk.
How to Protect Yourself From All Types of Hackers
By adhering to some cybersecurity best practices and taking a few additional precautions, you will be able to significantly reduce the chances of a hacker being successful in an attack against any part of your home network or connected devices and appliances. The type of action you will need to take depends on the type of item you are trying to secure, and you will need to secure anything and everything that is connected to your home network.
With the ability to connect everything from your refrigerator, thermostat, heating and cooling equipment, to your doorbell camera, indoor security cameras, smart speaker, and even smart lights and smart outlets, there are many ways that a digital intruder can violate your space.
For your appliances that are connected, they will generally have a touchscreen interface that lets you pick a password. Make sure all of your passwords are strong, meaning they have a mix of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and symbols, and are an absolute minimum of 8 characters long. Most people in IT will recommend a 12 character password or more. Be sure you apply this convention to anything that needs a password. Appliances, your router, anything.
For connected cameras, they will also usually need a password or PIN to connect to them if you are outside the network, while traffic inside the home network is usually not protected. Be sure you use strong passwords here too, or if they use a PIN use one that is not an easily guessed number. For smaller things like outlets and lights, they usually only need a PIN, so make sure that you use a good one. No significant dates or numbers.
One of the most important ways to guarantee your home security device is protected against a hacker is to have an encrypted network connection. Unencrypted network connections are the primary reason why hackers can gain access to your home.
Industry-leading security companies with decades of experience and a professional installer that ensures your network is encrypted are essential to the security of your home. Reach out to the leading home security company today and be on the road to a safer, more peaceful future right now.