is someone who tries to 'break into' (electronically-speaking)
a computer or network with a view to stealing information (eg
passwords and sensitive documents), changing information (eg
replacing Tony Blair's message with a smutty one) or destroying
files and documents. Hackers seek to exert some sort of control,
hopefully from their perspective, without you knowing it's happening.
Very often a hacker is someone who takes on the challenge and
wants to prove they've succeeded in exposing a 'security' weakness
in your system or in Microsoft's software, for example.
can only penetrate a system whilst it is connected to an external
network (eg the internet). So a computer is at risk from hacking
only whilst it is actually online. To stop a hacker getting into
a computer a Firewall (usually just some software installed on
the computer being protected) needs to be set up between it and
the outside world. A Firewall, as the name suggests, is there
to stop the 'Fire' (the hacker) getting any further.
many Firewall software packages on the market which can be installed
to prevent a hacker gaining unauthorised access. If a computer
is on a network (eg in a company) then the software needs to
allow computers within the network to communicate with each other
whilst denying an external computer any access.
Firewall' software packages for PCs are available to purchase
from companies like Symantec and McAfee. Zone Labs have an excellent
package, ZoneAlarm, which can be downloaded over the internet.
ZoneAlarm is available
free (as a download) for personal use. Downloading should take
less than 30 minutes with a 56k modem (the file is about 10Mb
in size) - a small price to pay for denying hackers their satisfaction
and protecting you at the very least from the embarrassing loss
of your privacy.
download ZoneAlarm free
click here and select 'FREE Download'