Here is Cyberspace, your own tech update column, by PITS(PCVN Information & Technology Society) updates in the field of IT to the students to increase their tech-quotient. As smart computing is a play-way activity for the most, the introductory write up covers Hacking and its prevention. Inspired by Mr.Rakshit Tandon's visit and advice last year and in the same wake strives to tread that path a bit further.

Hackers: A Definition
A hacker is someone who gains unauthorized access to a computer system due to his interest and proficiency in the arcane and recondite working of computers system. Government and huge companies use hackers to maintain their security systems. The term hacker is normally confused with cracker. Hackers crack the code of passwords to hack into a security system. They gain access to a computer system through ungranted ports in network systems. A hacker normally uses his knowledge of system to do their work within the definition of law. But the crackers crack the code of software to bypass its security mechanisms like copy writes protection etc. A cracker is a hacker who uses his proficiency for personal gain. They have a malicious intention of changing bank accounts, distributing viruses etc.

1) Switch your web browsers to Firefox, Opera, Safari, or anything else besides Internet Explorer:
   Internet Explorer is well known for being in the crosshairs of viruses, spy ware, and ad ware. Internet Explorer 8 web browser so revolutionary it's being pushed as a mandatory upgrade which makes it an attractive target for malicious hackers. Its best to use an alternate product and remain out of fray. If a website REALLY does need IE and you really need to use the website, make sure the website is legit, then its reasonably safe to fire up IE.

2) Use a multi featured antivirus:
Always go for a good and dependable antivirus. Most anti-viruses today are equipped with all the latest anti-hacking features. Recommended are AVG, Kapersky and Quick Heal. Norton is not recommended by slow computers. Above all, whatever antivirus you may use, update it on a regular basis to update your security.

3) Add more security to your web browser:
No matter what browser you choose, the web is a hostile place and they all need a little help to defend themselves. No Script (Firefox extension), Netcraft anti-phishing toolbar, EBay toolbar and, Google toolbar are great products that do just that. These add-ons help identify phishing websites, prevent your computer from being hacked, and passwords from falling into wrong hands.

4) Don’t click on unknown or prompted links in Emails:
Don’t click on any links in emails, especially since links are dangerous and phishing emails are difficult to spot. An ounce of paranoia is worth a pound of patches. If unsure whether an email is real, type the domain name in to the web browser’s address bar. This way you will know you are on the real website. Some email links are safer to click on like those sent in response to an action (account registration, password reset, order confirmation, etc.)

5) Defend confidentially:
Many people have important online accounts tied to a single web mail address. If any one gained access to that email account, all accounts associated could be at risk! The best thing to do is to use quizzical passwords, changing them every six months or so and not using that password anywhere else and also deleting emails with any sensitive information.

6) Think like a hacker:
A nice way is thinking like a hacker. If you can predict the minds of hackers, you can be one step ahead of them.

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