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What Is The Difference Between Hack And Virus?

what is the difference between hack and virus

In this post, we will show you the difference between hack and virus.

Since the inception of the internet era, most non-tech computer users have often used ‘hack’ and ‘virus’ interchangeably. This is understandable because there is a thin line between ‘hack’ and ‘virus.’

There are fundamental differences to note about hacking and virus to equip you more and protect you from the menace of hackers and viruses.

Origin And History Of Hacking

Hacker is a term used to describe individuals who are experts in gaining access to computers and computer systems for the following reasons:

  1. Mischief and attention-seeking
  2. Theft of data which could cost so much in data markets
  3. Intent to destroy an organization

Modern hacking dates back to the 70s when John Draper found a way of gaining access to the telephone system and made free long distance calls. His method of accessing automated telephony systems unauthorized was later known as ‘phreaking.’

Origin And History Of Computer Viruses

Computer virus originated with earlier hackers who were having fun, causing mischief and was never intended to cause serious harm to computers.

Viruses are self-replicating programs that are spread from one computer to the other through means including email links and malicious downloads available online and physical transfers through corrupted removal storage devices. Viruses have caused damages worth billions of dollars since the first one was created.

One of the earliest known viruses is the creeper system, which was an experimental virus designed to be self-replicating. The virus filled up the computer’s storage device until the computer can no longer operate.

Hack Vs Virus – Difference Between Hack And Virus

Hack Vs Virus - Difference Between Hack And Virus

Before the advent of the internet era, hackers have to sit physically at a system to ‘hack’ their way through physically by launching a frontal attack at the computer.

With the popularity of viruses, hackers can use a virus as a hacking tool to gain remote access to computers and computer systems without having to sit physically at the user’s keyboard.

To gain access to computers, hackers send viruses through emails or attach them to downloaded files and programs online. The method of invading computers by hackers via email links is known as ‘Phishing.’

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A hacker can gain control of users’ computers only when users open email messages with malicious links or downloading infected file attachments.

The virus gains access to the users’ computer, replicates itself, and sends out copies of itself as messages in various formats to the users’ contact list.

Viruses used by hackers to harvest information are stealth virus which lodges itself in users’ computers and sends bank details and login information, and other valuable information remotely to the hacker.

How To Protect Yourself From Hackers And Computer Virus

  • Install an antivirus on your computer. Also, ensure you update the installed antivirus whenever there is a released patch.
  • Scan your computer regularly.
  • Use a password manager to manage your passwords effectively.
  • Do not log in your financial and personal details via links in your email.
  • Delete spam emails and other questionable emails without opening.
  • Scan all removable storage device before opening.
  • Store valuable data in digital vaults and backup your data.

Over To You…

Protecting yourself from hackers and viruses involves using multi-layered technological structures to reduce the risk of attack and infection. Hence, adequate protection against hackers and viruses means practising a series of proactive measures to prevent unauthorized access to computers.

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Marie Beaujolie

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