Not all hackers use their technological expertise for evil. Some are actually here to help.
If you've ever read an article about someone who's discovered a hidden security flaw in an app or software, or a researcher who's figured out how to exploit a vulnerability in a certain piece of tech to make it do something it shouldn't, there's a good chance you're already familiar with the work of white hat hackers.
Black Hats and White Hats
Hackers generally tend to fall into one of two categories: black hat or white hat.
When most people picture a hacker, black hat hackers are what they're typically thinking of. These are people who will attempt to bypass security measures in order to gain some form of unauthorized access or control and abuse it. They might be cybercriminals, spies, or just trolls who enjoy causing chaos.
White hat hackers on the other hand are people who will do exactly the same thing, but with more noble intentions. They hunt for weaknesses and vulnerabilities in software and tech not to exploit them themselves, but to alert developers and manufacturers about them so that they can take action to address them and better protect their users.
A lot of the biggest and most shocking discoveries made by these well-intentioned hackers and researchers are showcased every year at the Black Hat security conference. Don't let the name fool you though, this event is for the good guys.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's edition was recently held exclusively online but still featured a lot of fascinating and worrying findings, some of which you may have already seen in the headlines.
These include vulnerabilities in satellite internet which could allow unencrypted data to be intercepted from thousands of miles away, a newly-developed method of cyberattack called Spectra that exploits the relationship between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals in smart devices, and even an insane technique for long-distance eavesdropping that involves converting the vibrations of a lightbulb into audio.
Do Your Part
Although the work that these good guy hackers are doing will definitely go a long way towards making the tech products and online services you use more secure and private, you still have to keep your end of the bargain by making yourself a harder target for the bad guy hackers.
One surefire way to do that would be to ensure that all your accounts are protected by strong passwords and two-factor authentication.
With its built-in password generator, the MYKI Password Manager and Authenticator makes it easy to create strong and unique passwords for each of your online accounts, securely store them on your own devices, and autofill them each time you need to log in, saving you the effort of typing them out manually. It can also be used to set up and manage 2FA for any account that supports it.
Download the MYKI app on mobile or desktop today and start taking control of your digital identity.