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How to become a hacker

Although hacker has many definitions, we believe most people asking this question are interested in malicious coding. Tricksgum does not teach or condone cracking, stealing, breaking, or otherwise illegal cyber activity. However, a hacker may also be defined as someone with an advanced understanding of computers and programming. If you want to learn more about this side of a hacker, see the suggestions below.

Learn more about computers

Computer basics - Having a good understanding of a computer, its components, and how it works is essential for anyone, and not only hackers.

Books - Make it a goal to read computer books that cover your interests. Visiting popular online bookstores, such as Amazon, and browse through the top 100 books on your subject is a great place to start. Audible has an enormous selection of e-books if you prefer that method of reading.

Know the jargon - The computer industry has thousands of acronyms and terms, visit the computer dictionary to find the ones you are most likely to run across.

Online news - Visit the Computer News pages at least a few times weekly to keep up with all the latest computer news. Visit our computer news links for a list of great news sites.

Participate in forums - The Internet is full of online forums, where thousands of other users participate with each other in answering questions or talking about what they love to do. Participating in these forums will not only allow you to test your understanding of the subject but also learn from others.

Build a computer - If you want to learn more about the hardware aspect of a computer, there is nothing more educational than putting one together. Not only will this help broaden your knowledge of computer hardware, but it can help with diagnosing hardware problems, and teach you more about how a computer works. There are plenty of websites with instructions on how to build a custom machine.

Pick up a programming language

Learning how the software works by studying a programming language is an invaluable tool. It teaches you how to speak directly to the computer, solve problems programmatically, and efficiently execute those solutions. It also gives you a better understanding of how computation works.

Also, learning scripting languages such as Perl and PHP and even the basics of HTML web design, are advantageous for anyone interested in setting up and tweaking websites.

If you need more experience with programming, creating an open-source project or helping with another open project can be a helpful learning experience. Creating a website can also be another great learning experience as it shows the details behind website design and setup.

Learn an alternative operating system

Many people today run some version of Microsoft Windows, which is fine for home and office use, but it is also a good idea to learn alternative operating systems such as Linux. Learning a Linux distro not only helps broaden your experience but is a necessity when wanting to navigate Linux based servers running websites and other web services.

If you are new to Linux, Ubuntu is a good distro for new users to try. It can be installed directly to your hard disk or booted from the Live ISO for you to try it out. The Live ISO can be burned to a USB flash drive or CD-ROM.

If you're going to use Linux, having a good understanding of the Linux command line is also a must.

Learn more on networking

Networks run the Internet and connect home or office computers together. It is important to know as much as you can on how networks operate, including basics like an IP address, OSI, port, protocol, router, and subnet mask.

Also, setting up a home network, especially a network with multiple computers and different operating systems, can be very helpful.

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