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Believe it or not it is quite possible to be an ethical hacker - and even make a living out of it. Some companies seek out talented technical folks to conduct ethical hacking on behalf of their company in order to find weaknesses in their computer security. If you are familiar and knowledgeable in computer security, you have the chance to make a living by being a professional hacker. If you aren't familiar with computer security, there are plenty of online websites that have resources to help you learn.
In order to be a professional ethical hacker, you must be able to find any potential weaknesses in IT systems so that the company can take action to ensure unethical hackers don't gain access to their networks. In order to find these vulnerabilities, you must be able to think and act like a potential dangerous hacker. You must exhaust all options to ensure there is no stone left unturned. Because it requires a skill set that very few people possess, those with jobs in ethical hackers can make a decent salary. However to be hired for such a position, it is essential that you understand advanced knowledge in networking, security and computer programming. You must also have a basic knowledge of the various operating systems and how hackers may use them to access your corporate information.
If ethical hacking is a career choice you are considering, it is time to start preparing now as it can take several years to gain the proper education and experience to be hired by a reputable company. Look for colleges and universities that offer programs that are related to information technology and cyber security. Once you have graduated from your program, you will also need to gain on the job experience. Ethical hacking requires a large skill set and a ton of knowledge to be able to get the job done. You should also have a clean background and security record, as hacking takes a certain level of trust bestowed upon you by your employer. You will be granted with access to their private data, so they will want to know that you aren't going to steal it.
Unethical hacking is a very serious crime and unfortunately is on the rise as more people turn to this way of life. These people are using their skill set to gain private and confidential information to be used for illegal actions. This is just one reason more people are being hired as ethical hackers. Hacking can be done to steal identifies, financial information and much more. Often times small businesses are the target of these hacker's attacks, as they have a wealth of information but are not able to afford the cost of expensive firewalls and security systems.
If you're interested in self-learning hacking abilities, there are several great forums online where you can find a wealth of information to assist you in getting started. Some of the most popular website include RSP Forum, which stands for the Romanian Security Project. RSP Forum covers a variety of topics including tutorials and quick tips to help you get started on your journey of becoming an ethical hacker.