Topics / Cyber Security / Hacking and Malware

Hacking and Malware


Hacking is the illegal access to a computer system without the owner’s consent or knowledge.

In an age of networks that never sleep, hacking can be done remotely from anywhere.

hacking GCSE computer scienceHacking poses a real threat to people and organisations, damage can include:

  • Loss of personal information, which could lead to identity theft
  • Wide scale loss of customer information
  • Deleted or corrupted data

Ways to reduce the risk of hacking

  • Use anti-hacking software
  • Use of strong passwords and none obvious user ids
  • Firewalls


Malware is any malicious software, but it is more commonly know as viruses and spyware.

VirusesA program or code that replicates itself; designed to amend, delete or copy data or files on a user’s computer; often causes the computer to crash or run slowly; could stop hardware from being able to communicate; could spread to other devices on a network
SpywareSoftware that secretly gathers information by monitoring (recording) key presses made on a user’s keyboard; the data is sent back to the originator of the software; the data is then analysed to try and reveal log-in details

Malware damage can include:

  • Unresponsive or slow computer performance
  • Computer stops functioning properly or crashes
  • Poor battery life
  • Deleted files/data
  • Corrupted files/data
  • Unauthorised changes to settings
  • Additional spyware downloaded
  • Pop ups
  • Access to all data entered, including passwords

Ways to reduce the risk of malware

  • Use anti-malware/anti-virus software
  • Keep all software, including operating system, up to date
  • Don’t download from unknown websites
  • Be careful when opening email attachments
  • Don’t click on pop ups
  • Keep web browser security level medium or higher
Topics / Cyber Security / Hacking and Malware

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