hacker in a hoodie

Hackers are mysterious beings. They spend their time writing programs to steal your passwords, give you computer viruses, and otherwise wreak havoc. Why do they do it?

  1. For money.
  2. For bragging rights.
  3. To make a statement.

1. Money

Money is the most obvious motive. Hackers want your credit card information or bank account login to take your money. When they steal lists of credit cards or passwords, that’s what they’re after. This is also what phishing scams are all about.

hacker in a hoodie
yeah, this dude totally wants to rip you off.

2. Bragging rights

This motive is more common than you might think. Hackers looking to make a name for themselves will deploy all kinds of hacks, both harmless and harmful, so they can show off to other hackers. This type of hacker, called a script kiddie, is usually just starting out as a hacker.

They will also sometimes do hacks just to see if they could get away with it. If there seems to be no rational reason for a hacker’s actions, this is probably why.

3. Activisim

Hackers sometimes hack just to make a point. A classic example is the hack of the Ashley Madison website, where the motive was to expose unethical behavior. Others hack to close down or otherwise damage sites they consider to be promoting causes they consider dangerous for political or environmental reasons.

What you can do

To keep yourself safe from hackers, you can spend just a little time educating yourself. Watch our Security Minute videos to learn the quick steps you can take to keep yourself safe from every kind of hacker.