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Hackers can do all kinds of things with computers, from stealing credit card details to launching a virus that will destroy your hard drive. They can also steal your identity and hold your bank account to ransom, or sell your information on the dark web for a profit.

A hacker is usually someone who uses their skills to break into a computer system and access data without permission, which is illegal. They do this for a variety of reasons, including to make money, to get access to sensitive information or for political or social gain.

They can also use their skills to attack a website and take advantage of any security vulnerabilities it has. For example, in 2018, criminals stole credit card details from thousands of Ticketmaster customers after they managed to hack one of the company’s suppliers and change some of the code that its website relied on.

To be a successful hacker, you need to have good knowledge of computer code and software. This means you need to be able to write and understand programs that can exploit different types of systems.

You can learn to program by downloading free software that helps you develop your skills. Some of these programs are also designed to help you identify weaknesses in computer systems.

Once you have these skills, you can start experimenting with programs and websites. You can start with simple, low-tech hacking methods, such as snooping around to see what is on a computer or how it’s working, and eventually progress to more sophisticated techniques.