Ethical hackers are in high demand in the industry and serve an essential role in protecting modern organizations and businesses.
If you get a sense of accomplishment in breaking passwords or gaining access to a site, ethical hacking can be a great hobby for you. But how do you get started?
So, How Can You Get into Ethical Hacking as A Hobby?
If you are thinking about getting into ethical hacking as a hobby, various routes are available depending on your current experience, skills, and ambitions. Your role as an ethical hacker is to use your knowledge and hacking abilities to find the security vulnerabilities in software so they can be patched before being exploited by criminals. The best bet would be to search online for the basic introductory courses to get started.
Online sites such as Udemy have lots of beginner and advanced courses on cybersecurity and ethical hacking going for just about $20.
If you are on a budget, there are still many YouTube video tutorials to learn the hacking basics.
YouTube is free, and you can select the video and topic you like. You can also search ethical hacking blogs on the internet.
To be an ethical hacker, you must be willing to learn new things continuously, either at home or on travel.
You also need to have a solid foundational understanding of scripting or coding language and some knowledge of the web and network security and information systems.
Start by learning Python or C, then go on to look into the basics of penetration testing.
While some people recommend learning to program first, it is way off base and irrelevant when starting.
Some of the steps if you want to begin ethical hacking as a hobby include;
- Learn coding and programming
- Know the basic concepts of an operating system and hardware
- Study the fundamentals of networking and security
- Database skills
- Learn as many technologies as you can
While it might seem like a simple hobby to pursue, you will quickly realize it is not what you thought, especially if you’re not passionate about electronics and information technology.
The hobby requires continuously reinforcing your skills with knowledge by studying, so be ready to invest some significant time in research and studies.
Apart from technical skills, you will need to be a dynamic problem solver and critical thinker to find effective solutions.
Read on to know more about ethical hacking and the steps to take when pursuing it as a hobby.
What Is Ethical Hacking?
Ethical hacking, also known as white-hat hacking, involves getting permission to try and break into the software and company’s systems.
The hacker then reports their hacking method and how fast they have skillful the task.
Ethical hackers help to find issues before malicious parties provide companies with sufficient time to act.
These are the good people in the hacking world that wear the white cap and work to protect companies from hackers with nefarious motives.
Tips for Pursuing Ethical Hacking
Whether you want to pursue ethical hacking as a hobby or a career as a professional, ethical hacker, here are some tips to follow;
1. Online Courses
Whether you are a total beginner or already have some relevant knowledge, an online course can be the best place to start ethical hacking.
Many online courses explore some of the essential principles and methods of penetration testing and hacking.
You can also learn relevant ethical hacking strategies, such as digital security training, cyber security foundations, and network defense management.
These will help in mastering some of the important knowledge and skills you will require for a career in the industry.
2. Get Certifications
Once you are into ethical hacking as a hobby, you can move on to gain certifications in this field.
This could be a logical next step after learning ethical hacking essentials.
For instance, you can choose to get the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) qualification managed by the EC-Council.
Once you have these certifications, you can even get a job involving testing security programs for weaknesses and updating and installing security programs.
3. Formal Qualifications
If you want to continue pursuing ethical hacking into a career, it is worth considering a formal qualification such as a degree.
For instance, a degree in Cyber offers theory as well as practical techniques linked to ethical hacking.
This can help you develop the professional skills you require to respond to and prevent cybercrimes and attacks.
4. Gain Practical Experience
Regardless of the route, you decide to pursue ethical hacking, gaining some practical experience will be beneficial.
Many elements of ethical hacking need a hands-on approach, and there are many resources available to help you build the skills. You should find a platform to help you gain experience in ethical hacking.
What Platform Should You Code-In?
The platform to code in will depend on where you are working on.
Learning PHP, HTML, ASP, and JSP are recommended when working on web applications. For mobile applications, it is recommendable to try Java on android and Swift on IOS.
You can try out Java, C+ +, or C# for desktop-based software. Python is also a good coding platform for its general-purpose language and is gaining more popularity for its portability.
However, what is necessary for each programming language is learning the fundamentals of programming, various concepts about data types, variable manipulation throughout the OS program level, etc.
If you learn about this, it will be easy for you as the other programming languages are pretty much the same except for a few syntax changes.
Can You Make Money Through Ethical Hacking?
The field of ethical hacking is fascinating. If you consider joining this branch of cyber security, it has never been a better time to earn ethical hacking.
The demand for ethical hackers will most likely continue going up as the cost of cyber-attacks today continues to increase.
Like the old saying about the attack as the best form of attack, this is true in the cyber security industry.
This is why ethical hackers are paid well for their services.
Ethical hacking as a career also tends to pay relatively well and give career stability in the field of information security.
The credentials of a Certified Ethical Hacker are one of the valuable, more advanced certifications.
According to recent statistics, a newbie entering the job market as an ethical hacker can expect to earn about $20000.
A registered level pro can expect to make around $50,000, especially if you have a consulting firm or work for a company on penetration testing.
You can even start marketing yourself as an ethical hacker after having all the needed certifications and understanding job expectations.
These tips will help you make your passion for ethical hacking come true.
If you want to get started with ethical hacking, there are many learning opportunities available, whether a short online introductory course or even a full degree in cyber security.
With the demand for ethical hackers rising all the time, you can also consider charging the hobby into a career once you gain experience.
Well experienced ethical hackers can expect to earn more than $100000 annually.