Over the past few years I’ve seen/heard people throw the word “hacking” around everywhere, even in situations where it’s not even appropriate. A lot of people do it to feel better about their technological skill- “Oh my account got hacked” vs. “I put a weak password and somebody guessed it.”
People have asked me to “hack” their MySpace layouts for them in the past, and that’s just always annoyed me. Here’s the list of what *is* and *isn’t* hacking.
h4. Not Hacking
* Getting into somebody’s Facebook/MySpace/Twitter/AIM account. That’s just the owner’s fault for putting such an easy-to-guess password or leaving the account logged in on a public computer.
* MySpace layouts. It’s all HTML and CSS, not hacking.
* Web Design. Yes, people have told me “wow you’re such a hacker, making websites.” *No, just no.*
* Getting onto a website like Facebook through somebody else’s proxy server.
* Getting into a database in order to get passwords and usernames.
* Getting into bank accounts and wiring money to your Swiss bank account.
* Breaking into a person’s computer via the internet and using it for illegal purposes.
Note that the activities in the latter could get you into serious trouble. That’s what hacking really is, a criminal activity, originally started for fun by geeks, which later turned into a more malicious criminal activity. When you call technically-savvy people “hackers” it’s not really a complement— it’s more of an ignorant insult than anything.