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Ethical hackers use their computer and network security knowledge to find vulnerabilities in applications, networks and physical systems and to recommend a course of action to prevent problems stemming from those vulnerabilities. Those who want to enter the field may use various online ethical hacking training methods to learn computer security concepts and tools. One can choose to take an accelerated ethical hacker boot camp program, a computer-based training course, a college course or an online practice exam to learn the material. Online courses and boot camps provide the most structure for beginners, and practice exams are especially helpful for those preparing for the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) exam.
A popular online ethical hacking training method is a live online course called a boot camp. These courses use a web-conferencing platform that allows an instructor to broadcast his or her lectures in real time and provide live interaction between the instructor and students. Courses typically last a week and require students to be online during a specific time period each day. In addition to video lectures on ethical hacking topics, boot camps usually include online labs and projects with other students in the class. At the end of the boot camp, students may go to a physical location to take the CEH exam.
Computer-based training courses are another option for online ethical hacking training and may include comprehensive videos, reading materials, practice exercises and online labs. Unlike boot camps, these courses are typically completed at one's own pace and are a good option for students who are new to ethical hacking and require more study time than a boot camp allows. Some courses include a mentor one can contact with any questions about the course material.
Many universities offer online college courses in ethical hacking and allow students to take the courses as part of a degree program or as a standalone course. These courses are especially helpful for students who need to earn college credits and for those who prefer more structure and interaction with classmates and the instructor. Online college courses usually require labs, group discussions, tests and papers, and one may need to take prerequisite courses if he or she has no experience in information security.
Practice exams and online study guides are other methods for online ethical hacking training. These tools are best used along with an online course, boot camp or computer-based training course, and they provide practice questions for those taking the CEH exam. Some online practice exams also include a limited course component.