Are you looking to make some money on the side? Or maybe you want to discover a new way to earn some side income.
Either way, let me introduce you to an exciting side hustle. It only requires a laptop, a stable internet connection, and your time.
Actually, now that I think about it. Internet connection doesn't even need to be stable. And the laptop doesn't need to be yours, but anyway.
I'm talking about finding bugs. And I don't mean those small annoying creatures that are wandering around your house. I'm talking about the bugs in software.
There are many people that quit their jobs, only to pursue finding bugs full-time.
This means only one thing. It's a good money-making opportunity. But is it an easy one? Let's find out together.
In this article, you'll learn what are bug bounties, how to become a bug bounty hunter. And how to use bug bounty programs to make money.
What Are Bug Bounties
The bugs in software are pretty common. After all, the software is made by humans. And all humans (except for me) make mistakes.
So if you're using software (that wasn't created by me). It's very probable that it will contain bugs.
But why would a company pay you to find these bugs?
Bug Bounties Explained
The company will gladly pay you for finding a bug, because of one simple thing. You just saved them a lot of money!
Just imagine if someone with bad intentions finds the same bug that you just did. But instead of notifying the company, they would decide to exploit it and hurt the company.
It could cost the company thousands, maybe millions of dollars.
GIF by Giphy
That's exactly why corporations will gladly pay ethical people for finding a bug, and notifying the given corporation.
Becoming Bug Bounty Hunter
Now that we know why, let's talk about how.
As you might be guessing, this is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It requires time and effort. But if you're willing to put it in, it can yield good results.
But first, you need to learn how to find bugs in software. For this, you don't have to be a programmer or know how to code. All you need to know is how the software works in general. And then build on top of that information.
To send you on a path down a rabbit hole. I'd start with reading the following blog post.
Getting Paid as a Bug Bounty Hunter
If you feel like you know enough information. And you feel ready to find your first bug. You can start participating in bug bounties.
Unfortunately, you can't just go on random sites and find bugs there. Well, you can, but no one will pay you a bounty for that.
In order to earn money, you need to join bug bounty programs.
Bug Bounty Programs Explained
You can think of a bug bounty program as a marketplace that connects companies and bounty hunters.
The marketplace lists all the companies that are willing to pay someone for finding bugs. On the other side, there are bounty hunters, or ethical hackers willing to accept their challenge.
Hackers compete between themselves to find bugs. They get paid for finding bugs. And they also earn points for finding bugs. These points will improve their bug bounty ranking.
The most popular public bug bounty programs are:
The rewards for finding bugs on these platforms vary. Starting from $50.
All the way up to $600.
But of course, the reward will depend on the severity of the bug you find. Critical bugs will pay more. But well, they're more difficult to find.
That being said, here are the bounty rates paid by Uber.
Bug bounty rates paid by Uber
In total, Uber paid almost 3 million dollars in bug bounties. Averaging $600 dollars for a single bounty.
Getting started on these platforms is a good starting point, but it's not a way to make big bucks.
GIF by Giphy
In order to make real money, you need to find external bounty programs.
Finding External Bug Bounty Programs
There is no specific way to find these programs. Usually, these programs will be managed directly by the company itself.
Your best bet may be to look for software websites, and see if they have their own bug bounty program.
As you can guess, this is a time-consuming process, but it can very well pay off. The competition in these programs will be lower, and the rewards for bugs will be much higher.
So if you're ready to take on the bug bounty challenge. Make it big, and join the big leagues, this is the path worth exploring.
Finding bugs online seems like a lucrative opportunity. There is no barrier to entry. No upfront investment. And if you dedicate your time to it, it can reward you with great side income.
However, it's not the type of side hustle that will get you rich quickly. It requires you to dedicate your time. And most likely, a lot of effort.
There may be times when you don't find any bugs for a whole day. But there may be times when you find a lot of them in a single session.
It's a bit of unknown territory. But if you're the type of person that likes to break stuff. And is curious about how things work. It might be the perfect opportunity for you.