“Evil” is a complex thing. Sometimes evil is justified, other times knowing evil is simply the best way to fight it. Here are 10 things that clearly fall under the banner of “evil/”, but are worth knowing how to do.
Title image by Nick Criscuolo
We’ve been featuring less-than-moral hacks in our Evil week for a few years now, so we thought it time to take a look back at all the best ones. As we said in our evil week intro this year, the whole idea of “evil” is a bit tongue-in-cheek, one common theme unites most of the topics we’re covering: Knowledge is power, and whether you use that power for good or evil depends on you. Learning to crack passwords teaches you security practices. A better understanding of lying and manipulation earns you the ability to detect such tactics. There’s a time and a place for bad behaviour. So, without further ado, here are some of our best evil tricks from the past few years.
Sometimes, lying is justified — if you’re doing it to keep an important secret or if you’re trying to avoid burning a bridge. Sometimes it’s bad, but relatively harmless, like sounding intelligent or scoring out-of-warranty repairs. Whatever your feelings, knowing how to lie can make you a lot better at detecting those lies in others, and even help you get the truth out of them. You may not be able to pass a polygraph test, but being a good liar is a handy skill to have, evil or not. Photo remixed from mikute (Shutterstock).
People cheat. It happens. But depending on the circumstance, it isn’t always a bad thing. Other times, it’s downright evil. We’ve showed you tricks from across the cheating spectrum spectrum, from cheating at video games to circumventing Wi-Fi timeouts, getting around paywalls and getting the best price online. Use your tricks wisely, though — if you rely on cheating too much, you’ll never be able to get stuff done when cheating isn’t an option.
Picasso once said “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.” You may be able to apply that logicstealing a coworker’s idea and passing it off as your own. And I don’t think I need to mention BitTorrent and Usenet, two of the greatest (but most oft-used for stealing) services on the web. The best thing to steal, though? Your own stuff, so you can know how to keep it all secure. Image remixed from Simon and lynea (Shutterstock).
Ever feel like you aren’t persuasive enough, or that you can’t get people to do what you want? Maybe it’s time to turn to more evil persuasion techniques. We’ve shared a few tricks that will help you manipulate people, but reverse psychology can also go a long way when it comes to planting ideas in people’s minds. None of these are particularly new tricks, either — they’ve been used by everyone from evil dictators to parents for decades. Of course, if you’d rather manipulate people without abandoning your ethics completely, there are ways around that too. Image remixed from Lorelyn Medina (Shutterstock).
6. Invade Privacy
Privacy is dead these days. If you want to truly protect yours, it helps to know the best tricks privacy invaders are using — whether that’s stalking you online, digging through your trash, or breaking into your computer. And once you get there, you should know how they might use that information against you, too. Photos by studiobeerhorst and Africa Studio (Shutterstock).
5. Be Lazy
OK, being lazy isn’t exactly evil, but it’s still generally viewed as a negative characteristic. But as we know, procrastination isn’t always a bad thing. So it may be necessary to master the art of looking busy or sleeping at work to please the higher-ups while you recharge your batteries. Obviously, you can go overboard with this, but with the right strategy, laziness can actually be productive. Photo by Alle.
4. Get Angry
Sometimes, getting truly pissed off can do good things — like help you achieve hard goals or help you become a more effective complainer. Other times, venting frustration will only make your anger worse. So don’t be afraid to get angry, but make sure you manage that seething rage productively — wit tricks such as using text expansion to make quick work of arseholes. Photo remixed from an original by Sammy.
Ever since you were a kid, you’ve probably enjoyed the rush of being somewhere you weren’t allowed. Whether that’s stealing time in your neighbour’s pool or the excitement of being at an exclusive party), there are always ways to sneak in. All it takes is a little research and a bit of social engineering. Of course, if you’re really devious, you could learn to pick locks too, but that’s bound to get you in a little more trouble than playing dumb and sneaking in. Check out our top 10 ways to break into anything for more . . . . inspiration.
Being anonymous isn’t evil on its own, but coupled with other less-than-pious activity, it allows you to get away with an awful lot. When it comes to online activity, you have a lot of ways to stay anonymous: private browsing, proxy servers, VPNs, disposable email addresses, all the way to creating an entirely new identity. Of course, if you really want to take it to the next level, you could actually disappear and ditch big brother forever. Photo by Getty Images.
1. Just Be A Jerk
Still not feeling evil enough? Well, then it’s time to just start being a jerk to everyone — that ought to cement your reputation as a villain. Cut in line. Talk at the movies. Teach your chronically late friends a lesson (unless that’s you). Blackmail deadbeats. By the end of the week, you shouldn’t have any problem getting that invitation to the evil league of evil you’ve been waiting for. Photo remixed from Graeme Maclean.
Thanks for all the great Evil Weeks, everyone. See you next year!
This post is part of our Evil Week series at Lifehacker, where we look at the dark side of getting things done. Knowing evil means knowing how to beat it, so you can use your sinister powers for good. Want more? Check out our evil week tag page.