Cybercrime, or computer-oriented crime, is a crime that involves a computer and a network. The computer may have been used in the commission of a crime, or it may be the target. Cybercrime may threaten a person, company or a nation’s security and financial health.
Cybercrime is criminal activity that either targets or uses a computer, a computer network or a networked device. Most, but not all, cybercrime is committed by cybercriminals or hackers who want to make money. Cybercrime is carried out by individuals or organizations.
Cyber crime is broadly defined as any illegal activity that involves a computer, another digital device or a computer network. Cyber crime includes common cyber security threats like social engineering, software vulnerability exploits and network attacks. … Cyber crime targets both individuals and companies
Top 5 Popular Cybercrimes
1. Phishing scams
Phishing is a practice of a cybercriminal or hacker attempting to obtain sensitive or personal information from a computer user. This process is usually accomplished through phishing websites which are designed to mimic a legitimate website in hopes that the unsuspecting computer user will enter several bits of personal information such as their banking passwords, home address or even social security number. To avoid phishing scams, we recommend using a phishing filter feature on your web browser so that it can actively scan websites that you visit to check if they have been identified as a phishing website.
2. Identity Theft scams
Cybercrooks who may have gained access to your credit card or banking account information may use that information to make purchases in your name. Identity theft has been a major issue even before the conception of the Internet but as you may already know, the virtual world has made it much easier for criminals to utilize and steal your identity. One of the easiest and lest expensive things to do to protect your identity is to closely monitor your accounts. If you notice suspicious activity, you should report it to the proper authorities immediately. Be proactive and do not waste time in these situations. Identity theft scams are very prevalent online and may come in the form of a spam email, website or even an online pop-up survey. Phishing is a major contributor to identity theft also.
3. Online Harassment
Harassment online is usually related to your social lifestyle and if you choose to use a popular social network such as Facebook or Twitter. Online harassment can consist of threats sent through email, instant message or through a social network message/post. Usually, it is simple to report these threats to the social network you’re being harassed on. Harassment can also be found to result in cyberbullying kids which can have dire consequences as you may have witnessed recently in the media where a 13-year-old kid from Dardenne Prairie, Missouri, named Megan Meier committed suicide from being bullied online. Our suggestion for handling harassment online is to immediately report any activity out of the ordinary before it gets out of hand even if you may know the person on the other end. Often online impostors who harass you online do it to find your ‘breaking point’ but you should never let it get that far.
Cyberstalkers will go to great lengths to try to monitor a victims online activity. This may include infecting a person’s computer with malware that is able to log computer activity. Cyberstalkers are also known to continually harass their potential victims. Cyberstalking cases should also be reported to authorities, just like online harassment cases. Cyberstalkers may contact a victim’s colleagues, friends and other online contacts in an effort to slander them or extract personal information from them.
5. Invasion of privacy
The invasion of privacy is basically the act of someone attempting to intrude on a person’s personal life. This includes hacking into a person’s computer, reading their emails or monitoring online activities. Many of these specific crimes are punishable under the law. If you ever suspect someone invading your privacy, you can simply contact the police and file a report. Local authorities can handle these situations most times without seeking a specific online law enforcement organization.
In any of the above cases, you should always have the proper computer security applications installed and updated on your computer which may include a trustworthy anti-spyware or anti-virus program. Having security software installed and running on your system will ensure that you are protected from known threats that can lead to any of the above situations and help protect you against cybercrimes.
EFFECTS OF CYBER CRIME ON OUR SOCIETY
A primary effect of cybercrime is financial; cybercrime can include many different types of profit-driven criminal activity, including ransomware attacks, email and internet fraud, and identity fraud, as well as attempts to steal financial account, credit card or other payment card information.
Cyber-attacks may have some motivation behind them as they may be processed unknowingly. The attacks that are processed knowingly can be considered as cybercrime and they have serious impacts on the society in the form of economical disrupt, psychological disorder, threat to National defence etc.
The effects of a single, successful cyber attack can have far reaching implications including financial losses, theft of intellectual property, and loss of consumer confidence and trust. The overall monetary impact of cyber crime on society and Government is estimated to be billions of dollars a year.
CYBER CRIME PREVENTION STRATEGIES
A company is hit with ransomware every 40 seconds.
15% or more of businesses in the top 10 industry sectors have been attacked
1 in 5 businesses that paid the ransom never got their files back
Now that I’ve “spooked” you, let’s talk about how easy it is to change the odds of you becoming a victim. It’s easier than you think to protect yourself and your data from Cyber Crime. Here’s a start, but consult a professional if you really want to lock the Cyber Criminals out.
Use Strong Passwords
Use different user ID / password combinations for different accounts and avoid writing them down. Make the passwords more complicated by combining letters, numbers, special characters (minimum 10 characters in total) and change them on a regular basis.
Secure your computer
Activate your firewall – Firewalls are the first line of cyber defense; they block connections to unknown or bogus sites and will keep out some types of viruses and hackers.
Use anti-virus/malware software
Prevent viruses from infecting your computer by installing and regularly updating anti-virus software.
Block spyware attacks
Prevent spyware from infiltrating your computer by installing and updating anti-spyware software.
Be Social-Media Savvy
Make sure your social networking profiles (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MSN, etc.) are set to private.
Check your security settings.
Be careful what information you post online. Once it is on the Internet, it is there forever!
Secure your Mobile Devices
Be aware that your mobile device is vulnerable to viruses and hackers.
Download applications from trusted sources.
Install the latest operating system updates
Keep your applications and operating system (e.g. Windows, Mac, Linux) current with the latest system updates.
Turn on automatic updates to prevent potential attacks on older software.
Protect your Data
Use encryption for your most sensitive files such as tax returns or financial records
Make regular back-ups of all your important data, and store it in another location.
Secure your wireless network
Wi-Fi (wireless) networks are vulnerable to intrusion if they are not properly secured.
Review and modify default settings.
Public Wi-Fi, a.k.a. “Hot Spots”, are also vulnerable. Avoid conducting financial or corporate transactions on these networks.
Protect your e-identity
Be cautious when giving out personal information such as your name, address, phone number or financial information on the Internet.
Make sure that websites are secure (e.g. when making online purchases) or that you’ve enabled privacy settings (e.g. when accessing/using social networking sites).
Avoid being scammed
Always think before you click on a link or file of unknown origin.
Don’t feel pressured by any emails. Check the source of the message. When in doubt, verify the source.
Never reply to emails that ask you to verify your information or confirm your user ID or password.
Drop your comment