Cybercrime and How to Protect Yourself

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Cybercrime is broadly described as any criminal conduct that involves the use of the Internet, a public or private network, or an internal computer system. While many types of cybercrime concentrate on the illicit use of property information, some examples focus on a breach of privacy. As cybercrime becomes more prevalent around the world, several governments are enacting laws and other regulatory measures in an attempt to reduce the occurrence of cybercrime.

One of the most common types of electronic crime involves the use of a computer connection and specially built software to steal identities, credit card numbers, or other data that the criminal can use to their benefit. Using unlawfully obtained data, the thief can create accounts, purchase a variety of goods and services, and then close the accounts. As a result, the victim is forced to deal with massive bills that he did not incur.

Blackmail is a long-standing unlawful crime that has been given a modern twist. If the victim does not comply with the criminal’s requests, the blackmailer may threaten to reveal embarrassing or other harmful information over the Internet or a private network. Such a cybercrime can go as far as requiring the victim to transfer monies to an untraceable bank account using an online payment program, thereby utilising cutting-edge technology to accomplish the crime.

Cybercrime can also include unauthorized access to company information. Criminals, like people, can steal financial information and use it to make purchases. The criminal can also remove monies from the company’s reserves, shifting the stolen funds through a variety of accounts and making the stolen assets extremely impossible to identify. In other circumstances, the offender is not seeking for money or credit information; obtaining information that is entirely owned by the consumer and selling it to the competitors is another example of this type of high-tech criminal conduct.

Many countries across the world have enacted cybercrime legislation that makes spamming a criminal offense. Spam is loosely described as unsolicited emails sent to thousands or perhaps millions of email accounts at the same time. Some countries have legislated particular conditions that must be met in order for spam to be regarded a cybercrime, such as allowing the receiver to opt out of receiving subsequent email inquiries from the sender. As the situation worsens, more lawmakers are advocating for a national or worldwide cybercrime law that would expressly address spam use and ban or abolish it entirely.

Obtaining trustworthy statistics on cybercrime is not as simple as it appears. Some incidences of electronic crime, like many other criminal activities, go unreported. This makes compiling any form of cybercrime report that tells the entire story over a given time period impossible. However, many law enforcement agencies around the world work together to present the most complete picture possible. The FBI’s cybercrime documentation in the United States tries to identify any and all examples of electronic crime, including actions that may entail terrorist activity, as well as crimes such as fraud, identity theft, or embezzlement.

Photo: TTG

Some advice to protect yourself

We should put pressure on telecom companies to improve network security against cyberattacks, but in the meanwhile, internet users can follow the following recommendations:

• Be wary of emails, text messages, and phone calls that leverage the crisis to put you under distress and circumvent standard security processes. Criminals understand that it is often easier to deceive humans than it is to hack into a sophisticated system. Keep in mind that banks and other legitimate sites will never ask you for your password.

• Protect your home network. Change your Wi-Fi network’s default password to a unique, secure one. Examine the number of devices linked to your Wi-Fi network and allow only those that you trust.

• Make your passwords more secure. Use long, complex passwords that incorporate numbers, letters, and unusual characters.

• Secure your computer. Make sure to update all of your systems and programs, as well as install and maintain antivirus software.

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