What Is Cybercrime?
Cybercrime is any crime that takes place online or primarily online. That can run the gamut from the aforementioned identity theft and other security breaches to things like “revenge porn,” cyber-stalking, harassment, bullying and even child sexual exploitation. Terrorists are collaborating more on the Internet, moving that most terrifying of crimes into cyberspace.
There’s no denying that cyber crime is getting worse every year, but how much has it actually risen over the past few years?
With an increase of more than 3 billion records breached over six years, cyber crime is rapidly increasing and it doesn't seem like organisations' security functions are keeping up.
The motive behind doing Cyber Crimes can be many. But main three reasons have been highlighted due to the recent research.
- Financial Gain: This is the primary motivation for the majority of attacks. The cyber criminal is looking for either an immediate or indirect financial gain.
- Corporate Information: Attackers who target corporate information are also looking for financial gain. Home users and offices are a good starting point for cyber criminals looking to get corporate information. Cyber criminals will target home networks to see how much information they can get, which they could then use against the company or in another type of attack.
- Egotistical: The attacker is not seeking financial gain but recognition, acknowledging that they have the skills and knowledge to defeat the security. This reason is far less common than the first two.
Let's look at few examples of Cyber Crimes.
In simple terms, a hacker is an intruder who accesses your computer system without your permission. Hackers do this for a number of reasons, whether that's for greed, fame or power, as it shows people they are clever enough to get into something they shouldn't have.
However, some will be able to break into systems and steal personal banking information and corporation financial data. Hackers tend to be computer programmers and have an advanced understanding of computers.
Eavesdropping and Surveillance
Eavesdropping without the consent of the parties is a crime and can be done online or over the phone. The most common way to eavesdrop is to wiretap, which is the practice of connecting a listening device, usually to a telephone line, that allows the criminal to monitor conversation secretly.
As new technologies are introduced computers can now be hacked for eavesdropping and surveillance.
Social Media Hack and Spamming
Social media hacking is often done as a joke.
However a hacker can also spread unwarranted content that can be distressing to people who view this content, it can also cause your account to be reported and shut down.
Social media spamming comes when a person makes a fake account and becomes friends or followed by the average person. This then gives the fake account the freedom to spam inboxes with bulk messaging, this can be done for spreading malware.
Spamming can also spread malicious links created with the intent to harm, mislead or damage a user or their device. Clicking on the malicious link, which may be advertising a new iPhone or weight loss treatment, means you could be downloading malware which can lead to the theft of personal information.
Another dark side of social media is the ability for malicious accounts to spam your output by constantly replying with negative messaging. A form of trolling.
Whilst you can easily report such behaviour to the social media platform and they should remove the user, or you can block them from seeing your content, it’s easy for people to set up new bot accounts in minutes and begin their attack again.
Internet theft is the broad term for any type of theft that happens over the internet, this can be done through many ways such as fake ads, fake emails, viruses and snooping. The aim of internet theft is to steal your personal information and use it to then steal money out of your bank account or make purchases using your details.
However I've discussed about only few Cyber crimes. Whereas there are many more of such crimes that are occurring.
How Can We Protect Ourself from Cyber Crimes?
There are some basic precautions everyone using the Internet should take to protect themselves:
- Use a full-service Internet security suite such as Norton Security Premium to ensure that you are protecting yourself against viruses, as well as other emerging threats on the Internet.
- Use Strong Passwords. Don't repeat your passwords on different sites and make sure to change your passwords regularly. A password management application can help you to keep your passwords locked down.
- Keep all your software updated. This is most important with your operating systems and Internet security suites. Hackers are most likely to use known exploits in your software to gain access to your system. Patching those exploits makes it far less likely that you’re going to be a victim.
- Manage your social media settings to keep most of your personal and private information locked down. Social engineering cyber criminals can often get your personal information with just a few data points, so the less you share with the broader world, the better.
- Secure your home network with a strong encryption password as well as a VPN. A VPN will encrypt all traffic leaving your devices until it arrives at its destination. Even if a hacker manages to get in your communication line, they won't intercept anything but encrypted traffic.
- Talk to your children about acceptable use of the Internet without shutting down communication channels. Make sure they know that they can come to you in the event that they’re experiencing any kind of online harassment, bullying or stalking.
- Keep up to date on major security breaches. If you have an account on a site that's been impacted by a security breach, find out what the hackers know and change your password immediately.
- If you believe that you've become a victim of a cybercrime, you need to alert the local police and in some cases the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission. Even if the crime seems minor this is important, as you are helping to prevent criminals from taking advantage of other people in the future.
Off course there are more such precautions that can be taken for your safety. I hope this article helped you to have a small idea about Cyber Crimes and stay alert from such activities. Till I come up with my next blog Stay safe, Stay secured.