Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network or any crime that takes place online or primarily online. Cybercrime, also called computer crime.
Cybercrime is a crime in which the use of a computer as an instrument to further illegal ends, such as committing fraud, trafficking in child pornography and intellectual property, stealing identities, or violating privacy.
New technologies create new criminal opportunities but few new types of crime. Cybercrime is vastly growing in today’s tech world. Criminals of the World Wide Web exploit internet users’ personal information for their own gain. They dive deep into the dark web to buy and sell illegal products and services. They even gain access to classified government information.
Cybercriminals often use computer technology to access personal information, business trade secrets or use the internet for exploitative or malicious purposes. Criminals can also use computers for communication and document or data storage. Criminals who perform these illegal activities are often referred to as hackers.
A primary impact from cybercrime is financial, and 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. Cybercriminals may target private personal information, as well as corporate data for theft and resale.
Types of Cybercrime
1. Cyber Terrorism
Cyber terrorism is the use of the computer and internet to perform violent acts that result in loss of life. This may include different types of activities either by software or hardware for threatening the lives of citizens.
In general, Cyber terrorism can be defined as an act of terrorism committed through the use of cyberspace or computer resources
2. Cyber Extortion
Cyber extortion occurs when a website, e-mail server or computer system is subjected to or threatened with repeated denial of service or other attacks by malicious hackers. These hackers demand huge money in return for assurance to stop the attacks and to offer protection.
3. Cyber Warfare
Cyberwarfare is the use or targeting in a battlespace or warfare context of computers, online control systems, and networks. Cyberwarfare Cybercrime involves both offensive and defensive operations concerning the threat of cyber attacks, espionage, and sabotage.
4. Internet Fraud
Internet fraud is a type of fraud or Cybercrime deceit which makes use of the Internet and could include hiding of information or providing incorrect information for the purpose of deceiving victims for money or property.
Internet fraud is not considered a single, distinctive crime but covers a range of illegal and illicit actions that are committed in cyberspace.
5. Cyber Stalking
This is a kind of online harassment wherein the victim is subjected to a barrage of online messages and emails. In this case, these stalkers know their victims and instead of offline stalking, they use the Internet to stalk.
However, if they notice that cyberstalking is not having the desired effect, they begin offline stalking along with cyberstalking to make the victims’ lives more miserable.
6. DDoS Attacks
DDoS Attacks used to make an online service unavailable and take the network down by overwhelming the site with traffic from a variety of sources. Large networks of infected devices known as Botnets are created by depositing malware on users’ computers.
A botnet is a collection of internet-connected devices in a coordinated fashion for malicious purposes. Each computer in a botnet is called a bot. Bots are also known as “zombie computers” due to their ability to operate under remote direction without their owners’ knowledge.
8. Identity Theft
This cybercrime occurs when a criminal gains access to a user’s personal information to steal funds, access confidential information, or participate in tax or health insurance fraud. They may do this by finding out user’s passwords through hacking, retrieving personal information from social media, or sending phishing emails.
social engineering involves criminals making Cybercrime by direct contact with you usually by phone or email. They want to gain your confidence and usually pose as a customer service agent so you’ll give the necessary information needed. This is typically a password, the company you work for, or bank information.
PUPS or Potentially Unwanted Programs are less threatening than other cybercrimes but are a type of malware. They uninstall necessary software in your system including search engines and pre-downloaded apps. They can include spyware or adware, so it’s a good idea to install antivirus software to avoid malicious downloads.
Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and, indirectly, money), often for malicious reasons, by sending e-mails or creating web pages that are designed to collect an individual’s online bank, credit card, or other login information.
12. Prohibited/Illegal Content
This cybercrime involves criminals sharing and distributing inappropriate content that can be considered highly distressing and offensive. Offensive content can include but is not limited to, sexual activity between adults, videos with intense violence and videos of criminal activity.
Illegal content includes materials advocating terrorism-related acts and child exploitation material. This type of content exists both on the everyday internet and on the dark web, an anonymous network.
13. Online Scams
These Cybercrimes are usually in the form of ads or spam emails that include promises of rewards or offers of unrealistic amounts of money. Online scams include enticing offers that are “too good to be true” and when clicked on can cause malware to interfere and compromise information.
14. Exploit Kits
Exploit kits need a vulnerability (bug in the code of software) in order to gain control of a user’s computer. They are readymade tools criminals can buy online and use against anyone with a computer. The exploit kits are upgraded regularly similar to normal software and are available on dark web hacking forums.
Where does cybercrime come from
Cybercrime can begin wherever there is digital data, opportunity, and motive. Cybercriminals include everyone from the lone user engaged in cyberbullying to state-sponsored actors, like China’s intelligence services. Cybercrimes generally do not occur in a vacuum; they are, in many ways, distributed in nature.
That is, cybercriminals typically rely on other actors to complete the crime, whether it’s the creator of malware using the dark web to sell code, the distributor of illegal pharmaceuticals using cryptocurrency brokers to hold virtual money in escrow, or state threat actors relying on technology subcontractors to steal intellectual property.
How do you recognize cybercrime
Recognizing a cybercrime depends on the crime being committed. Malware surreptitiously downloaded to your computer might slow it down and prompt it to give you error messages.
Phishing attacks, meanwhile, usually involves receiving emails from unknown sources trying to trick you into giving up your passwords or personal data.
Keyloggers leave their own telltale signs, like strange icons, or duplicating your messages. On the other hand, you may never suspect your computer has been enslaved to a botnet.
How to protect yourself against cybercrime
While it may not be possible to completely eradicate cybercrime, businesses can reduce their exposure to it by maintaining an effective cybersecurity strategy using a defense-in-depth approach to securing systems, networks, and data.
1. Use a full-service internet security suite
It is essential for every internet user to use a full-service internet security suite which provides real-time protection against the raising and existing malware, ransomware and viruses. You can protect your private and financial information when are online.
2. Use strong passwords
Don’t repeat your passwords on different sites, and change your passwords regularly. Make them complex. That means using a combination of at least 10 letters, numbers, and symbols. A password management application can help you to keep your passwords locked down.
3. Keep your software updated
To stay protected, it is essential to keep your operating and internet security applications and software updated. The cybercriminals use known exploits in the system and can get access to the entire network. By keeping software and system updated will help you to protect the whole network.
Keep your personal and private information locked down. Social engineering cybercriminals can often get your personal information with just a few data points, so the less you share publicly, the better.
For instance, if you post your pet’s name or reveal your mother’s maiden name, you might expose the answers to two common security questions.
5. Strengthen your home network
It’s a good idea to start with a strong encryption password as well as a virtual private network. A VPN will encrypt all traffic leaving your devices until it arrives at its destination.
If cybercriminals do manage to hack your communication line, they won’t intercept anything but encrypted data. It’s a good idea to use a VPN whenever you a public Wi-Fi network, whether it’s in a library, café, hotel, or airport.
6. Talk to your children about the internet
Another way of protecting yourself from cybercrime is to teach the kids about the acceptable use of the internet. Educate your kids about the right use of the internet and making sure that you are by them when they experience any online harassment, stalking, or bullying.
7. Keep up to date on major security breaches
If you came to know that you have suffered from data breaches, understand which areas have been discovered by the hacker, change your password immediately which helps you to protect the entire network from being hacked.
8. Take measures to help protect yourself against identity theft
Identity theft occurs when someone wrongfully obtains your personal data in a way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain. How? You might be tricked into giving personal information over the internet, for instance, or a thief might steal your mail to access account information.
That’s why it’s important to guard your personal data. A VPN short for the virtual private network can also help to protect the data you send and receive online, especially when accessing the internet on public Wi-Fi.
9. Know that identity theft can happen anywhere
Today we have to be very careful with our personal information. We always think that this couldn’t happen to us but actually it’s so easy to get to our personal information. Thieves often represent themselves to us as a telecommunication operator or a bank officer and in this way, they can easily trick especially old people or children.
The other way is to get to our bank data through our post. We shouldn’t leave our data unprotected, be wise, lock the smartphones, don’t throw the bills in the trash it’s better to burn them, the same goes for the bank statements. Sharing information about our holidays on social networks is not a good idea because identity theft can happen to anyone anywhere.
10. Keep an eye on the kids
Just like you’ll want to talk to your kids about the internet, you’ll also want to help protect them against identity theft. Identity thieves often target children because their Social Security number and credit histories frequently represent a clean slate.
You can help guard against identity theft by being careful when sharing your child’s personal information. It’s also smart to know what to look for that might suggest your child’s identity has been compromised.
11. Use secure websites
The website we use should start with “https”. Watch for the ”s” in https because it stands for secure, this means that our data is encrypted. In this way, we will have a secure connection.
Don’t trust the website without contact data. A trusted website We will never ask us for a password. If we notice anything suspicious, we should contact the police and our bank if we think our date or identity was stolen.
12. Back up our data
Always back up the data in another separate system. It is good to have more backups, in this way we will not lose any data in case of the attack. The backups should be done regularly.
13. Know what to do if you become a victim
If you believe that you’ve become a victim of a cybercrime, you need to alert the local police or the local cybercrime reporting center. This is important even if the crime seems minor. Your report may assist authorities in their investigations or may help to thwart criminals from taking advantage of other people in the future