The rising cost of cybercrime is estimated to reach $6 trillion by 2021. Although millions of people have already been a victim of cybercrime first-hand, many still don’t fully understand what cybercrime actually means. Spam calls, emails, misleading websites are just a few of the most basic types of criminal activity. Most cyber criminals steal money and personal information from victims, while others cripple entire businesses or websites.
Cybercrime is one of the fastest, most advanced, and ever-evolving modern crimes in the world today, and there’s no sign of it stopping any time soon. As technology advances, we’ve seen increased cybersecurity. However, as our security evolves, so does cybercrime. So, what falls under cybercrime, and how can we stay safe?
When trying to understand the meaning of cybercrime, most will consider hacking as their first thought. However, it can go far past just hacking a computer. Cybercrime is any form of illegal activity that occurs in a digital form. Data theft has been one of the most active cybercrimes in recent years. It can also include cyberbullying or planting viruses.
The Department of Justice has defined cybercrime in the three following categories:
A crime in which the target is a computing device. Example: To gain network access
A crime where the computer is used as a weapon. Example: To launch a DoS attack
A crime in which the computer is an accessory to a crime. Example: someone using a computer to store data that was illegally obtained.
It’s also defined by The Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime as a wide range of malicious activity, including the interception of data illegally, system interferences that will compromise network activity, availability, and copyright infringements.
Types Of Cybercrimes
As mentioned previously, cybercrime has become more known for financial reasons, but something like cyberbullying has a different effect. As of now, there are very few laws by definition that can fight against cybercrime. Since it’s such a new medium, many cases have created a law that will try to stop that particular incident from happening again. There are more attacks in white-collar businesses and workplaces than almost anywhere else.
Since the definition of cybercrime encompasses a vast area, there are a few main examples that we have come across over the years. Many of these fall under two main categories, which either involves criminal activity that targets or criminal activity that will use computers to commit crimes, such as:
- Internet Fraud
- Email Fraud
- Identity Fraud
- Financial or card data theft
- The theft and selling of corporate data
- Cyber Extortion
- Ransomware attacks
- Cyber espionage
How To Stay Protected From Cybercrimes
As large and prevalent as cybercrime has become over the years, it’s very possible to stay completely protected from an attack. You can do so by keeping your information safe. Remember, adding a little extra effort into simple tasks can go a long way.
Keep Your Technology Updated
Many companies try to put user security first. Apple, for example, increases its security measures in some way every single year. Keeping your technology updated to the latest software will give you a good starting run out of the gate.
This has been said for years, but make sure your passwords are hard to guess. Nowadays, you can use various password managers to help keep your passwords secure. If you do write down your passwords, keep them in a safe place where only you can access them.
Spam emails continue to be some of the largest threats. Stay conscious of what you’re opening when you receive an e-mail. Unrecognized attachments often carry malware or viruses that can get your information or crash your system. They can also lead to untrusted websites that can steal your information.
Now, more than ever, spam callers acting as representatives from a familiar company often try to take advantage of unsuspecting people. Never give out your personal information over the phone or by email. If you do receive a call, contact that company yourself to investigate. Bringing it to their attention can help them know how to take additional precautions.
Keep an Eye on Your Accounts
One of the worst things about cybercrimes is that, more often than not, you may not be aware you’ve been attacked. Stay aware of what gets charged on your accounts so you can catch suspicious charges right away.
Attorney W. Shane Jennings Can Help You
This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cybercrimes. There are many things to look out for, and the less you know about technology, the hard it can be to understand. Many attackers look for people who aren’t familiar with their own technology and use that to their advantage. We’ve seen many white-collar cybercrimes and can help you. Contact the Law Offices of W. Shane Jennings today to see how we can help if you’ve undergone a cybercrime.