Cybercrime: The Dark Side of Technology

As our world turns into a technologically advanced environment, there is no wonder that the crimes that happen around us become technologically inclined too. Come to think of it, these tech and cybercrimes might sound a lot scarier than the usual stuff, right? Just imagine someone lurking and stalking you on the internet, keeping track of your every move. It is a fact the rate of growth of cybercrimes has been directly proportional to the rate of modern technology development.

 

We are aware of how modern technology has been a part of our daily lives, from checking and storing your personal data to purchasing something and paying your bills over the internet. Yes, it offers tons of advantages and convenience for us, however, it cannot be avoided that cybercriminals see this as a vulnerability and take advantage and eventually use it to commit crimes with the use of modern technology.

Cybercrime

So what is cybercrime? According to Wikipedia, cybercrime is also known as computer-oriented crime. It is an action or crime that involves the use of modern technology like a computer and the internet. A computer or any gadget can be used as a medium to carry out the crime, or it can also be the target. Cybercrimes can be defined as offenses that are committed against a group or an individual with a criminal motive to harm the reputation of the victim, cause physical or mental harm, or steal from the victim. It can gravely damage or threaten an individual’s or even a nation’s financial health and security. Up until this moment, technology and internet-related crimes are raising new policy and legal questions. This is because of the reason that the growth of our technology is consistent, that is why lawmakers and authorities are doing their best to keep up.

Types of technology-related crime  

Using technology as a medium to commit a crime is not much different from the traditional crimes since they can cause similar damage and threat. Lack of security awareness and knowledge may be a reason why the public can fall into the hands of potential online criminals and swindlers. It is important that we remain vigilant to avoid cybercrime. To help you in keeping aware and vigilant, here is a list of the most common types or technology crime.

Ransomware

Ransomware sounds as dangerous as it is. It is a malicious computer software that enters your network and encrypts your files. The results to an inaccessible or restricted computer system and you will only be able to retrieve your files after paying a ransom thus the name Ransomware. This type of cybercrime has already affected big companies and corporations all over the world. The cybercriminals who use this aim to get enough people to pay a ransom fee. Basically, it’s just like file or data kidnapping.

Cyber stalking, cyberbullying and blackmailing

Nowadays, everything you do is eventually posted online. Little do you know that this information, details, or opinions you have publicly posted can be used in cybercrimes. These details will then be eventually used to blackmail the person or in cyberbullying. A cyber stalker virtually follows the victim by following one’s online activity to get information. Most victims are women and children stalked by sexual offenders and pedophiles. Victims can then be harassed through blackmailing, e-mail, websites, forums, and blogs. Cyber stalkers can be strangers may be a stranger or someone you know.

Phishing

This type of cybercrime is a scam which tricks the victim to give out personal information such as passwords, bank account numbers, and credit card numbers. These scammers may contact you through phone calls, e-mails, or private messages. They often pretend to be your bank, internet provider, or any legit company that you may be related to. There are times that these phishing scammers obtain your information to tell you that there may be something wrong with your account and they will try to fix it. If you experience this, consider this suspicious and immediately call your bank or the company they’re pretending to be to clear things out.

Software piracy  

This is a very common cybercrime. Software piracy is definitely considered as stealing and it is very often and unfortunate that internet users rely on and use pirated software. It is an unauthorized use and wide distribution of computer software. This cybercrime eventually affects the whole global economy as funds are relayed from other sectors which result in less investment when it comes to marketing and research.

Online banking and online business fraud

Online businesses and banking have become famous over the years. Many online stores let you pay through online banking or money remittance, and this is how the culprit carry out the cybercrime. The culprit inserts emails or attachments to induce the buyer to open them. When these files are opened, the victims’ computers are infected with malicious programs. This results to the buyer or seller failing to receive any goods or payments after payment has been made or goods had been delivered on an online platform.

Identity-theft or social media deception

This is also a common cybercrime where swindlers log in to accounts that is not theirs. They pose as the real user of the account and send deceiving messages to family and friends often asking for money or important information. Identity theft is a specific form of fraud in where personal data, including passwords, data about the bank account, credit cards, debit cards, social security, and other sensitive information are easily stolen. Through social media deception and identity theft, criminals can easily steal money and acquire vital information.

Hacking

Hacking is the most common cybercrime to date and can be done easily even by amateurs. This involves the partial or complete acquisition of certain information and functions within a system, network, or website. It also aims to access important data and breaching privacy. Most “hackers” attack corporate and government accounts and accounts of a famous and important individual.

Salami Slicing or Salami fraud

The salami slicing refers to nothing yummy at all. It is a kind of cybercrime where the culprit steal your money or resources little by little that you won’t even notice it. These cybercriminals obtain money from different sources to obtain and accumulate a good amount stolen over time. They do this by just basically installing or putting up a program or application to automatically carry out the stealing task.

Others

There are many other cybercrimes such as eavesdropping and surveillance through wiretapping, virus dissemination, e-mail scam and many more.  

Protect yourself

With the continuous technological advancement and development, it is unfortunate that the cybercrimes committed and carried out also increases too. However, together with the expansion of technology and network, the ability to pursue cyber criminals and to seek out cybercrimes before they happen has also become possible. In this way, we will be able to protect people, and you can even protect yourself from unwanted cybercrimes.

 

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