Cybercrime involve any criminal activity done using computers and networks popularly known as hacking. Whereas cybercrime is largely thought to be involving high-level information technology skills, it also include traditional crimes such as hate crimes, identity theft, telemarketing, credit card accounts theft, and internet fraud are considered cybercrime when the act is executed by the use of a computer and the internet (Higgins, 2010).
History of Cybercrime
Cybercrime is a phenomenon that started in the 1990’s when computer systems and networks came to be. Unlike today, however, when hacking is done for malicious gains and exploitation, hacking during this time was basically to access more information regarding the systems (Higgins, 2010). Actually, hackers could compete against each other to see who wins the tag of the elite hacker. Today, hacking is solely done to gain economic, social or political gains.
The Extent of Cybercrime
The issue of cybercrime is increasingly becoming a major concern in the contemporary society when information and communication technology (ICT) dominates our routine lives. Individuals’ use of computers and internet for various purposes increase exposure to cybercrime. Governments as well as organizations are increasing adopting ICT in enhancing service delivery and boost performance.
Types of Cybercrime
The National Computer Security Survey classifies three broad categories of cybercrimes committed against business in the United States. They include cyber attacks, where the computer system is the target, the attacks involve computer viruses, electronic sabotage and denial of service attacks. Cyber theft is the second category where a computer is involved in stealing money or valuables and includes fraud, embezzlement, theft of intellectual property, financial or personal data. Thirdly, cybercrime may involve computer security incidences including spyware, hacking, phishing, adware, port scanning, pinging, and any other information (Higgins, 2010).
Other forms of cyber crime include cyber bullying which is the act of using computer technology and online social platforms to harass, bully or intimidate someone else. Sexting is also a common form of cyber crime involving the use of computer systems and internet networks to send explicit messages or photos or videos (Higgins, 2010). In addition, identity theft is a form of cybercrime that has become commonplace in the society. Identity theft involves the use of someone else’s information as one’s own and uses it to conduct transactions illegally. Fraudsters often use identity theft to drain people’s account.
Causes of Cybercrime
People are usually tempted to take advantage to commit a crime when the return on investment seems higher than the risk. This is the same case in cyber crime. Accessing critical data and information and using is promising for increased returns and apprehending the perpetrators is quite difficult (Higgins, 2010). As a result, cybercrime has continued to rise world over.
How To Minimize Risk of Cybercrime
Due to the nature of crime, it has always proved difficult for law enforcement agencies to fight cybercrime. Technology evolves every day, and criminals are keeping up with new techniques to exploit technology in their favor. To stay safe, it is recommended to use solutions as provided by Cross-Domain Solutions (Leslie, 2014). Using cross domain cyber security solutions ensure that while exchanging information online, all security protocols are observed. This solution allows organizations to use a synchronized system comprising of software and hardware which verifies both automated and manual transfers and access of data when it occurs between different security classification phases. The system also allows all information to be kept confidential through the use of safe and secure domains that cannot be traced or accessed. Governments, organizations as well as individuals can benefit from the cross-domain solutions (Leslie, 2014).
In the realization of the seriousness of cybercrimes, the United States government in partnership with the European Union has put measures in place in the fight against the cyber crime. However, the fight against cybercrimes is not an easy. According to Australian federal Police, international cybercrime police investigations are impeded by data sovereign laws. There is, therefore, need to establish policies that allow police investigation across borders through a partnership from the various governments and authorities. The Queen in her speech proposed life sentence for cybercrimes that result to catastrophic effects like death, breach of national security, serious illness or injury or any other significant risk in the United Kingdom (Leslie, 2014). Regardless, several countries lack the necessary expertise and policies to fight cyber crime.
- Higgins, G. E. (2010). Cybercrime: an introduction to an emerging phenomenon. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
- Leslie, D. A. (2014). The Present International and National Legal Framework Against Cyber laundering. In Legal Principles for Combating Cyber laundering (pp. 119-200). Springer International Publishing.