Definition of cyber crime and how does it affects us?
Cyber Crime – Crime is that dark side of our society that’s present everywhere and is too hard to be overlooked. It’s a cause of great distress to the harmony of our society and is mostly due to the fact that humans, in general, tend to invest in activities where the returns are much higher than the efforts needed to be put in and the risk of loss is much lower.
Over the past two decades or so, computers and the internet have become an integral part of our everyday lives. Almost every aspect of life has become digital, be it bank transactions or product purchase. It’s high on accessibility, intractability and connivance.
But, unfortunately this also makes it a hotspot for criminal activities. Because of the ease of access, and the potential damage that could be caused, cybercriminals are, in the modern world, perhaps the most dangerous types of criminals in existence.
Defining Cyber crime
Fundamentally cyber crime can be defined as any illegal activity committed using a computer and/or the internet.
Although the term is usually reserved for criminal activity where a computer or the internet is the location of the crime, it’s also used to include traditional crimes in which computers or the internet are chief tools used in enabling the illegal activity.
Effects of cyber crime
Studies have shown that on an average, more than one cyber crime occurs every 10 seconds. There have been recorded losses over $500 million or more in one year solely due to cyber crime.
The crime is basically an attack on information about people or groups and in this era of living where our virtual identities are just as important as our real ones, it’s equally harmful as physical attack.
The fact all our personal information is centralized and we – the common man, our businesses, governments and properties are extremely reliant on computers, makes our society more vulnerable to massive losses due to cyber crimes.
Cyber crime against peoples: This includes a wide variety of offenses. Criminals will hide behind fake promotions, offers, giveaways etc. while giving you the illusion of security to get you to give up your personal information.
Cyber crime against property: Basically involves gaining the access to computers with malicious software through websites, email or personal chats. These attacks could be just to destroy someone’s computer or to steal information from them.
Cyber crime against businesses: These happens when a person with harmful intentions hack into the system of companies. Most businesses store their sensitive information on servers and the data may or may not be financial in nature. Hackers who can gain access into the systems of these companies get access to all the information available in these files.
Cyber crime against governments: Cyber criminals can attack organizations of any kind and government organizations are not an exception. The secure database of a government agency can be hacked with the intention to misuse sensitive information and the term “Cyber-terrorism” is often used in this context.
Cyber crime has a tremendous impact on the victims and on the judiciary system in general. Since it can easily go undetected and unreported, it’s very tough to measure the magnitude of the resulting problems. Despite network security programs and organizations working to counteract cyber threats, cyber crime trends continue. Thus, it’s best for us, the average computer users, to equip ourselves with the right equipment to protect ourselves against cyber crimes.