Cyber crime: far away or near us?
Cybercriminals may use computer technology to access personal information, business trade secrets or use the internet for exploitative or malicious purposes. Criminals can also use computers, smartphone or other devices for communication and document or data storage. Criminals who perform these illegal activities are often referred to as hackers.
Most common types of cybercrime are online bank information theft, identity theft, online predatory crimes, and unauthorized computer access. More serious crimes like cyberterrorism are also of significant concern for government agencies and large corporation dealing with national security subjects.
On a daily base, we are confronted with news reports about privacy intriguing topics within the cybercrime field. Reports like ‘Russians tried to hack OPCW systems’ or ‘ING and ABN Amro hit by DDoS attacks’ are filling our news feeds on a regular base. Reports where we as individuals are already able to notice the consequences.
Who can be a target of cyber crime?
Cyber criminals do not only target larger corporations and organization, but they are also targeting individuals. The Fraud Helpdesk reports that there is currently a phishing email in circulation that claims that you as a reader have been hacked and that your webcam and microphone recordings have been collected. The hacked data was collected according to the anonymous channel when you were viewing pornographic material as a recipient. These phishing emails are obviously meant to create fear in order to earn money illegally.
As an individual, you can take some measures yourself to ensure that you are not a victim of cybercrime. To protect yourself you can immediately delete suspicious e-mails and not accept dubious social media accounts if they add you. Covering your webcam camera with a webcam cover will also ensure that you will not be the target of cybercriminals who are out for you.