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Cybercrime is a criminal offence that involves the use of devices or any electronic equipment connected to the internet. Cybercriminals commit these crimes in order to create profit. As frequent internet users, everyone must know about the threats that come along with the internet and the ways to protect from them. Hence, the main aim of this blog is to create awareness about “what is cybercrime”, its types as well as prevention.
What is Cybercrime?
Cybercrime, also known as computer crime, refers to a criminal activity committed by cyber criminals with the aid of computers or other devices connected to the internet.
Let us know “what is cybercrime” in detail:
Who commits such crimes?
Cybercrimes are committed by individuals or small groups of people with little technical knowledge, as well as by highly organised criminal groups along with talented developers and specialists. In short, individuals together with organisations, commit cybercrimes. Besides generating money, cybercriminals use computers to send viruses, malicious material or illegal data.
Intending to make money, Cybercriminals commit offensive activities, such as identity fraud and illegally accessing accounts, as well as credit cards. Although the most common reason for cybercrimes is financial, sometimes they happen with personal motives. For instance, cybercriminals commit such crimes against people with whom they hold a personal vendetta.
Categories of cybercrime:
There are four broad categories of cybercrimes:
- The first and foremost category is crime against people, where cybercriminals target individuals and spread unlawful content, for example, circulating child pornography, online stalking and human trafficking.
- Following is a crime against property, one of the essential categories of cybercrime, where criminals get access to an individual’s bank account or credit card information in order to rob their funds.
- Subsequently, the third category is a crime against society. It is one of the most dangerous categories of cybercrime that involves cyber-terrorism.
- Above all, crime against the government is one of the highly offensive categories of cybercrime, as it involves hacking government databases and official websites, which consequently leaks sensitive data.
Types of Cyber Crimes:
As you have broadly understood “ what is cybercrime” let me take you through its types:
It is a type of cybercrime, where fraudulent msgs or emails are sent to the target, requesting personal details, with the promise of appearing from a trusted source. In a nutshell, the criminal throws a bait urging the target to disclose sensitive information such as credit card details. Consequently, if the target gets into the trap, the criminal gets away with robbing the funds from the account. Now, you can understand why this cybercrime is called phishing. Like the name sounds, the word phishing is based on fishing, as it works on the concept of throwing bait. Nevertheless, you can always protect yourself from such crimes if you are attentive enough.
How does Phishing happen?
- Primarily, these crimes start with sending messages to the target via email, message applications or SMS. Regardless of the mode, the main aim of these messages is to delude the target into opening a malicious link and providing critical information.
- Most often, these websites look as authentic as possible; hence, many people get tricked into submitting the details.
- Consequently, the hacker receives the data, giving him complete control over the target’s account.
- As a result, the cybercriminal or phisher gets access to committing unlawful transactions.
- However, the success rate of such crimes is relatively low, as only a few people take the bait.
How to protect from Phishing crime?
Fundamentally, never trust all sorts of emails you receive, though they might urge you to open, promising some kind of reward. The basic aim of such emails is to trap you through their trustworthy appearance, therefore think before opening random emails. In case, you are unable to identify which is an authentic email, then install anti-phishing software, which blocks phishing emails through various methods.
Demanding a price for acquiring something valuable, otherwise known as extortion, has been happening for ages. However, in the modern-day, these crimes are taking place at a technical level and are referred to as Ransomware. It is the most common type of cybercrime, where the hacker demands a ransom in exchange for encrypted data.
How does Ransomware happen?
- Fundamentally, Ransomware spreads mainly through phishing attacks. To explain in detail, Users tend to click on phishing emails expecting some kind of reward.
- Once they click on such links, the ransomware files are installed in the system, which consequently results in the encryption of all the data causing hindrance to computer access.
- Additionally, Ransomware can spread via malware, installing untrusted applications, or even through a compromised internet service.
- Nevertheless, having a backup of the data on a hard drive will help you remain unaffected by Ransomware.
How to protect from Ransomware:
Avoid installing untrusted applications, as they are the primary route for Ransomware entry. Additionally, installing good monitoring applications along with anti-malware software ensures protection to a certain extent. However, no cyber defences can provide 100% protection, therefore backing up your data is essential.
Malware is intentionally designed malicious software or program that damages computers and servers, along with the internet. Irrespective of the motive behind using Malware, the damage caused is severe. In short, recovering a computer infected with Malware is time-taking as well as expensive. There are various types of Malware, such as Viruses, Worms, and Trojans, in addition to the Ransomware explained above.
Like their name sounds, Viruses attach to a file and spread easily from host to host, damaging the core performance of the system. In addition, they corrupt files as well as delete data, resulting in operational issues.
It is a type of malware that misguides the user as legitimate software and opens a backdoor for other Malware to enter.
Contrary to viruses, worms do not depend on host programs to spread; instead, they rapidly replicate and spread to any device within the network. As a result, the operations of the system are affected, in addition to data loss.
How to protect from Malware:
High-quality anti-virus software secures your system from malware attacks. Therefore, installing a premium anti-virus and frequently scanning the computer through it, will identify Malware early and prevents spreading.
4. Website Spoofing:
The word spoofing refers to hoaxing or tricking someone in order to deceive them. Website Spoofing is a cybercrime activity where criminals create a website that looks like the original, thereby deceiving users that it is authentic.
How is it done?
- Fundamentally, cybercriminals recreate an authentic website in terms of its brand, style, the user interface as well as a domain name, which misleads the user to believe that it is original.
- Eventually, the user gets tricked into believing it’s original and reveals all the personal information.
- As a result, the hacker gets access to the user’s system, which allows him to steal data and money as well.
- Nevertheless, the simplest way to prevent such crimes is by ignoring unnecessary emails.
How to protect from Website Spoofing:
Primarily, do not trust all the websites, as some of them are designed as authentic websites, in order to cheat you. Double-check the spelling of the website, before you open the site, as most of these websites look original. However, if it is a legitimate website, they will find ways to reach you. Therefore, it’s best to avoid opening such websites.
5. Drive-by Download Attack:
It is a type of cybercrime that infects the system with malicious material, unintentionally downloaded into the computer. As of today, there is no more necessity to click download or install new software in order to get infected. On the other hand, it can happen just by opening a compromised webpage, which consequently downloads a dangerous code into the system.
This type of cybercrime typically takes advantage of operating systems or apps, which contain security flaws due to a lack of updates. In contrast to other apps, Drive-by Download does not depend on the user to download anything to proceed with the crime.
Therefore, the only way to protect ourselves from such crimes is to be cautious, in addition to installing powerful security software.
The types of cybercrime mentioned above are the typical ones affecting society. An elaborate explanation about them must have provided insights into what is cybercrime. Hence, let me take you through other general types of cybercrime.
Other Types of Cybercrime:
Otherwise known as internet bullying, involves sharing humiliating content about another person, which consequently causes embarrassment resulting in psychological troubles.
It is a crime that involves persistently harassing someone through messages, emails, social media or any other digital means in order to control or intimidate them.
Social media fraud:
Social media fraud uses fake accounts in order to threaten other people as well as perform harmful activities pretending to be another person.
Online Drug Trafficking:
With the increase in digital transactions, dealing drugs has become very easy, as online money transfers are secure and private.
How to prevent Cybercrime?
By now you must have understood “ What is Cybercrime” as well as the damage it causes. As a result, it is essential to know about the methods that can prevent such crimes. The following are some of the tips to prevent cybercrime.
1. Update Software to the Latest Version:
It is one of the simplest, as well as an important tips to protect from cybercrimes. It is essential to update security software in order to gain protection from cybercrimes such as Malware attacks, hackers and more. Usually, cybercriminals take advantage of compromised security software and network; hence updating software to the latest version is crucial.
2. Use Robust Passwords:
In addition to updating security software, it is essential to use strong passwords, as they are difficult to hack. For instance, do not use passwords like date of birth, your name or the names of your dear ones, instead go for complex passwords, which have special characters along with numbers and alphabets. Besides using strong passwords, use different passwords for different websites. Furthermore, changing passwords frequently ensures safety and protection against cybercrime.
3. Think Before Using Public WI-FI:
Although the WI-FI available in public places is free, it comes with a lot of trouble. Hence, it is always better to avoid using public WI-FI if there is no emergency. This WI-Fi is encryption free, which allows hackers to watch the files shared between the user and the server. In short, WI-Fi is free for you as well as for hackers; hence, think twice before using public WI-FI.
4. Remember to Log off or Lock:
When you are not using laptops, computers, smartphones or any other devices with an internet connection, remember to log off or lock it, as it prevents unauthorised access for hackers. To be precise, if you walk away from an unlocked computer, even for a few minutes, you are granting access to your system to hackers.
5. Be careful with Social Media:
Although social media helps you stay connected with people, it has its drawbacks, such as giving hackers access to your personal information. However, you can avoid this by hiding personal data. Social media platforms have features that allow you to conceal personal information. It is advisable and sensible to keep away private information from the public eye. For instance, disclosing phone numbers on social media allows hackers to cyberstalk.
6. Enhance Your Network Settings:
Protecting your home network with a strongly encrypted password prevents hackers from entering your system. In case, you are using public WI-FI, remember to create a VPN( Virtual Private Network), which creates a secure connection between the computer and the public WI-FI.
7. Avoid Phishing emails:
These emails aim to tempt you to open them so that hacker gets access to your system. Therefore, though they look inviting, you should avoid them in order to protect yourself from phishing attacks.
8. Install Anti-virus in your system:
Installing trustworthy anti-virus software ensures protection from cybercrimes in a long run. Anti-virus has features such as VPN, app locks and virus cleaner, which facilitates detecting threats and deleting them before they cause a problem.
The above-mentioned tips protect from cybercrimes. However, if you wish to know more, then you can enrol for a Cyber Security Course. These courses help you get better knowledge about “what is cybercrime” as well as help you know about preventive measures.
If you are interested in joining a Cyber Security Course, it is essential to choose the right place that offers the best training. Henry Harvin is one of the leading ed-tech companies that provides Cyber Security Courses. Besides, knowing about cyber security in general, their course helps you become a certified cyber security professional.
Contact number: 09891953953
Henry Harvin is a global ed-tech company, established in 2013, to provide training and advisory services. It offers more than 400 upskilling and reskilling programs in 27 categories. They have various training programs for students as well as professionals to help them enhance their careers. As a part of their training programs, Henry Harvin’s Cyber Security Academy provides various types of Cyber Security Courses. Besides, knowing about cyber security in general, their course helps you become a certified cyber security professional.
Check out the video below to know about Henry Harvin:
Benefits of Henry Harvin’s Cyber Security course:
- Primarily, you can avail of their 16 hours of live-interactive sessions, where expert trainers educate you about cyber security.
- In addition, to live online classes, you can also access their recorded classes through LMS.
- Moreover, their course is designed based on updated standards.
- Most importantly, you can access their boot camp brush-up sessions every month for one year.
- On top of that, you can avail one-year gold membership of Henry Harvin, which helps you find a job.
- Above all, you can get guidance from top professionals as well as an opportunity to work with them.
- Ultimately, joining Henry Harvin’s academy provides in-depth knowledge of “What is cybercrime” along with security measures to prevent such crimes.
Other courses offered by Henry Harvin’s Cyber Security Academy:
With the advancements in technology, the use of the internet has also increased, consequently increasing the rate of cybercrime. It is difficult to imagine a day without the internet, as we are dependent on it. Be it online shopping, payments, education, work, or travel, everything needs the internet. To be precise, the ubiquity of the internet has escalated the world into the age of instant knowledge. However, the era of the internet has also given birth to cybercrimes.
These crimes have caused disastrous effects such as financial losses, infringement of sensitive data, as well as the failure of systems, which subsequently affected the organisation. Therefore, it is essential to know the ways to protect from such crimes. Hence, in this blog, I have tried to explain cybercrimes in detail. I hope this blog helped you in understanding “What is cybercrime”, types, as well as the ways you can prevent such crimes.
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Ans. There are mainly three categories of cybercrime, which are crime against people, crime against the government, and crime against property.
Ans. It is not advisable to log in to your system using public WI-FI, as it poses cyber threats. However, if you create VPN it makes the connection secure.
Ans. Yes, it is a type of malware, specifically designed to encrypt a user’s data, thereby denying the user to access the file.
Ans. Phishing scams are the most common type of cybercrime.