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What is Cybercrime?

Cybercrime is a bigger risk now than ever before due to the sheer number of connected people and devices.

Exactly, what is cybercrime? In a nutshell, it is simply a crime that has some kind of computer or cyber aspect to it.

Cybercrime: The facts

  • Cybercrime has now surpassed illegal drug trafficking as a criminal moneymaker
  • Somebody’s identity is stolen every 3 seconds as a result of cybercrime
  • Without a sophisticated security package, your unprotected PC can become infected within four minutes of connecting to the Internet.

Cybercrime covers a wide range of different attacks, that all deserve their own unique approach when it comes to improving our computer’s safety and protecting ourselves.

  • An example would be where the victim unknowingly downloads a Trojan horse virus, which installs a keystroke logger on his or her machine. The keystroke logger allows the hacker to steal private data such as internet banking and email passwords.
  • Another common form cybercrime is phishing. This is where the victim receives a supposedly legitimate email (quite often claiming to be a bank or credit card company) with a link that leads to a hostile website. Once the link is clicked, the PC can then be infected with a virus.

Ways to avoid Cybercrime

  1. Keep your computer current with the latest patches and updates.
  2. Use strong passwords to protect your computer and always keep passwords safe.
  3. Utilize Antivirus/Security software.
  4. Don’t open e-mails or attachments from unknown sources.
  5. Review your bank statements and credit reports on a regular basis.

What to do if you are a victim of Cybercrime

  1. If you are a victim of crimeware (virus or worm), disconnect from the internet immediately, scan your PC for viruses or worms, create a back-up and then reinstall your operating system.
  2. If you are a victim of online fraud, close your accounts immediately and set up alerts with the three national credit-reporting agencies (Equifax – 800-525-6285, Experian – 800-888-4213 and TransUnion 800-680-7289) and if necessary, local law enforcement.
  3. Monitor your accounts and credit reports on a regular basis for early-detection of identity theft.