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Constant development and advancement of technologies have made the world more interconnected than ever before. However, increased connectivity poses a risk of fraud, theft, and abuse. People become more dependent on modern technology and it makes them more vulnerable to cyberattacks, including spear phishing, corporate security breaches, cyberbullying, social media fraud, and others. Cybercrime is not the term that makes the crime sound ‘sexy’. It is essential to classify and understand cyberattacks and cybercrimes as a physical offences as they presuppose harassment, assault, financial scams, stalking, racial hatred, cyberbullying, computer viruses, and many others. Hence, a cybercrime is a theft, assault, and social disorder that requires urgent addressing due to its effect on people’s property, health, and social life.
Before the wide use of the Internet, criminals had to work hard to get personal information. Nowadays, almost all information is available online and criminals use the Web to get any needed data, to hack into the accounts of others, steal their identities, infect devices, and commit many other offences. And as the modern society becomes more dependent on technology to function, cybercrimes become more of an issue. Cybercriminals are becoming more advanced and professional, and people need to make more efforts to secure their information, property, and even life (Blue Coat, 2014). The capabilities of law enforcement and complementary cybersecurity are critical to providing secure and safe cyberspace. Law enforcement plays a vital role in achieving the cybersecurity objectives through the investigation of numerous cybercrimes raging from fraud to child exploitation (Department of Homeland Security, 2015).Any category of people and any age group may be affected.
Professional cybercriminals always find new ways to commit crimes, expand the territory of their activities, and treat their wok as a business. They share strategies and may combine their efforts to launch coordinated attacks. There are even large markets, where a cybercriminal can buy stolen information (Addison, 2010). Unfortunately, it is difficult to discourage such illegal behavior as the Internet makes it easy to run this kind of business from any location and anonymously.
All crimes committed by cybercriminals are harmful to society and may even lead to death. Some criminals target not only single people but also organizations, such as banks, credit card companies, schools, and many other institutions. However, most cybercriminals tend to focus on home computers. Cybercrimes are the same as traditional offences as they affect people, harm their property, result in damage, and may have long-term consequences. Both crimes are committed by individuals or groups. Additionally, there are amateur and professional criminals and the scope of offence usually depends on their criminal experience and skills.
A cybercrime, as well as the physical one, is an intended act. As a rule, cybercrimes share three elements, including techniques and tools for offence preparation, methodology for the criminal plan execution, and a crime itself. Currently, the number of the Internet users is more than 2 billion. Additionally, there are more than 5 billion mobile phone connections around the globe. Every day, people exchange over 5 billion phone messages and 294 billion emails (KPMG, 2011). More and more individuals worldwide are reliant on these communication channels. However, the constantly growing popularity of digital network and conveniences provided by the Internet come at a great cost.
According to Aldershoff (2014), cyberattacks and cybercrimes pose more risk to people than traditional forms of terrorism. Nowadays, they have become the most dangerous threat facing the humankind. It has been found that the rapid pace of new developments in the spheree of technology means that it is hard for security experts to keep up with the newest forms of malware and all approaches applied by hackers. People should take measures to protect their identities, personal information, and computers to prevent cybercrimes. The threat of cybercrime is real rather than virtual. Its cost in the USA equals $100 billion a year, whereas the cost of physical offences is nearly $177 billion. However, the real cost of cybercrimes is substantially higher as many of them remain uncovered (Aldershoff, 2014). Hence, cybercrime may also pose threat to the economy of a country.
Modern cybercriminals quickly adapt to changing situations and feel themselves comfortable in the most secured IT environments. Therefore, many people and organizations are vulnerable to cybercrimes as they have a false security sense (Center for Security and Privacy Solutions, 2010). It is evident that the major threat and risks to information, data, transactions, and assets are constantly evolving. Many people do not understand the real danger and scope of cybercrimes. There is an idea that “when someone sends you an email, they are knocking on your door” (Aldershoff, 2014). It is dangerous to open it without looking at the peephole as in this way a person lets a stranger into his/her house and life.
The world is experiencing a cybercrime epidemic that is silently sweeping the environment as people’s computer dependence turns against them. Cybercrimes are emerging as a concrete threat to individuals’ property, computers, and lives. The theft of personal information and identity, cyberbullying, financial frauds, and other cybercrimes are a big problem. Much effort is made to solve the issues related to cybercrimes and to detect cybercriminals. The anonymity of the cyberspace makes the offence one of the most dangerous ones. The cybercrime is the same as any traditional crime due to its severity, danger, and consequences.
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