Cybercrime is simply criminal activity involving computers, computer networks, or networked devices. Cybercrime is perpetrated by cybercriminals — people using information technologies (IT) outside the law.
Cybercrimes can be broken down into two groups: cyber-dependent crimes (which would not be possible without IT) and cyber-enabled crimes (which merely benefit from IT). The following list is not exhaustive — new forms of cybercrime are uncovered every day.
Phishing is a social engineering technique used to trick victims out of money or sensitive information by pretending to be someone they trust.
Criminals can use information obtained from a data breach, darknet markets, or phishing to impersonate the victim for fraud and other crimes.
Cyberstalkers can follow and bully their victim on social media. In extreme cases, they may even hack the victim’s device or account.
In the modern world, spies and government-sanctioned cybercriminals can use a variety of unlawful IT techniques to steal state secrets.
Hackers can exploit security vulnerabilities in computer systems to steal data and infiltrate networks.
Viruses and other forms of malware are hidden in files or scripts to secretly infect the victim’s device and let the hacker gain access to their files.
Ransomware attacks target high-profile victims, locking them out of their data until they agree to pay a ransom.
Distribution of illegal content
In many jurisdictions, it is illegal to share digital files of child pornography, copyrighted material, or other types of content designated by the law.
You may think you are safe online, but cybercrime statistics prove otherwise. Cybercriminals execute over 2,200 life-changing cyberattacks every day.
75 data records are stolen every second.
A hacker attack occurs every 39 seconds.
1 in 5 people claim to have been a victim of cybercrime.
We think it won’t happen to us — until it does. Cybercrime is a global problem that affects our everyday life.
Cybercrime affects everyone — including people like you. We asked our users, “Have you been a victim of cybercrime?” And this is what they told us.
Age 36 · Germany · specialist
Money was transferred further quickly abroad with no trace. Police couldn’t help me in any way.
Age 48 · USA · specialist
I felt sick. I had just given criminals my credit card number, my passwords, my bank account info…
Age 30 · Japan · teacher
…They began spamming my mailing list and making purchases using my credit information.
Age 64 · USA · retired
He took 95% of my files, pictures, documents, 8 years of memories of my 4 grandchildren.
Age 65 · USA · retired
I checked my bank accounts early one morning and couldn’t believe I was $7,400 in debt on my credit card.
Age 67 · USA · retired
We were told that this person had hacked our email & could see everything we did online…
Age 42 · Finland · specialist
Do NOT use the same password for all your accounts, no matter how easy it seems.
Age 42 · USA · managing director
I downloaded a keylogger and they hacked my WoW account, selling all my goods and draining my account.
Age 43 · USA · business owner
Never open up any attachments or links from emails that do not appear legitimate.
Age 29 · USA · student
I found out that both of those cards had been used for various purchases around the country.
Age 25 · Australia · specialist
About half a year ago I noticed that there were weird purchases from my bank account.
Age 22 · Norway · manual worker
I could have found myself in debt due to some person really wanting some Fortnite V-bucks.
Age 32 · Canada · team lead
Before moving to Canada, about eight years ago, I was the victim of a credit card hack in the UK.
Age 26 · Netherlands · specialist
My password was on the internet in plain text, together with my email address.
Age 18 · UK · student
It’s quite an anxiety-provoking having someone stalk you for such a long time.
Age 32 · USA · specialist
It started with an alert from my bank for a $1000 charge I had not made.
Age 24 · USA · specialist
A man claimed that he had gained access to my email address, and through that, my device.
Age 71 · Canada · business owner
I immediately deleted the affected records and equipped all of my computers with ransomware protection.
Cybercriminals can attack from many angles, so cybercrime prevention requires a well-rounded approach. Follow these tips to stay one step ahead of cybercrime and avoid financial losses.
Online security measures
If your computer or mobile device has become infected as part of a cybercrime, taking it offline will stop cybercriminals from sending remote instructions to the malware.
Check all important accounts for suspicious activity (such as password change requests or new subscriptions) to determine which ones have been compromised by the cybercriminals.
If you suspect that your bank account or credit card have been compromised, immediately contact the issuing institution to block recent transactions.
Change passwords for all important accounts to stop the cyberattack from spreading further. If possible, set up two-factor authentication and start using a reliable password manager.
Use an antivirus and other anti-malware protection tools to detect and cleanse infected files. The longer malware is allowed to operate, the more damage it can do.
Note the date, time, and other information about the cybercrime. The details will help you report it to the police and understand how to prevent such incidents in the future.
Once you’re out of immediate danger, notify the authorities. You can report cybercrime to the local police or contact dedicated cybercrime prevention organizations in your country.
Cybercriminals can steal data from you to attack your employer. Tell your employer about the incident to warn them against attacks targeting their corporate data.
Show the compromised device to an IT professional or your company’s IT department. They may be able to help you recover the data and functions you lost as a result of the criminal activity.
Review the details of the cybercrime and work to protect yourself against these types of attacks in the future. Don’t be ashamed to share your story with others and ask for help.
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