Cybercrime (computer crime) is the use of a computer system or technology to commit and aid in the commission of a crime. Computer crimes provide three attractive advantages. These are speed, convenience and anonymity. Just as computer systems have made traditional commerce dramatically more efficient, it has done the same to criminal enterprises. For example, a drug deal may save a database of suppliers and customers on his cell phone for easy use. A computer system and a scanner may be used to create false documentation. The computer's role continues to increase and evolve both in business and in its potential for misuse. Some examples include:
Computer Intrusion or Hacking obtaining unauthorized access to computer data.
Computer Fraud using a computer to intentionally deceive another for personal gain.
Viruses are computer programs that replicate itself.
Online Predators use computer systems to sexually exploit or aid in the exploitation of a minor.
Identity Theft involves assuming another person’s identity
Phishing is acquiring identifiable information through the use of deception.
Cost of Cybercrime - Computer Crime
From 2007 until 2008, it is estimated cybercrime cost over $ 8 billion. Law enforcement and the private sector are constantly struggling to keep pace with criminals. This is made even more difficult for the public and private computer crime investigator because the technology itself is continuing to evolve. For example, the cell phone was once just a simple device to make a telephone call. Now a "smart" phone has more technology than was used to place the first man on the moon. The smart phone has the ability make a telephone call, but it can also be used to send emails, instant messages, text messages, take pictures, compose text documents and much - much more. The same is true of the computer system. The early computer systems were just electronic typewriters. Now average home computers can run a website, a database, a financial program, a complete desktop publishing suite of programs and much more.
Highest Computer Crimes / Cybercrime Rates
The Internet Fraud Complaint Center and the FBI work jointly to track computer crimes. According to their statistics the following states have the highest rate of computer crime by population.
The FBI provides the following tips to limit your exposure to computer crime. Here are their tips.
Never respond to SPAM.
Never click on links within a SPAM.
Do not download images within emails or open attachments unless you are certain of the sender. Remember your friend or colleagues email may have been compromised.
Don’t complete forms from SPAM messages, which request for personal information.
View every link within a suspicious email as a threat. Compare any URL link a link to the actual site. Make sure this is to the legitimate site.
Go independently to the official website instead of following a link within an email message.
Verify any requests for personal information by contacting the business’s customer service representative from a recent statement.
Remember if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
A victim can report cybercrime to several different government agencies. Please bear in mind these organizations may receive a large number of complaints. Your information may be used for information only. This does not mean that the organization will open a criminal case. Each organization has it's own internal means of determining what it will open a criminal case.
The American Society of Digital Forensics & eDiscovery (ASDFED) is the professional association for these brave often overlooked individuals. These professionals rely upon ASDFED for scholarships, training materials and other vital information links. You can help fight cybercrime by supporting ASDFED with your tax-deductible donation.