Cybercrime refers to any criminal activity that involves a networked device, computer, or a network. It is defined as a crime in which a computer becomes the object of the crime or is used as a tool to commit an offense. Cybercriminals could use computer technology to access business trade secrets, personal information or use the internet for malicious purposes. Often, cybercriminals execute their activities using malware and several other types of software, but social engineering is often a vital component for executing most types of cybercrimes.
Types of Cybercrimes
Most cases of cybercrimes are executed using known security vulnerabilities such as an outdated operating system and absence of antivirus programs to begin the attack. There are many different types of cybercrimes with most of them being performed with the expectation of financial gain by the attackers, even though the methods used by cybercriminals to get paid can vary. Some of these cybercrime types include:
- Identity theft: This takes place when an attacker accesses a computer to collect a user’s personal details that can be later used for stealing that person’s identity or to access that individual’s bank or other such accounts. Cybercriminals are known for buying and selling identity information on darknet markets, offering financial accounts, including other types of accounts, like webmail, video and audio streaming, online auctions, video streaming services, and more. Personal health information is another area frequently targeted by identity thieves.
- Credit card fraud: This fraud takes place when hackers infiltrate a retailer’s system to obtain the credit card and/or banking information of their customers. It is possible to buy and sell the stolen payment cards in bulk on darknet markets, where hackers who have actually stolen huge quantities of credit cards profit by selling them to lower-level cybercriminals who profit via credit card fraud against individual accounts.
- Cyberextortion: This crime involves an attack incorporated with a demand for money to stop the attack. One type of cyberextortion refers to the ransomware attack, in which the attacker obtains access to an organization’s systems and encrypts its files and documents, making the data inaccessible until a ransom is paid. This payment is mostly in some form of cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin.
- Ransomware: This is a type of cyberextortion in which the victim device is infected with malware that can prevent the owner from using the device or the data stored on it. The victim will have to pay the hacker a ransom to regain access to the data or device. Downloading of ransomware can take place unintentionally by opening an infected email attachment, clicking on a pop-up ad, and visiting a compromised website.
- Cyberespionage: This happens when a cybercriminal hacks into networks or systems to gain access to confidential data belonging to a government or other such organizations. Cyberespionage activities could expect every type of cyberattack to collect, adjust or destroy data, besides using network-connected devices, like CCTV cameras or webcams, to spy on a targeted group or individual and monitor communications, including text messages, instant messages, and email.
How to Prevent Cybercrime?
All those using the internet should meticulously follow a few basic tips to prevent cybercrime. Some of these key steps include:
- Strengthen your home network
It is highly recommended that you start with a strong encryption password and a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN can encrypt all traffic leaving your devices until it arrives at its destination. Even if cybercriminals manage to hack your communication line, they will not intercept anything but encrypted data. It is always a good idea to use a VPN whenever you use a public WiFi network.
- Use strong passwords
Never repeat your passwords on different sites and keep changing them regularly. Create complex passwords by combining at least 10 letters, symbols, and numbers. Using a password management application will help keep your passwords locked down.
- Keep your software updated
Updating your software is particularly important for your internet security software and operating systems. Very often, cybercriminals use known exploits, or flaws, in your software to access your system. Patching those flaws and exploits can prevent you from becoming a cybercrime target.
- Take necessary measures to protect yourself against identity theft
Identity theft takes place when someone illegally obtains your personal details through deception or fraud, typically for economic gain. You could be tricked into giving personal details over the internet, or a thief could steal your mail to access account information. That is why it is important to protect your personal information. A VPN can also help to safeguard the data you receive and send online, particularly when accessing the internet on public WiFi.
- Understand that identity theft can happen anywhere
You should always be on the smarter side and obtain all the knowledge required for protecting your identity even when traveling. Some of the things you can do to help keep criminals from getting your private information on the road include keeping your travel plans off social media networks and using a VPN when accessing the internet over your hotel’s WiFi network.
- Install a good antivirus program
Ensure that you have a robust antivirus in place to counter hacker attacks and other cybercrimes and also ensure safety. Comodo Free Antivirus Software has been specifically designed to drive away unexpected threats and offer all-around security. The main aim of this virus protection software is to safeguard data and protect it from unauthorized access. Comodo Free Antivirus is capable of automatically containing malicious or unknown files. It plays a vital role in preventing cybercrimes from damaging your computer or stealing your data.
For efficient virus protection and virus removal, Comodo Security Products that include both stand-alone antivirus and the internet package offer technologies capable of easily detecting cybercrime within just a few minutes. Some of these technologies include:
- Containment: This technology restrains harmful files from acting.
- VirusScope: This technology has the potential to undo harmful actions.
- Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS): This technology is responsible for tracking activities on your computer and stopping any suspicious activity.
- Website Filtering: This filtering technology prevents phishing attacks and protects you from malicious websites.