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- What is cyber crime?
- Types of Cybercrime
- Preventive measures
The Internet is a medium through which people and companies can connect from one end of the world to the other. Technological advancement has made man dependent on every form of the Internet. The easy access to the Internet has made everything available at just one place.
Social networking, online purchasing, exchange of information, gaming, online studies, online jobs, everything that humans can imagine about is possible by the internet.
Internet is used in every area in today’s era. Along with the growing benefits of the internet, a frightening issue like cyber crime has emerged. Cybercrime is committed in different ways. Until a few years ago there was not much awareness about this. In India,and in other foreign countries, cyber crime incidents and rates are increasing everyday.
What is cybercrime?
Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network. While most cybercrimes are carried out in order to generate profit for the cybercriminals, some cybercrimes are carried out against computers or devices directly to damage or disable them, while others use computers or networks to spread malware, illegal information, images or other materials. Some cyber crimes do both — i.e., target computers to infect them with viruses, which are then spread to other machines and, sometimes, entire networks.
Cybercrime has been classified in two ways:
- First, a crime in which computers are used as targets.
- Second, a crime in which the computer is used as a weapon.
According to a report by the National Crime Records Bureau, the rate of cyber crime has increased by 85% in 2011, the figure has been gathered from different states of the country. Most of the criminals arrested in cybercrime were found to be 18 to 30 years old.
The main types of cyber crime are –
Unauthorized Use and Hacking
Unauthorized use is a crime in which unlawful use of computer is done without the permission of the owner of the computer. Hacking is a crime in which the computer system is harmed by illegal intrusion.
This is a crime in which illegal control of a person’s website is taken. Thus, the owner of the website loses control and important information on that website.
This is a crime in which sexual acts are posted online, people are harassed sexually and exploited.
Child sexual abuse
The issue of sexual abuse with children can be seen on a large scale on the Internet. Small children are easy prey in such criminal cases. Since computers are present in the house, children’s reach has become very easy for internet. Porn content is easily available on the Internet. Criminals (pedophiles) contact these children online, talk and increase friendship, so that they can win their self-confidence and thereafter exploit them.
This is a crime by which a person is repeatedly victimized with harassment. The victim is stalked, harassed through calls, tampering with property. After stalking , it is intended to harm the victim physically and mentally. Stalkers (criminals) aim to collect sensitive information of the victim and exploit them in the future.
This is a crime in which illegal copy of the copyrighted program is distributed. This includes crime, such as succumbing to infringement, trademark infringement, theft of computer source code etc.
This is a method of financial crime. The thug is so small that it is very difficult to get hold of, for example, if a bank worker rips just Rs 5 from every account holder’s bank account every month, the criminal will have enough amount of money to be collected at the end of the month, without the account holder getting to know about the theft.
This is a crime, in which the victim’s network is filled with unauthorized traffic and messages. All this is done intentionally to torture the victim.
Viruses are programs that have the ability to infect other computer programs and spread their copies into other programs. These are malicious software that attach itself to any other software or harm the computer. Trojan Horse, Time Bomb, Logic Bomb, Rabbit etc.,are examples of malicious software.
This is a crime in which the victim is emailed, called or messaged by unauthorized individuals or firms, which claim that it has been sent by an established enterprise. Eventually they gather confidential or personal information from the victim, and harm them in future.
Increasing status of cyber crime
Measures to prevent cyber crime
Computer users can adopt various techniques to prevent cyber crime –
- Computer users should use a firewall to protect their computer from hackers.
- Computer users should install anti-virus software such as McAfee or Norton Anti-Virus.
- Cyber experts have advised that users should purchase only on secure websites. Users should never give sensitive information to strangers such as their credit card information.
- Users should develop strong passwords on their accounts, ie, include letters and numbers in the password, and continuously update password and login details.
- Keep track of children and limit their use of the Internet.
- Check the security settings of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and be careful.
- Keep information safe to avoid hacking. Use encryption for most sensitive files or financial records, create regular back-ups for all important information, and store it in another location.
- Users should be alert when using the public Wi-Fi hotspot. Avoid operating financial transactions on these networks.
- Users should be careful when giving personal information such as name, address, phone number or financial information on the Internet. Make sure websites are safe.
- All things should be intelligently analyzed before clicking on a link or an unknown origin file. Do not open any suspicious email in Inbox. Check the source of the message. If there is any doubt, verify the source. Never respond to emails that ask them to verify the information or confirm the user’s password.
Measures taken by the Government of India to avoid cyber crime:
- In India, the Information Technology Act 2000 was passed. Along with its provisions the provisions of the Indian Penal Code are adequate for handling cyber crimes. Under this there is a provision of imprisonment for two years and penalties.
- National Cyber Security Policy 2013 was released, according to which the government constituted the National High-level Information Infrastructure Center for the protection of highly sensitive information.
- The Computer Emergency Response Team was established by the Government, which is a national level model agency for computer security.
- Government launched Information Security Education and Awareness Project
- Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Center was established
In short, cyber crime is evolving as a serious threat. Governments, police departments and intelligence units around the world have started reacting against cyber crime. There are several attempts at international level to curb cross border cyber threats. Indian Police has started a special cyber cell across the country and has started educating people to help them save themselves from such crimes. Today every person is opposing cyber crimes at their level. The most important step towards prevention of cyber crime is cyber education.
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