What is Cybercrime? Exploring Types, Examples, and Prevention

What is Cybercrime? Exploring Types, Examples, and Prevention

Introduction

It could be on your computer, and you might not even know about it being there. It could also happen with the smartphones that you use every day without your knowledge. All it would need is a small virus file or any of your important credentials that must be secured.

With the vast growth in technology and the usage of networks in digital gadgets, it is now more important than ever to have a proper cybersecurity protocol. With this rapid and vast growth of users for digital computers and internet-enabled smartphones, the target only becomes easier.

Once upon a time, there was a very high demand for these handy smartphones with very limited accessibility. But now that it is easily available for a very low and affordable price, every smartphone becomes a target for some other type of cybercrime. This makes it easier for cybercriminals to set their plots and traps to trick smartphone users into hacking into their accounts for confidential details.

Cybercrime can happen in any form, be it a blackmail threat or a data breach for confidential or personal data. And the most targeted among all these smartphone users are the ones who own them but do not know how to use them properly. This makes them an easy target. Hence, it is very important to implement cybersecurity protocols and also spread awareness to prevent any form of cybercrime from happening.

 

What is Cybercrime?

As obvious as it sounds, cybercrime is an illegal act of security breaching into any other individual’s device with no authorization for any illegal activity. Any crime done or performed with the involvement of a computer or a computer network is called cybercrime.

The most usual cybercriminal activity that occurs is with cybercriminals, or hackers, targeting easy targets for money. The second most common case is with hackers that target confidential or personal data for blackmailing and many other reasons, like threatening, etc.

It does not mandate that the target be targeted for a reason. Some do it for threatening, some do it for money, some do it by choice, and some do it by force. Some crimes are even organized by an organization. Due to the advancement in technology and methods, it is now even more important for every business and organization to take action against such breaches and cyber threats.

 

Types of Cybercrime with Examples and Prevention Methods

Though we have talked about a few major types of cybercrime, it is important to have a clear idea of the topic. The following are the main types of cybercrime, and we shall also talk about a few examples and their prevention methods.

What is Cybercrime 1

1. Fraudulent and Identity Theft Activity

In this type of cybercrime activity, individuals experiment with various techniques, such as phishing emails. With this method, individuals are tricked into revealing sensitive and personal data, like financial credentials. Using this stolen data, hackers perform fraudulent activities like unauthorized financial transactions. Identity theft involves making an identity impersonation to bring the individual's reputation down.

Examples:

- Individuals being scammed to reveal credit card details

- Manipulating victims to reveal their social account passwords

Prevention Methods:

- Multi-factor authentication helps prevent unauthorized access

- Regular examination of card and transaction activities

2. Social Engineering

Phishing activities in such cybercrime activities include the use of depictive methods to lead individuals to reveal confidential information such as login credentials, etc. This also involves exploiting human psychology to manipulate individuals into performing unethical activities.

Examples:

-  Emails impersonating reputed organizations requesting sensitive information

- Misleading individuals to share financial details

Prevention Methods:

- Being skeptical of unwanted communication

- Verifying authenticity before sharing sensitive information

3. Malware Attacks

Malware can be commonly compared to viruses, but it can also be any other malicious software that is designed to disrupt the security of a system. This allows the hackers to gain access to all the confidential and sensitive data through a network connection without the knowledge of the users.

These malwares are implemented into individuals systems through unidentifiable sources like email attachments or through interfaced websites. These attachments contain various malware types like viruses, ransomware, and spyware. These malware programs are hard to find since they are disguised as legitimate programs.

Examples:

- Ransomware attacks encrypt sensitive files and demand payment for their release.

- Installed Trojan horse viruses provide unauthorized access.

Prevention Methods:

- Downloading files or visiting unfamiliar websites with caution

- Using legitimate antivirus software to detect all malware

4. Cyber-stalking

Cyberstalking is one of the most commonly occurring incidences that have emerged in the past few years. Anyone can be a victim of this type of cybercrime. With this type of cybercrime, victims are exposed to unwanted pursuits through digital and social media.

Cybercriminals use threatening messages and spread false information, leaving victims in distress and eventually causing fear and mental damage. This ends up putting a burden on them, through which they often experience social anxiety and severe emotional and psychological consequences.

Examples:

- Harassment through social media

- Invading privacy and initiating surveillance using digital tools

Prevention Methods:

- Limiting personal information's availability for a secured social interface experience

- Documenting and reporting incidents to the appropriate authorities

5. Financial Fraud

Despite the risk, this type of cybercrime has been taking place in large numbers, and it still tends to increase. In this case, the major targets are the individuals involved in online transactions. With the wide number of online users, the target only grew wider and easier for hackers.

Criminal activities in this case include carding (fraudulent purchases using unauthorized card credentials), online scams, unauthorized fund transfers, and many other such activities. They tend to exploit vulnerabilities in the financial ecosystem and operations, weakening the digital payment systems.

Examples:

- Unauthorized access and fund transfers from online banking accounts

- Creating replicated payment cards for fraudulent transactions

Prevention Methods:

- Monitoring financial statements for suspicious activity

- Implementing encryption protocols and secure payment gateways

 

Other Types of Cybercrimes

Despite the above-mentioned cybercrimes, the following are a few other types of cybercrimes that have occurred in the past few years:

What is Cybercrime 2

1. Data Breaching

Data breaches usually occur when cybercriminals gain unauthorized access to sensitive organizational information, such as financial records and personal data. Such crimes also have a significant impact on financial losses and identity theft. Hence, it is important to regularly update security patches.

2. Online Scams

Such scams often emerge from social engineering techniques used to manipulate individuals into sharing confidential financial credentials. These frauds encompass a wide range. Awareness and vigilance are the keys to securing all your confidential and sensitive data.

3. Cyber-bullying

In this digital era of social media and social influence, anyone can be an easy victim of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is a type of harassing act performed by criminals. Using the same social engineering and cyberstalking methods to collect confidential and personal information, these data are misused to perform harassment. For victims, such activities only result in distress and even lead to long-term psychological consequences.

4. Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware attacks have been a major threat, having a significant impact on both individuals and organizations. Such attacks usually involve exploiting the security of the system to gain unauthorized access to confidential files. These files are then encrypted before demanding a ransom payment in exchange for their release. Victims of Ransomware attacks suffer significant financial losses.

 

Conclusion

In this rapidly growing digital world, where everything is interconnected, cybercrime poses a major threat to any individual who is a victim of it. Hence, it is important to identify the types of cybercrimes with examples, which helps identify the type while investigating it.

Utilizing and implementing prevention strategies helps in avoiding such malicious attacks and proactively securing all authorizations. This also helps organizations foster a cybersecurity-conscious culture to create a safer digital environment for everyone.

These cyberattacks happen on a very large scale. It is important to first learn the prevention methods and then implement them in every other situation. And prevention starts with a good education, and the most important key to this is vigilance. Visit Sprintzeal and skyrocket your skills.

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With Sprintzeal’s CISA Certification Training Course, you can become a renowned systems auditor and start your cybersecurity journey. Here, you’ll gain access to one of the best study materials, curated by staying up-to-date with all global trends and the syllabus provided by the governing bodies.

By visiting Sprintzeal’s all courses page, explore all the courses provided, enroll in a desired professional training program, upgrade your skills, and take your career to a new level. Here, you’ll gain insights about the subject and land your dream job with a globally recognized certification.

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Sushmith 

Sushmith 

Our technical content writer, Sushmith, is an experienced writer, creating articles and content for websites, specializing in the areas of training programs and educational content. His writings are mainly concerned with the most major developments in specialized certification and training, e-learning, and other significant areas in the field of education.

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