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What is Cybercrime?

With increases in technology and the fact that the world is becoming much more reliant on computers and the internet, there has been a rise in a new type of crime known as cybercrime. Cybercrime is also known as electronic crime. This type of crime encompasses many different types of illegal actions, but all cybercrime uses a computer, network, or the internet to do illegal activities. This is why it is called cybercrime since the crimes are done using computers and network connections. In order to completely understand what cybercrime is, it’s important to know about the different types of cybercrime that exist.

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Colorado Technical University – Master of Science in Homeland Security: Cybersecurity Policy
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Cyber Crimes

Phishing is a crime that involves a criminal obtaining a victim’s personal information such as their credit card or social security number. The criminal is able to acquire this information by posing as a legitimate company. They send emails or instant messages as employee of a company and ask for the victim to visit their website to input information. The victim then goes to the website. This website usually looks very legitimate and safe, and this prompts the victim to give out their information without hesitation. The criminal then uses the information they have stolen from the victim.

Online Stalking (Cyberstalking)
This cybercrime involves a victim being stalked online. The stalker will use electronic means of communication to harass and threaten the victim. They might constantly follow the victim from chatroom to chatroom or from forums. The stalker also might send the victim threatening emails frequently or harass them by social media sites. They can cause the victim fear and other problems using the computer and internet.

Credit Card Fraud
Another common cybercrime is credit card fraud. Criminals who have obtained a credit card can easily buy almost anything on the internet using it. Due to the bad security on some websites, criminals can use tools to obtain credit card numbers and information when a person purchases something online. Credit card fraud can cause major problems and can victimize several different people.

Software Piracy
A particularly damaging type of cybercrime is software piracy. This involves a criminal illegally distributing a piece of software or illegally getting a program without paying for it. By distributing the program illegally online, the criminal deprives the manufacturer and creators of the program the money they deserve.

Another type of cybercrime is blackmailing. This is where a criminal will blackmail a person by threatening to post nude photographs or other materials online. In order to stop the criminal from doing it, the victim is forced to give them money or passwords to their bank account.

Cybercrimes are numerous and have victimized countless people. The internet and computers are being used to do harm, steal information, and do many different types of illegal activities. People can protect themselves from becoming victims by refusing to give information on websites that they have not verified the authenticity of. They should also only purchase items on sites that have good security.

Check out our Top Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs for 2015

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