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Cyber Crime: Essay on The Meaning, Types, and Ways to Avoid

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Abstract

As we are all aware that in todays world most of things, whether it be online education or online transactions, are done using internet. This internet technology has also been used by few people for carring out criminal activities. Criminals that indulge in cyber crimes used their knowledge to gain benefits quickly. They used their expertise to steal, deceive and exploit people as they find it easy to earn money without having to do an honest day’s work. Though, various measures have been provided including cyber law, for avoiding cyber crimes, there is no warranty that following these measures will prevent one from being victim of cyber crime. To discuss the notion of cyber crime, this essay analyzes the meaning, types, and ways to avoid cyber crime.

Introduction

Cyber crime evolved since 1990 when computers and networks came in to being. The types of attacks gradually grew from “Morris code worm” in 1997 to “Torjan” in 2004 and to “Ransom ware “ attack in 2013.

When computers and networks came into being in the 1990s, hacking was done basically to get more information about the systems. Initially, these hacking attempts were brushed off as mere nuisance as they did not pose a long-term threat. However, with malicious software becoming ubiquitous during the same period, hacking started making networks and systems slow. As hackers became more skillful, they started using their knowledge and expertise to gain benefit by exploiting and victimizing others. Wherever the rate of return on investment is high and the risk is low, you are bound to find people willing to take advantage of the situation. This is exactly what happens in cyber crime. Accessing sensitive information and data and using it means a rich harvest of returns. Catching such criminals is also very difficult. Hence, this has led to a rise in cyber crime across the world. Today, criminals that indulge in cyber crimes are not driven by ego or expertise. Instead, they want to use their knowledge to gain benefits quickly. They are using their expertise to steal, deceive and exploit people as they find it easy to earn money without having to do an honest day’s work.

Meaning

The World Wide Web sounds like a vast phenomenon but surprisingly one of its qualities is bringing the world closer making it a smaller place to live in for its users. However, it has also managed to create another problem for people who spend long hours browsing the Cyber World – which is cyber crimes. When any crime is committed over the Internet it is referred to as a cyber crime. Cyber crimes have become a real threat today and are quite different from old-school crimes, such as robbing, mugging or stealing. Unlike these crimes, cyber crimes can be committed single handedly and does not require the physical presence of the criminals. The crimes can be committed from a remote location and the criminals need not worry about the law enforcement agencies in the country where they are committing crimes.

Types of Cyber Crime

People all over the world use the Internet to commit a host of crimes, some of which the public doesn’t even know are capable of being done electronically. The most common Internet crimes are as follows:

  1. Phising/Spoofing: Unlawfully accessing a computer without authorization and sending multiple e-mails; resending multiple commercial email messages with the intent to deceive recipients; or falsifying header information in multiple email messages.
  2. Blackmail/Extortion: Using the Internet to threaten to cause damage with the intent to extort from any person any money or other thing of value.
  3. Accessing Stored Communications: Intentionally accessing, without authorization, a facility through which an electronic communication service is provided.
  4. Sports Betting: Engaging in the business of betting or wagering on any sporting event or contest over the Internet.
  5. Non-Delivery of Merchandise: Devising any scheme to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, or promises, and using the Internet for the purpose of executing the scheme.
  6. Electronic Harassment: Anonymously using the Internet to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass the person who receives the communication.
  7. Child Pornography: Using the Internet to transmit child pornography.
  8. Prostitution: Persuading, inducing, enticing, or coercing any individual to travel in interstate commerce to engage in prostitution.
  9. Drug Trafficking: Delivering, distributing, or dispensing a controlled substance by means of the Internet.
  10. Criminal Copyright Infringement: Infringing a copyright for financial gain…or by distributing a work being prepared for commercial distribution on a computer network.

Avoiding Cyber Crime

Anti-Virus Software

In the 1980s, computer viruses were generally passed from one user to another user via floppy disks. Hence, users in the 1980s did not need anti-virus software if they both (1) only purchased software from reputable sources and (2) never copied programs from floppy disks provided by their friends and colleagues.

Three developments in the 1990s made anti-virus software essential for all computer users:

  1. It became common to distribute software and updates via downloads from the Internet,
  2. Hackers developed viruses that were delivered inside macros for Microsoft Word, which malicious macros could be hidden inside a document sent by e-mail, and
  3. Hackers developed malicious computer programs that were commonly distributed as attachments to e-mail: clicking on the attachment executed the malicious computer program and infected the victim’s computer.

Since everyone uses e-mail and nearly everyone will download executable software from the Internet, everyone should have a good anti-virus program running on their machine.

As a virus, worm, or other malicious program can be transmitted via an attachment to e-mail, one should rigorously follow three rules:

  1. Never open an executable attachment.
  2. Never open any attachment from an unknown source.
  3. Be cautious of any attachment that has a double file extension, especially when the rightmost file extension is an executable file type.

Firewall

It is good practice to erect a ‘firewall’ between parts of a computer system that an external user can access (e.g., via modem or Internet or voice mail) and parts that are supposedly accessible only by a local user. Many hackers run programs that randomly search the Internet and probe ports on computers that are connected to the Internet. If the hacker finds a port that is ‘open’, the hacker might be able to access that computer and view/alter/delete files on that computer. Worse, hackers may also hijack the victim’s computer and use it to launch their illegal attacks on other computers.

Avoiding harassment

For casual on-line activities, you can establish a free e-mail account at Yahoo, HotMail, or some other provider, and use an alias for that account. If someone harasses or stalks you, then you simply close that account and chose another alias. In other words, you adopt a disposable identity for your life in cyberspace.

Never give out your real name, address, city, telephone number, or other identifying information to a stranger in a chat room, computer bulletin board, or other public place.

The only connection between phishing and computers is that modern phishing uses e-mail and a bogus website to get a gullible person to disclose personal financial information to criminals. That having been said, it is worthwhile to alert people to the existence of phishing. People first encounter phishing when they receive a fraudulent e-mail that typically purports to be from a bank, credit card company, or other financial institution. The e-mail might mention something about your account is suspended until you ‘verify’, ‘update’, or ‘validate’ some information. The e-mail invites you to click on a link in the e-mail. The link typically takes you to a webserver located in a foreign country and operated by criminals, who display webpages with the logo and trademarks of a bank, credit card company, or government agency, which makes the webpage appear legitimate. The bogus webpage asks you to supply your account numbers, passwords, and other personal information (e.g., Social Security number, date of birth, mother’s maiden name) that can be used to fraudulently access your financial accounts and perpetrate identity theft crimes.

Backups

If a computer virus or an invading hacker deletes your files, or either one corrupts your files, the easiest way to restore your computer may be to reformat the hard drive(s) and then copy files from a recent backup. Backups also offer protection from more common (and less exotic) threats such as accidental deletion of a file by an authorized user or failure of a hard disk drive.

Cyber Law

Cyber Law took birth in order to take control over the crimes committed through the internet or the cyberspace or through the uses of computer resources.

According to Wikipedia “The Information Technology Act, 2000 (also known as ITA-2000, or the IT Act) is an act of the Indian Parliament (no 21 of 2000), it was notified on 17th October 2000. It is the most important law in India that deals with the digital crimes or cyber crimes and electronic commerce. It is based on the United Nations Model Law on Electronic Commerce 1996 (UNCITRAL Model) recommended by the General Assembly of United Nations by a resolution dated 30 January 1997”.

Conclusion

To conclude the essay, cyber crime has become great threat to mankind. Protection against cybercrime is a vital part for social, cultural and security aspect of a country. The Government of India has enacted IT Act, 2000 to deal with cybercrimes. Any part of the world cyber crime could be originated passing national boundaries over the internet creating both technical and legal complexities of investigating and prosecuting these crimes. The international harmonizing efforts, coordination and co-operation among various nations are required to take action towards the cyber crimes. There is no warranty that following these suggestions will prevent one from being a victim of computer crime, but at least one can make it a little harder for a criminal, and maybe the criminal will find an easier target.

References

  • https://www.slideshare.net/bharadwajchetan/an-introduction-to-cyber-law-it-act-2000-india
  • https://cybercrime.org.za/definition
  • http://www.cyberlawsindia.net/cyber-india.html
  • Dorothy E. Denning, Information Warfare and Security, Addison- Wesley Publishing Co., 1998.
  • Dorothy E. Denning and Peter J. Denning, Internet Besieged, Addison- Wesley Publishing Co., 1997.
  • Peter J. Denning (editor), Computers Under Attack, Addison- Wesley Publishing Co., 1990.
  • Peter G. Neumann, Computer –Related Risks, Addison – Wesley Publishing Co., 1995.

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Analysis and Prevention Techniques of Cyber Crime. (2022, May 17). GradesFixer. Retrieved August 15, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-and-prevention-techniques-of-cyber-crime/
“Analysis and Prevention Techniques of Cyber Crime.” GradesFixer, 17 May 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-and-prevention-techniques-of-cyber-crime/
Analysis and Prevention Techniques of Cyber Crime. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-and-prevention-techniques-of-cyber-crime/> [Accessed 15 Aug. 2022].
Analysis and Prevention Techniques of Cyber Crime [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 May 17 [cited 2022 Aug 15]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-and-prevention-techniques-of-cyber-crime/
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