In our modern world, we enjoy a level of interconnectivity that is unmatched throughout history. Our connection via the internet allows us to explore different levels of relationships — and leaves us vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Recently, we’ve seen the effects of a recent ransomware attack on an East Coast pipeline that raises concerns among federal agencies and businesses about reinforcing cybersecurity.
It’s not just established large businesses that are under threat. Small businesses and even individuals are at risk against hackers.
What Is Cyber Crime? Keeping Your Business and Personal Info Safe
Cybercrime is an illegal activity that targets a network or computer: many times, cybercrime is committed by hackers looking to profit or steal information. Hackers or cybercriminals can either be organized as a group of amateurs who work alone.
Cybercrime can be against individuals or companies. While the primary aim is typically financial, cybercrime can also include email and internet fraud, identity fraud, data theft.
The Hidden Nature of Cyber Crime
Knowing how to defend your computer, personal information, finances, and network involves understanding the different types of cyber crimes and how they can impact you.
Different types of cyber crimes include:
- Identity theft
- Ransomware attacks
- Data theft
- Credit card fraud
- Corporate data theft
- Cyber extortion
- Software piracy
In 2020, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center released its annual report. According to this report, more than 791,790 cybercrime reports reported losses surmounting $4.2 billion—numbers that seem to grow each year.
The top three cybercrimes in 2020 included non-delivery/non-payment scams, phishing scams, and extortion. Hundreds of thousands of victims lost money to confidence schemes, investment fraud, and email scams. Many scammers took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to prey on innocent and vulnerable victims.
Why You Should Protect Your Information
When you lose your purse or wallet, what is the first thing you do?
Typically, you immediately call your bank to cancel your credit and debit cards to protect your finances. Next, you might want to get a new driver’s license to replace your ID. Still, if someone stole your wallet with malicious intent, it’s essential to take steps to reduce the risk of identity theft.
Cybercrime is no different. Just like regular crime, it is impossible to avoid cybercrime altogether and be completely secure. Still, individuals and businesses can reduce their risk by establishing cybersecurity to secure data, networks, and vital information.
We can reduce cybercrime instances by considering the following:
- Establish procedures and policies
- Log any cyber attacks
- Determine which security measures are in place to protect your business and self
- Use two-factor authentication
- Scrutinize any unusual emails or requests for financial information
- Train employees on cybersecurity protocols and how to identify security breaches
- Constantly update software and patches
- Back up all information or data regularly
As the world changes and adapts to ongoing threats — online or in-person — companies and individuals will be forced to create new security measures to meet the needs of newly remote workforces and cloud-based platforms. It’s vital that you protect your identity, finances, and personal security.
Regardless of the measures we take to keep our systems and networks safe; breaches may still occur. Cybercrimes are a severe offense that your criminal defense lawyer can help evaluate your legal options.