Cyber crime is any unlawful or illegal activity that involves any computer or network connected device or even by use of computer technology (Grant, 2003). Cybercrime ranges from the process of introducing a virus to identity threats up to hacking of systems. Cybercrime can also be called computer crimes and have proved to have a lot of consequences if not counter attacked in time. Communication systems have been major victims of cyber crimes. When a business is prone to hacking, this may lead to loss of customer trust and also the loss of intellectual property if an individual’s system is attacked or affected by activities of cybercrime. All these attacks resulting from cybercrime happen to lead to financial loss either in an indirect or direct way. According to research carried out, activities of cybercrime lead to losses amounting to billions each year.
Cybercrime can be compared to the rate of return on any business investment. When the return rate of investment in any business is high and the risk of undertaking it is low, one is bound to see a lot of people willing to take the investment (Valeriano et al., 2015). This is what happens in cybercrime. This is because accessing sensitive data and information and making use of it directly means high returns, and this makes arresting such criminals very difficult thus leading to the high rise in cyber crime across the globe.
Cyber crime has come out to be a major problem because many criminals are never caught despite them not being so smart in hacking of these systems (Reyes, 2007). The problem is meant to increase until there is change in how cyber crime is handled. Indefinite legal jurisdiction is also another problem that has made it hard to track international criminals. This because a criminal who commits an offence in japan cannot be arrested by the FBI based in the the US.
Lack of evidence has also become one of the limitations to successful conviction of these criminals. This is because computers don’t record any information to act as evidence in a court of law. Such unrecorded evidence is hard to convict this criminals. Another limitation to fighting cyber crime that has led to its increase is lack of resources to pursue this criminals. This aspect leaves the criminals with freedom to do whatever crime without fear of prosecution. The perception that cybercrime is not affecting the economy enough to raise an alarm has led to its increase since few people are willing to tackle it.
Cyber crime has brought about so many effects in the world and brought about loss of lives especially when emergency communication systems are affected. Emergency communication systems can be defined as systems organized for the primary purpose of passing crucial message between groups or individuals (Desourdis, 2009). Emergency dispatchers use this emergency systems to respond to emergencies. An example a deadly effect of cyber crime occurred on the 11th of September in the year 2001 when the New York City world trade centre was attacked. The systems got congested and information could not be passed by the 911 operators (Arad et al., 2012). This lack of communication led to death of many fire fighters who could not get information from the police department.
Another example of a deadly cyber crime effect was when the London underground bombings occurred on the 5th of July 2005. Mobile networks in London and Vodafone got overloaded and reached their full capacity a short period after the bombs blew (Ahmed, 2006). This made the damaged trains unable to communicate with the control in London. The control was forced to use these overloaded networks thus leading to more deaths.
With such live examples one can clearly see that cyber crime has really cost the world. This is because emergency dispatchers in times of emergencies may find that the emergency systems are clogged thus making it hard to communicate in order to save people. Cyber criminals can also collaborate with terrorists to destabilise the systems of the target area so that they can get adequate time to perform their evil activities. Cyber crime has been a major problem faced by emergency dispatchers in the process of exercising their duties
Cybercrime can be classified into six types. The first type of cyber crime is hacking which involves breaking into someone’s computer to get access to his or her personal data. Countries over the world like the US have classified hacking into the same class as that of serious crimes like felony and punishable seriously. In this type of cyber crime, a criminal accesses the other person’s computer using a variety of software without the consent of the person.
The second form of cybercrime is theft which involves copyright violation to download stuff without owner’s permission. Such material includes music, movies, and software. This form of cybercrime has become serious due to the emergence of so many types of software that encourage peer sharing of content. This has been encouraged by the use of Bluetooth technology that has made it possible to share content between two phones in a short span of time.
The next form of cybercrime is cyber stalking which involves harassments online whereby the victim is sent some messages and emails online. There are two types of cyber stalking that are online and offline cyber stalking. The criminals use both to achieve the desired objective. The other type of cyber crime is identity theft which has become major types of cybercrime. In this type, a criminal uses the internet to get a victim’s bank details so as to siphon money from his account unknowingly. This type of crime can bring about huge financial losses and even destroy the financial history of a person.
The other type of cyber crime is malicious software which are internet based programs used to destroy or disrupt a network. The core objective of this software is to gain access to a system so as to get important data or even destroying the present software in the given system. Another type of cyber crime is child abuse and soliciting. In this type of cyber crime, criminals abuse children using chat rooms for the purpose of introducing these minors to pornography. The special unit of crime in the US has been spending pretty good time monitoring chat rooms inhabited by kids in efforts of reducing this abuse to the children. In other nations over the world, legislations have also been put in place to counter violence to the minors.
Cyber crimes cannot be taken softly as they have as they have far reaching implications into someone’s life. Such effects of cybercrime are identity theft where criminals using the phishing technique and pretend to come from given banks so that they can acquire your data. If the victim hands over the data, the criminals may use the information to get money from the account and also destroy the victim’s credit rating. In case such happens it may take a very long time to fix and therefore protecting one’s data online is a critical skill to learn so as to overcome such incidences.
Crimes emanating from computers also increase the security costs in a given nation. In the case of hacking, which is common in companies the affected company may spend a lot of money to secure their information. According to research, it was found that many companies spend a lot of money to secure their data against hacking. Another effect of cyber crimes is monetary losses which have shown large amounts of money is lost from the many customers who fall victims of password thefts. Another effect of cybercrime is piracy which is being experienced in the entertainment industries. This usually occurs where content is obtained by the criminals without the consent of the owner and used for the benefit of the criminals and not for the good of the proprietor. This has led to large losses in these industries.
Cyber crime can be dealt with by using the solutions offered by cross-domain solutions (Ulsch, 2014). This is because by use of this cross domain solution the organizations can exchange information with the security agents so as to get in touch with these criminals. This will help the companies use a unified system that detects both manual and automatic transfer of important information within different security levels. This can make the security agents to catch up with the criminals as the criminals also cooperate in their activities.
Another way of dealing with cybercrime is identifying areas where these crimes originate and putting up measures to counter the operations of the hackers. This is because hackers are up to any information that has financial gains. Scooping out areas or the risk will make it hard for them to access any organization’s data. Also selecting a leader to lead the war against cybercrime would be of more importance in dealing with this global menace. Establishment of an efficient online self-reporting system can help in analysing cybercrime statistics would also help in tackling cyber crime, establishment of global cooperation on detection and prosecution of cyber criminals.
The governments have to be critical in addressing cybercrimes. Otherwise, this is not enough because the criminals are also advancing thus the government, courts, and the law enforcers have to improve in tackling the crimes. To counteract computer crimes, the government has to encourage people to maintain good systems hygiene which is ensuring that users of computers are usefully updated operation systems and other installed software to avoid the computers being pirated by the computer criminals. People should also be encouraged to report cyber threats to appropriate authorities that the government should establish so that cyber-crime tackling can be smooth. Legislation should also be passed to punish computer criminals and ensure that the law enforcers and courts deal with cyber-crime cases faster so as to bring the criminals to justice immediately they are caught. This will in a large way discourage their activities. The law shoSuld classify cyber-crime like murder and other serious offenses like felony so that the courts can deal with the offenders mercilessly. People should also report to the brands that are misused by the criminals to threaten them so as to take measures to avoid a repeat of such acts. The American government, courts, and the law enforcement agencies should work closely to deal with cyber-crimes appropriately.
Cybercrime can be classified as one of the crimes that has affected the world especially in the side of communication (Walle et al., 2010). It has to be looked at from a common point of view so as it can be overcome. Losses amounting to billions are incurred every year and also loss of lives in times of emergencies due to delayed or altered communication. It is with this that the governments of the world should come together to set up legislations fighting computer crime may be a headache.
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