It’s no secret that there are all types of cybercrime around the world. Cybercrime ranges from credit card fraud to identity theft, and it can be devastating for both individuals and companies alike. As a result, it is important to know the different types of cybercrime out there so you can protect yourself against them!
In this blog post, we will cover 10 Types of cybercrime in detail – including their definitions, causes, effects on victims, and how to protect your business or personal information from these types of cybercrime.
What is Cybercrime?
Cybercrime is a type of crime where hackers or other criminals use or attack a computer network. Some cybercriminals are organized, employ advanced techniques, and are extremely technical. Others are novice hackers trying to make money.
Cybercrime can be either political or personal attacks on computers for political or commercial gain – for example political or financial security, and even cyber terrorism.
The Types of Cybercrime
Below are the top 10 types of Cybercrime we will be going over in this article.
1. Identity Theft
When it comes to cybercrime, identity theft is one of the most common. It occurs when someone gains access to your personal information and makes purchases with stolen credit cards or uses the same device for identity fraud.
With the world going digital, it is easier than ever for hackers to grab personal information from businesses, applications, and social platforms. It constrains businesses by reducing customer trustworthiness or willingness to transfer money, compromising company data and information that is shared on a global scale.
There are a number of ways you can protect yourself from identity theft. Some tips include:
- Avoid giving out personal information to random people who you don’t trust, such as anyone asking for access to your vehicle for an extended period of time.
- Recognize that data security is likely at risk anytime you’re accessing public networks, such as via coffee shops’ Wi-Fi points without encryption protection enabled
Cyberstalking involves using the Internet, email, or other electronic communications to stalk someone. Cyberstalking is considered more dangerous than traditional stalking because it gives criminals quick and easy access to their victims even when they are hundreds of miles away.
Cyberstalking can have a devastating impact on businesses, both in the US and around the world. Victims may spend time off from work to deal with what feels like a sudden invasion into their lives, or out-of-pocket money for the software needed to block cyberstalkers from being able to contact them.
According to one study done by the National Cyber Security Alliance in 2011, 77% of cyberstalking victims experienced interference in their workplace or lost time at work due to fear. Cyberstalking can be difficult to identify. Victims often know who the perpetrator is because he or she has contacted them before through online messages, emails, texts, and social media.
However, as more and more cyberstalkers turn to anonymous web culture like Twitter and Facebook to develop their own pseudonym to cyberstalk with, they are able to stalk their victims without any consequences. Mental preparation for this type of cybercrime can be challenging as there is no “cybercop” that is monitoring and protecting people from these threats.
3. Online Scams
Online scams are the act of impersonating someone online to persuade strangers to buy something, send money, or reveal confidential information. Scammers often target people on dating websites, apps, and social media. Types of online scams include:
- Ransomware – When a criminal takes control of your computer system or device to block access until the victim pays a ransom fee using Bitcoin cryptocurrency.
- Account takeover – The impersonation scam where an individual pretends they have been locked out of their account and requests the victim to send money or give out confidential information.
- Lottery/sweepstakes scam – Posing as a representative from an online lottery, the criminal tricks people into paying fees for nonexistent prizes.
- Romance Scam – A person pretends they are in love with you over email or social media and eventually asks for money.
- Impersonation scam – Where someone pretends to be a friend, family member, or coworker in order to get personal information like passwords or credit card numbers.
Criminals use online scams to steal people’s information to commit identity theft, credit card fraud, or other crimes. Types of cybercrimes like ransomware and account takeover can lead to significant losses in revenue due to lost connections, data, productivity, and trust.
An individual can identify online scams by examining the website for spelling and grammatical errors, easily noticeable fake email addresses, links to malicious content such as phishing sites, and an inability to verify contact information.
4. Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs)
(PUPs) are a type of software that, while not inherently malicious software, may contain some undesirable characteristics. An example of a PUP could be when a user’s experience is downgraded to adware or other annoying content without their consent.
(PUPs) are programs with some undesirable features. A PUP could be considered to be any software that intrudes on personal data without the user’s knowledge or consent. To identify a PUP, please follow this guide:
- Check the information shown in the app store about the program.
- Check if there is an icon for the program in your menu bar
- Look for any internet browser toolbars or home screen plugins
- Scan your computer for unwanted software
It’s important to make sure you keep your operating system up to date. If you want to know more about keeping your operating systems up to date, check out our pros and cons list for upgrading your operating system.
5. DDOS Attacks
A Distributed Denial of Service Attack is where multiple compromised systems are used to flood the network bandwidth or network resources of a targeted system, usually starting at the router as the point of entry, and then attacking one or more web servers. Need something more secure? See our article on the best wifi routers for small businesses.
DDOS attacks are meant to cripple the target. They slow the website down, sometimes so much that it appears offline. The result is lost sales or customers who can’t do what they want on your site. Looking for reliable website maintenance and protection? Always be prepared in the event of an emergency with one of Digital Operating Solutions’ website maintenance plans.
To identify a DDOS attack, look for traffic spikes on your firewall logs. These might be followed by attempts to access your administrator interface. If you’re running an Apache web server, mod_status will show connections and rejected connection attempts that are unusual.
A botnet is a type of cybercrime where the attacker has taken over lots of different computers and connected them together to conduct malicious activity. Botnets can end up affecting thousands or even millions of computers, and it’s hard to fight these crimes because the attacker is often located somewhere else around the world.
If a company’s computers are taken over by a botnet, it can lead to the company suffering financial losses. Companies may have to spend money on repairing the damage caused by the botnet. If a business is unable to manage its cyber risks, it could end up suffering from a data breach that would cost them a lot of money.
If you think that your computer is part of a botnet, it’s possible that you can detect the botnet by running some scans on your system, or by checking out what IP address is being used to communicate with other devices.
Developed and deployed by the so-called “malware authors,” malware is a general name for any malicious software deliberately designed to perform some harmful actions on someone else’s computer.
Seen as one of the most invasive ways of cybercrime attacks, malware can come in many different shapes and sizes, from malicious executable files to scripts embedded in websites. Types are broadly classified depending on what they do or how they replicate themselves.
Malware can hurt a business in a lot of ways. For example, malware can be used to steal sensitive information from a company’s system. Terrible programs can also make it impossible for employees to complete work tasks. In the worst cases, hackers could use malware to wipe out an entire company’s data or even destroy physical property. Malware is criminal because it does not have your permission to run on your system.
Types of malware can be identified by what they do or how they replicate themselves. Types are broadly classified depending on what they do or how they replicate themselves.
Malware can hurt a business in a lot of ways. For example, malware can be used to steal sensitive information from a company’s system. Terrible programs can also make it impossible for employees to complete work tasks. In the worst cases, hackers could use malware to wipe out an entire company’s data or even destroy physical property.
8. Social Engineering
Social engineering is the act of exploiting people’s emotions to obtain information, access, or anything else where sensitive data is involved. It can also be defined as the act of cyber-engineering somebody for personal or political gain.
A cyber attack can be carried out by social engineering an employee over the phone to provide access to information that could lead to a cyber-attack on the company’s network. It could also take the form of cyber thieves looking for password information, bank account numbers, and other sensitive financial information via email phishing scams.
The cybercriminals social engineer employees by having them give away sensitive data over the phone, or cyber thieves looking for password information, bank account numbers, and other sensitive financial information from employees who fall victim to cyberattacks.
It could be highly expensive for compromised companies because IT costs associated with cyber-attack can range from one hundred thousand dollars to hundreds of millions. To avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime, follow the 3 E’s:
- Establish a firm security policy including all systems at your company
- Educate your employees about what they’re responsible for in order to prevent cyberattacks
- Engage experienced staff that will detect when something doesn’t add up.
Social engineering is easily identifiable. It will seem to be a legitimate email or phone call, but it will require you to provide sensitive information, often with a sense of urgency.
9. Phishing/ Smishing
Phishing is a cybercrime in which criminals try to steal something from internet users, often their money. The cyber-thief will get the victim to take the bait by making it seem like they are safe or even trusted. Often, they will send an email that says your email account has been hacked, asking you to click on a link in this email for one last “password verification”. But beware, because when you do this—you’ve given them access to your computer and bank accounts!
Smishing is similar to phishing, but the scam is sent through text messages (SMS) or MMS messaging applications. Cyber thieves don’t need clever words—all they have to do is use the internet connection you already have on your phone. All a cyber thief needs to get started is your phone number and a little bit of information about you.
Phishing cyber crime can be detrimental to your business, costing you valuable time and resources.
- When cybercriminals phish, they use social engineering techniques because their goal is to extract sensitive data. This form of cybercrime steals confidential information by impersonating legitimate sources in email or text messages.
- Phishers often insert links that may take unsuspecting users to websites designed to steal personal information—even login credentials.
- The cost of this type of cybercrime is staggering; one Forbes article estimates the annual loss during periods like tax season at $600 million annually.
To identify phishing, you should always verify that the phone number in an email or text is in fact your legitimate account by calling or texting. Phishers often use cybercrime to steal login credentials, so even if the message looks legitimate, it is important to look for tell-tale signs that cybercriminals may use such as cybercrime.
10. Exploit Kits
Exploit kits are tools cybercriminals use to break into a computer or network. Exploit kits often exploit vulnerabilities in outdated programs, such as Adobe Flash Player, Oracle Java, and Microsoft Office. The cybercriminal infiltrates your system by luring you into clicking an email link or opening a file, typically with spam.
Cybercriminals can use exploit kits to steal information and money from your company. For example, cybercriminals may steal customer names, credit card numbers, and passwords.
History of Cybercrime
The Electronic Frontier Foundation was created as an action for public liberties to step in when law enforcement makes a mistake or participates in illegal activities in the investigation of cybercrime.
Cybercrimes are still part of the criminal justice system. The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s primary intention is to protect and defend customers against illegal prosecutions.
While helpful, it also opened the door to cyber loopholes and anonymous internet searching where many criminals practice illicit services. Both in the public webspace and the dark web, cybercriminals are highly skilled and are difficult to identify.
How Can I Protect my Business from Cybercrime?
There are a variety of cybercrimes that can be committed against your company. Knowing the signs and how to protect yourself from them is key to avoiding potential issues.
Today’s cybercrimes come in a number of different forms. There are cybercrimes that target personal accounts as well as attacks on business computers or networks, which can result in stolen information, compromised transactions, misdirected communications, and more.
When it comes to cybercrime against your business network or computer systems, there are many different types of threats to worry about, that not only affect you but your employees and customers.
Common Questions about Cybercrimes
How can cybercrime be prevented?
Key cybercrime prevention strategies include cyber awareness training, cyber insurance, and cyber security. Companies should also train employees on how to avoid disclosing sensitive information online that could be used for phishing scams or other forms of cyber attacks. Cybersecurity is critical in protecting valuable business data from being hacked into by criminals who are looking for ways to steal valuable customer information.
1. cyber security
2. cyber awareness training
3. cyber insurance
Does the FBI investigate all cyber crimes?
The FBI investigates cybercrimes if they’re committed against individuals or businesses related to the US government such as military institutions and federal agencies for example. They also investigate cybercrimes made against US companies, institutions, and infrastructure. They investigate cybercrimes that have a national impact on the economy or financial security of the nation.
What should I do if my company is a victim of cybercrime?
Cybercrime can affect anyone. It doesn’t matter the size of your company or what industry you are in, cybercrimes can happen to anyone. If your business is a victim of cybercrime it’s important that you report it ASAP so other companies don’t fall victim too.
If cybercrime is affecting your company, you can report a crime to the cybercrimes unit of the police in your area by contacting them through their website or phone number. You can also contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation. With cybercrime, it is important that you act quickly so cyber criminals don’t continue to hurt more people.
What is cyber security?
Cyber security is a broad topic that refers to ensuring cyber safety. Cyber crimes are increasing day by day, and cybercriminals have become smarter too, so it’s important for us to be prepared in case we face any type of cybercrime.
A cyber security plan is a way to protect your cyber activity by understanding that cybercriminals are not as smart as we think. It’s important for cyber security to be planned and carried out by those who understand the reality of cyber crimes.
The cyber security plan includes educating employees on how cyber crime can happen, what the consequences are, and what they need to do if cybercrime does happen. It’s also important that cyber security plans are updated regularly based on changes in cyber trends.
What is Cyber Security Awareness training?
Cyber Security Awareness training is geared towards training users on how to identify and prevent a cyber attack. This training focuses on identifying a social engineering attack, the dangers of pirated software, and an overview of cyber law to help prevent corporate data loss and computer viruses.
There are many cybercrimes that can affect companies, and if cybercrime is affecting your business it’s important to report it. Obviously, the primary goal is preventing cybercrime, but your business should also be prepared with a cyber security plan in place for the worst-case scenario.
Educating yourself and your employees about the risks of internet fraud, malicious code, software, and the dangers of downloading pirated software can help prevent cyber attacks.
If this sounds intimidating and you want help enacting these principles, let us know! Our team of experts is ready and waiting to help prepare your business in case of a cyber attack.