With modern technology comes various benefits but also some disadvantages as well. Although the Internet gives individuals innovative new ways to do everything from shopping to banking, using the Internet for financial activities can be dangerous as well. Computer crimes are on the rise, perhaps due to the anonymous nature of them. There are various types of computer crimes as well, some of which are more popular than others.
Computer fraud occurs when victims are tricked into believing that they will receive something in exchange for some sort of payment but never do. Phishing scams are commonly used in computer fraud crimes and involve scam artists creating legitimate-looking businesses and asking users for their personal information. Many phishing scams impersonate banks and credit card companies to obtain people’s personal information. Others include emails about phony inheritances, jobs overseas and illegitimate loan approvals.
Industrial espionage is another rising computer crime that involves stealing or trading the secrets of other people by spying on them online. Computer industrial espionage most commonly involves using computers to blackmail or bribe other individuals for corporate gain. An example of how industrial espionage occurs is by using Trojan horses to discover users’ login information and electronically eavesdropping on other companies to obtain their secrets.
Almost everyone has had some sort of malware on his or her computer at some point or another. Computer virus transmitters are people who create viruses that infect other users’ computers and prevent them from working properly. Malware can be obtained in a variety of manners, such as through emails, pop-up windows and downloads.
Pirating software is another popular computer crime that involves copying someone else’s software for personal distribution or use. Developers are constantly striving to improve anti-piracy encryptions since even programs that do have encryption keys can sometimes have those keys broken by pirates. Pirating software is considered the same as pirating any other type of copyrighted material and is illegal, although it is sometimes easier for people to do than some other types of pirating acts.
The Internet is also a tool that some criminals use to distribute and sell child pornography. Knowingly buying, selling or distributing child pornography is a crime, but prosecution of such acts is made more difficult online. Additionally, pedophiles might utilize chat rooms, forums and social networking avenues to lure minors into sexual encounters.
There are a variety of crimes in the online world just as there are in the physical world. However, measures are constantly being taken to improve online security and the prosecution of online criminals.