Protecting Yourself From Cybercrime
Los Angeles Private Investigator
Protecting Yourself From Cybercrime
There is hardly anyone that doesn’t have access to the Internet today. In this day and age, the Internet is used for many purposes, from sharing opinions to performing a variety of transactions and the exchange of sensitive information. However, not everyone is aware that every time they access the Internet they become a potential target for cybercriminals.
Cybercrime is not a new thing. It has been a very real threat ever since the Internet was first made available for public use. The thing that has changed is the sheer number of people who are logging on every single day. The amount of cybercrimes has risen in proportion to the amount of people who are using the Internet in their everyday lives.
Cybercrime has a projected cost of $6 trillion over the next two years. This is double the monetary losses that occurred in 2015. However, the financial threat is only one piece of the puzzle. Cybercrime affects nearly every aspect of our lives, leading to emotional and psychological damage to its victims, identity theft as well as loss of property on a smaller scale. Being protected from cybercrime is not something that concerns only the authorities and multimillion dollar companies; it is something that should be a part of every business, organization and individual people’s lives.
To protect yourself from becoming a victim of cybercrime, the first thing that everyone needs to know is the most common forms of cybercrime and the ways you can avoid them.
1. Identity Theft
Identity Theft and by extension invasion of privacy are the most common types of cybercrime. Identity theft occurs when the criminal party gains access to and steals an Internet user’s private information and then uses this information to impersonate the victim. This can be done for various purposes such as performing transactions under the victim’s name, spreading false information or attacking others online. Identity theft can lead to both legal and social repercussions against the victim until the theft has been proven. Invasion of privacy also involves the theft of personal information; however, in this case the perpetrators of the crime obtain information that the victim had no intentions of making public. This can have lasting emotional, psychological and social effects on the victim’s wellbeing.
The best way to protect yourself from these crimes is to make sure that all of your private accounts are secure. Have a strong and unique password everywhere it’s required and never share it with others. Easily-accessible accounts are the most common thing across identity theft cases. You should also be wary of accessing unsafe websites which may try to gain access to your information by installing malware on your device.
2. Credit Card Fraud
Credit Card Fraud and ATM fraud are the cybercrimes that have the biggest effect on the victim’s bank accounts. This is done mostly through fake ‘sales’ sites that trick the user into entering their credit card details. They use bait in the form of exclusive sales or deals that seem too good to be true to lure their victims. Once the victim has entered their information, the site then relays it to the perpetrators who then use the details for their own purposes.
Protecting yourself from credit card fraud boils down to being careful of where you enter your details. If something seems suspicious about the offer or the site itself it’s worth takes a few minutes to do your research and make sure that the seller is legitimate.
3. Wire Fraud
Famously known as the Nigerian Prince Scam, wire fraud is typically done through email. The victim will receive an email from someone claiming to be royalty (most often from Nigeria, which gives the scam its name) and will ask for help. They will claim that they need someone outside of their country to hold onto their assets, usually an exorbitant sum and will then ask the victim to wire transfer a small amount of money for whatever reason they invent, after which the sender will be receive a substantial gift. If the unsuspecting victim sends the wire transfer, that will the last they hear from the scammer. There are several different scenarios that may play out in this type of scam, but they all follow the same basic formula.
Even though this scam has been around for decades, there are still people that fall victim to it. The best thing you can do to protect yourself from wire fraud is to simply ignore all emails from unreliable sources that ask you to send money, especially those that make promises that are too good to be true.
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