Since the internet has become mainstream around the world, it has no doubt increased the living standards of the common man. Think about it, the internet has altered how we communicate, how we learn, and how we are entertained. What’s more, the resulting unrestricted flow of information through social media has also changed the social dynamics of some countries. This widespread popularity of the internet has propelled the value of digital information, increased productivity, and made communication across borders effortless. The average person in the United States can file his/her tax returns online, check emails over their Smartphones, hold a face to face conversation with anyone using video chat, or share their personal media over social media.
You may think that the internet is the perfect invention; however you couldn’t be more wrong. The internet with all its advantages also comes with some shocking drawbacks. Foremost, with information going digital, it has given birth to a new breed of crime which is known as cybercrime.
The threat of cybercrime is so serious and devastating, that in some countries law enforcement agencies have formed a separate wing fully dedicated to cybercrime. So what makes cyber crime so formidable and tough to tackle? First of all, cyber criminals are hard to trace, in fact, these criminals can conduct their criminal activities from anywhere around the world – all they need is an active internet connection. Moreover, most of the incidents leading to e-crime tend to originate from underdeveloped countries, where they usually have no laws on cybercrime.
So what motivates cybercrime? Well, your digital information such as your credit card number, residential address, your name, and your e-tax returns can be considered good-as-gold to cyber-criminals. Simply by putting together the bits of information collected through hacking into your personal computer, criminal are easily able to assume your identity which enables them to straightforwardly apply for loans and credit-cards under your name. Once you become a casualty to cybercrime, clearing your name can become a nightmare and could take years until your case finally gets resolved.
Moving on, not all cyber-criminals are located outside of America. The U.S has its fair share of e-crooks who specialize in various types of e-crimes. One of the fastest and most disturbing types of e-crime is taking place in corporate offices around the America – theft of intellectual property. Departing or unfaithful employees who have access to classified business related data often find it morally acceptable to sell their ex-employer’s business ideas to its competitors – or perhaps leak that information on the web for competitors to see. As a result, several cases involving employee data theft have surfaced in the headlines.
So how do we prevent our businesses and our personal identities from falling victim to e-crime? Well, the answer is simple, encrypt your sensitive data. In order to prevent hackers and employees from stealing confidential information, you have to lock folders with encryption software. Moreover, to keep your identity confidential on the internet, make sure you use either a Virtual Private Network or visit websites that provide a secure connection such as HTTPS encrypted connections.
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