Given how much time Virginia college students spend on the internet, cybercrime is bound to be a concern. In fact, according to the VoIP Shield website, cybercrime is projected to cost as much as $6 trillion globally by the year 2021. Cybercrime takes many forms, and chances are you or someone you know has been a victim of at least one form of it.
Hacking into computers is a form of cybercrime that is commonly reported on. The aim of hackers is to breach into the computer system of a company or another party to gain important information and data. Hacking comes in many forms, but is generally aimed at corporations and government computers.
Identity theft is another major problem. Cyber thieves look for personal information to steal and then use to access a person’s bank account, Social Security, or credit cards. Typically, cybercriminals use identity theft to steal money. Unsuspecting victims may find their bank accounts emptied or massive charges on their credit cards. This kind of damage can take a long time to repair.
Computer viruses are another source of trouble. Cyber thieves use viruses to gain access to personal computers or laptops to steal crucial information. These viruses can also destroy the data, programs or operating system of a computer. Sometimes viruses are spread through phishing emails that are designed to mimic emails from authentic businesses, but are actually phony emails sent by cybercriminals with viruses attached.
Cybercriminals also use the internet to run scams. Basically, online scams involve enticing a victim with a good or service in exchange for money. Sometimes a scammer will convince victims that they have problems that need solving, even though in reality the victims do not need such help. In the end, the malicious party has no intention of providing anything of value to the customer and runs off with the cash.
Additionally, malicious actors can use the internet to stalk or bully people. Cyberstalking is a crime by which a person will follow a person through the internet. Generally, women are targets of cyberstalking by men, or children being targeted by pedophiles. Cyberbullying is another problem, where perpetrators bully and torment people using the internet.
Since cybercrime is so wide and varied, do not read this article as conveying any legal advice. Its purpose is to educate Virginia residents on the topic of criminal activities that occur through the internet.