Cybercrime is defined as illegal action involving a computer, a computer network, or a networked device. Most, but not all, cybercrime is committed by profit-driven cybercriminals or hackers. Individuals or groups can commit cybercrime.

Some cybercriminals are well-organized, employ advanced strategies, and have a high level of technical expertise. Others are inexperienced hackers. Cybercrime is seldom used to harm computers for motives other than profit. These might be either political or personal in nature.

Types of cybercrime

1. Hacking

Hacking is the act of getting illegal access to your system for the purpose of profit, protest, information collecting, or assessing system flaws. 

The laws for hacking are found in sections 43A and 66 of the Information Technology Act of 2000, as well as sections 379 and 406 of the Indian Penal Code. Hacking is punishable by 3 years in prison or a fine of up to 5 lakhs.

2. Service Disruption

It causes the server to go down (any server). It’s known as the flooding machine since it floods systems with requests in an attempt to overload them.

It also employs bots to complete jobs. Section 43(f) of the IT Act imposes penalties of up to three years in jail or a fine of up to 5 lakhs

3. Phishing

A scammer is a person or a group who tries to defraud others. They do it by sending e-mails or constructing web pages with the intent of collecting an individual’s online bank account, credit card, or other login information. Sections 66 C, 66 D, and 74 of the IT Act make it possible to prosecute someone for phishing and get a sentence of up to three years in jail or a fine of up to one lakh rupees draw cash advances.

4. Online Shopping Scams

The consumer makes a purchase and disputes the transaction, claiming that the product they received was broken, damaged, or not as advertised, or that they did not receive it.

In other scams, the vendor is the fraudulent party and simply disappears with the money – without delivering the product or service.

5. Dissemination of Viruses

It entails gaining direct or indirect illegal access to a computer system by introducing dangerous programmes such as viruses, worms, and other malware. Viruses require a host, whereas worms are self-contained. Sections 43-C, 66, and 268 of the Indian Penal Code provide provisions under the IT Act of 2000.

6. Data Breaches

In a data breach, private and confidential information, including bank details, is accessed by criminals and used nefariously. While most bad actors use advanced scamming methods to compromise personal information, it can also happen the old-fashioned way when crooks steal information by rummaging through the trash, or stealing wallets and purses. 

7. Fraudulent use of Credit Cards

Theft of the actual card or the compromise of data connected with the account is the start of card fraud. Sections 66 C and 66 D of the Information Technology Act of 2000, as well as sections 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, have provisions for such fraud.

8. Cyber Stalking

It’s described as using electronic communications to harass or terrorise someone, for as by sending threatening emails. The provisions are found in sections 72 and 354 C (voyeurism) of the Indian Penal Code, respectively. Section 67 also provides for up to three years in jail and a fine.

How to protect yourself against Cybercrime

A strong password is at least eight characters in length and includes a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.

Keeping your software and operating system up to date ensures that you benefit from the latest security patches to protect your computer.

Phishing scams use fraudulent emails and websites to trick users into disclosing private account or login information. Do not click on links or open any attachments or pop-up screens from sources you are not familiar with.

Using anti-virus or a comprehensive internet security solution  is a smart way to protect your system from attacks.

Anti-virus software allows you to scan, detect and remove threats before they become a problem. Having this protection in place helps to protect your computer and your data from cybercrime, giving you piece of mind.

If you use anti-virus software, make sure you keep it updated to get the best level of protection.

Keep an eye on the URLs you are clicking on. Do they look legitimate? Avoid clicking on links with unfamiliar or spammy looking URLs.

If your internet security product includes functionality to secure online transactions, ensure it is enabled before carrying out financial transactions online.

You can teach your kids about acceptable use of the internet without shutting down communication channels. Make sure they know that they can come to you if they’re experiencing any kind of online harassment, stalking, or bullying.

A classic way that computers get infected by malware attacks and other forms of cybercrime is via email attachments in spam emails. Never open an attachment from a sender you do not know.

Another way people become victims of cybercrime is by clicking on links in spam emails or other messages, or unfamiliar websites. Avoid doing this to stay safe online.

Never give out personal data over the phone or via email unless you are completely sure the line or email is secure. Make certain that you are speaking to the person you think you are. 

Keep your personal and private information locked down. Social engineering cybercriminals can often get your personal information with just a few data points, so the less you share publicly, the better. For instance, if you post your pet’s name or reveal your mother’s maiden name, you might expose the answers to two common security questions.

If you get asked for data from a company who has called you, hang up. Call them back using the number on their official website to ensure you are speaking to them and not a cybercriminal. 

Ideally, use a different phone because cybercriminals can hold the line open. When you think you’ve re-dialed, they can pretend to be from the bank or other organization that you think you’re speaking to.

Our tips should help you avoid falling foul of cybercrime. However, if all else fails, spotting that you have become a victim of cybercrime quickly is important.

Keep an eye on your bank statements and query any unfamiliar transactions with the bank. The bank can investigate whether they are fraudulent.

Though long and complex, privacy policies tell you how the site protects the personal information it collects. If you don’t see or understand a site’s privacy policy, consider doing business elsewhere.

It’s a good idea to start with a strong encryption password as well as a virtual private network. A VPN will encrypt all traffic leaving your devices until it arrives at its destination. If cybercriminals do manage to hack your communication line, they won’t intercept anything but encrypted data. It’s a good idea to use a VPN whenever you a public Wi-Fi network, whether it’s in a library, café, hotel, or airport.

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