Cybercrime is a kind of crime that primarily takes place on the internet. Examples include stealing credit card information and spreading viruses and spyware to spy on the online activity of others. Because so much of our lives takes place online these days, cybercrime is constantly growing and changing. Therefore, it's important to be aware of what it is, and how you can protect yourself against its many forms. In this dossier you'll find everything you need to know about cybercrime.
Different Types of Cybercrime
Like any other kind of crime, cybercrime comes in all shapes and sizes. The most well-known form of cybercrime is phishing. When phishing, criminals send emails or other online messages that attempt to persuade innocent internet users to give away their money or personal information.
Aside from phishing, there are plenty of other methods commonly used in cybercrime. Examples include the spreading of viruses, digital identity fraud, and the breaking into computers to carry out a DDoS attack. These are all examples of cybercrime. The articles below will give you more information about each of these different forms of cybercrime. They'll also show you what to do to make sure you don't become a victim yourself.
Cybercrime and Hackers
The internet is growing in popularity and the possibilities are endless. Since all of us are online more and more, criminals are as well. After all, criminals will be active anywhere they can make money. This isn't any different when it comes to the internet. For this reason, it's important to protect your personal data online.
To get an idea of how often cybercrime really occurs in Europe, have a look at our European Cyber Safe Index. Numbers don't lie: cybercrime is a huge problem. Therefore, it's important that you take good care of your personal data when you're online. So-called "black hat" hackers are getting smarter by the day and constantly invent new ways to steal money online.
Reviews: The Best Services to Help You Combat Cybercrime
There are a number of popular apps and services that can protect your digital and financial well-being online. It's always a good idea to keep yourself safe. In this section, we review popular apps and services designed to combat cybercrime and protect users' identities. We rate them based on several criteria, including effectiveness, ease of use, user-friendliness, and others.
What do Cybercriminals Want?
Whether it is stealing personal information or getting their hands on credit card data, most cybercriminals are in it for the money. If they can't get this directly, they could also use your information to appear trustworthy to other victims. This often happens in the case of WhatsApp fraud.
Some cybercriminals aren't just after your money, but want to get their hands on your personal information as well. This means you could become the victim of identity fraud. On the one hand, this can result in serious financial damage. On the other, it could have additional awful consequences as well. The criminal might, for instance, use your information to swindle others. This can result in problems with the police, a criminal record, unpaid bills, and severe damage to your image, even though you haven't done anything wrong.
Protect Yourself Against Cybercrime
If you don't want to become a victim of cybercrime, one thing is most important: be aware of the dangers and risks. Cybercriminals often take advantage of the fact that the average internet user doesn't know how the internet works. For example, there used to be many pop-up messages on websites that claimed you, the visitor, had won a new phone or laptop. All you had to do to claim it, was fill in your personal information. These messages are all fake. If you're aware of that, you're much less likely to share sensitive information and the criminals won't stand a chance.
The same goes for more modern variations of cybercrime. If you know WhatsApp fraud exists, you won't be as quick to send money to "your son", who just happens to have gotten a new number. Moreover, phishing emails are much easier to spot when you know what to look out for. In short, step one to preventing cybercrime is to learn about cybercrime.
There are many other things you can do to make sure you stay safe from cybercrime:
- Update your computer and software.
- Use proper antivirus software.
- Stay anonymous and safe online with a VPN.
Want more information on how to combat a particular form of cybercrime? Then read our articles in the "Different types of cybercrime" section above. For more tips on how to stay safe online, read this article.
Have you yourself become a victim of cybercrime? Then you can report this in various ways. First of all, in many countries it's possible to report the crime to the police. For information about this, it's best to check out official websites from your local police force. Usually, it's possible to report crimes, including cybercrime, either online, in person, or by phone.
Aside from that, there are some global initiatives that aim to fight different kinds of cybercrime, such as the APWG (Anti-Phishing Working Group), which specifically focuses on phishing. If you happen to be the victim of cybercrime, you can contact these groups as well in order to keep others from making the same mistake.