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Last Updated on 29 November 2021 by Gertrude

There is a hacker attack every 39 seconds.

43% of these attacks usually target small businesses.

With the increasing number of sophisticated cybercrimes, there has been a need to identify the root cause of this present crisis. 

Despite the measures being put in place to prevent cybercrimes, for some reason, they keep on increasing.

Cyber security experts are out on overdrive to identify the reasons for increasing cybercrimes as well as come up with measures to tackle this problem.

Many people only understand the basic measures of regulating cybercrimes, one of which includes using a password. 

In order to combat this problem, we need to know all the reasons that cause cybercrimes to increase in this world today.

What is Cybercrime?

Cybercrime is also known as computer crime.

Cybercrime is a crime in which a computer is used for a crime like hacking, phishing, spamming etc. 

Cybercrime is the use of a computer as an instrument to further illegal ends, for example committing fraud, trafficking in intellectual property and child pornography, stealing identities or violating privacy. 

Cybercriminals are those individuals who use the Internet to perform illegal activities.

They are also known as hackers.

Cybercriminals use the Internet and computer technology to hack users’ personal computers, smartphone data, personal details from social media, business and national secrets.

What are the Types of Cybercrimes?

There are various types of cybercrimes in the world today.

Cybercrimes keep on changing and improving in their sophistication every day.

Here are the common examples of cybercrimes that we know of

Hacking

This refers to sending any illegal instruction to any other computer system or network.

A person’s computer is hacked so that his personal and sensitive information may be accessed

Piracy

This type of cybercrime occurs when a person violates copyright and downloads music, apps, videos or games.

There are peer sharing websites that encourage piracy and theft of software

Child Abuse and Pornography

This type of cybercrime involves soliciting minors via chat rooms to abuse them sexually.

Many children are being abused sexually worldwide.

Thorough federal investigations are being done to curb this nightmare.

Cyberstalking

This cybercrime is a form of harassment, whereby a person sends unsolicited messages and emails to the victim.

It is usually a case of one person being obsessed with the victim with ill intent.

Computer terrorism

This is also known as an information war.

This type of cybercrime is an act of internet terrorism that includes deliberate and large scale attacks on computer software using viruses or a physical attack using malware on people, the government and organisations

Identity theft

This is a nightmare for people who use the Internet for cash transactions and banking services.

A cybercriminal gains access to a person’s bank details and credit cards and uses this information to siphon money out of the victim’s account without them knowing.

Computer vandalism

This involves damaging the computer and data in various ways, leading to the destruction of a business.

Malicious software

These are internet based software or programs that are used to disrupt a network.

The software is used to gain sensitive information to steal data on a system or destroy the network.

Fraud emails/calls

This is also known as phishing.

This type of cybercrime involves a criminal approaching you with fake messages and emails or calls where they pose as an employee of a bank and they ask for your bank details or personal information like your ATM card information or passwords. 

What are the Causes of Cybercrimes?

Cybercrimes occur as a result of different reasons. 

Negligence

Human beings have a tendency to ignore and neglect their duty to ensure the safety of their data.

When a person fails to use a password or is careless with their information, cybercriminals can carry out illegal activities against them.

Easy access

There are many possibilities of breach due to complex technology and fast Internet access.

Hackers can steal access codes, retina images and advanced voice recorders to fool biometrics.

Bypass firewalls are easily used to gain access past many security systems.

This makes it difficult to safeguard computer systems from unauthorized access, leading to cybercrimes. 

Complex

Operating systems are programmed by a series of multiple and complex codes which can be hard to grasp.

These gaps are used as loopholes by cybercriminals to launch their attacks without being noticed.

Capacity to store data in a rather small place

Computers are able to store large volumes of data in one single storage unit.

This makes hackers access all the data with a single click and use it for their own malicious attacks. 

Loss of evidence

Since data that has been breached can be easily destroyed by cybercriminals, it is difficult to investigate cybercrime cases, leading to more incidences of illegal activities. 

What are the 6 Causes of Increasing Cybercrimes?

With all the measures put in place to reduce cyber crimes the number keeps on increasing. 

This could be why:

Human negligence

Many people do not really care about how to secure their information online.

People log in to suspicious sites and want to illegally download items from malicious links and platforms.

This basic ignorance that they could possibly face data damage leads us to the increased rate of cybercrimes.

Evolving nature of cyber crimes

Cybercrimes keep on changing over time.

New cyber crimes keep on emerging every day and it is the job of cybersecurity experts to identify them and keep up with this pace.

This may prove difficult as some of these crimes go unnoticed.

This leads to an increase in cybercrime.

A numbers game

Most cybercriminals take committing illegal activities like a game of numbers.

They play vulnerable people and wait for the prey like a lion does for prey.

When you fall into their trap, which is either by a phone call or fake emails, it becomes complicated to get out.

This makes them keep on drafting and scheming for ways to get more people, leading to an increase in cybercrimes.

Selling stolen information

Some hackers sell stolen information as a way to get their income.

This leads them to commit cyber crimes and sell the intellectual property of personal information to organisations or individuals. 

Criminals operate from anywhere

Because the Internet has been made available all over the world, a person can easily hack a system on a bus or at the comfort of their home.

This is one of the major causes of increased cybercrime as the number of criminals are not limited.

Targeting people

Cybercriminals want to target rich people and government officials to extort money from them or for other personal gains.

As long as they keep doing this, cybercrimes will keep on increasing. 

What are the Effects of Cyber Crime?

Cybercrimes have an overall negative impact on an individual, a business or an organisation in these ways

National threat. When intellectual property leaks out to the public, a country is liable to a terrorist attack because criminals may use this to disarm the government.

Fraud

Cybercrime leads to a lot of fraudulent actions because people can gain access to someone’s personal information and bank account details.

These must be secured at all times.

Business interruptions

When an organisation has been attacked, it may be forced to shut down its operations and get to the bottom of the problem. 

Negative influence

Due to the regular pornographic sites that are made available over the Internet, a country may lose their moral ground 

Spread of viruses

A cybercriminal uses a set of programs that he installs on a computer system to help him carry out illegal activities.

This leads to the spread of the virus on other computer programs, causing damage.

Surveillance software

Surveillance software is needed to monitor cybercrimes.

This may be expensive to install.

Identity theft

Cybercrime leads to the stolen identities of people, from face and voice recognition biometrics.

This places people’s personal information at a risk.

Preventive Measure of Cybercrimes

Tackling cybercrimes should be a top priority for every person who accesses the Internet. 

These are some ways to prevent and stop cyber crimes from happening.

Use a strong password

Having an effective password is one of the surest ways to fight cybercriminals.

Always have a password for every account activity on the Internet.

Do not share your password with anyone.

Use strong password combinations that include both sets of letters ( upper and lower case), numbers and symbols. This makes it hard for the hacker to crack.

Protect your mobile devices

Download applications only from trusted sources.

Have a password for your phone to secure your information.

Mobile devices may be subject to attack by malicious software and viruses.

Be social media savvy

In case you are using social media on a regular basis, check your security settings and ensure you keep your information private.

Be sure about what you want to share on the Internet.

Once it’s there, it cannot be erased.

The Internet never forgets.

Protect your data

Get encryption for your most sensitive information such as tax returns and financial records.

Check out the various scams and hacking styles cybercriminals use in order to stay ahead of the hacker.

Protect your identity online

Be very cautious before you give out your personal information such as your name, phone number, address and financial information on the Internet.

Update your computer systems

Updating your browser settings is useful to maintain fixes and keep up with the latest trend of cybercrime.

Protect your computer with security software

Security software include firewalls and antivirus programs.

These are your computer’s first line of defence.

They give you basic online security. Always ensure that the security software is updated. 

Resources Related to Reasons for Increase in Cybercrimes

What Exactly is CyberSecurity and Why Does It Matter in Kenya?

10 Common Types of Cyber Threats in Kenya and Their Solutions

How to Start a Career in Cybersecurity in Kenya Without Experience

Today, there is an increasing number of cybercrimes due to the widespread hacking activities carried out by cybercriminals.

While government and federal agencies are trying to catch these perpetrators, it is important to ensure our own safety online using the guidelines provided. 

Educate yourself about these cyber crimes so that you are able to detect any unusual activity in your cyberspace. 

Creating awareness and educating the public is one site way to reduce human negligence and make them more alert in safeguarding their data on the Internet. 


stephanie

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