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Cyber Crime



Straight Talk
by Nimfa L. Estrellado 

Everyone who works on a computer must be familiar with the term “Cyber Crime”. Initially, when man invented computer and then the technology for communicating between computers was evolved, he would have never thought that the cyber space he is creating could be flooded with any crime i.e. cyber crime. But now almost all of us might have heard the term computer crime, cyber crime, e-crime, hi-tech crime or electronic crime which is nothing but an activity done with a criminal intent in cyber space. Simply put, it is an activity which is generally criminal in nature, where a computer or network is the source, tool, target, or place of a crime. To say in one line, “Cyber crime refers to all the activities done with criminal intent in cyberspace.”

In today’s e-Age, ‘Crime’ has extended itself beyond physical assault or mental torture; now it also affects our e-life. E-Life means our existence & living in the cyber world. Every one of us is a part of this cyber world, directly or indirectly, since computers & internet are now an integral part of our personal & professional life. Just like any other invention, Computers & Internet are a boon to human kind if used in a right way and to the advantage of the society. However, as we all know, everything has its pros and cons and so computers & internet are not an exception. If we consider ‘Cyber Crime’ as virus then it won’t be untrue to say this virus is corrupting man’s significant development (computers and internet) which is responsible for developing civilized society for men. Cyber Crime is a menace all over the world and is the one of the most difficult & challenging to detect & investigate. You will find it interesting to note that even the official website of the Cyber Crime Investigation Cell of Crime Branch Mumbai quotes “The invisible criminal is dangerous than the visible one”.

Cyber Crime has various forms which may include hacking (illegal intrusion into a computer system without the permission of owner), phishing (pulling out the confidential information from the bank / financial institutional account holders by deceptive means), spoofing (getting one computer on a network to pretend to have the identity of another computer in order to gain access to the network), cyber stalking (following the victim by sending e-mails or entering the chat rooms frequently), cyber defamation (sending e-mails to all concerned / posting on website the text containing defamatory matters about the victim), threatening (sending threatening e-mails to victim), salami attacks (making insignificant changes which go unnoticed by the victim), net extortion, pornography (transmitting lascivious material), software piracy (illegal copying of the genuine software / programs), email bombing, virus dissemination (sending malicious software which attaches itself to other software), IPR theft, identity theft, data theft, etc.

How can we prevent our network or computer systems against the so the cyber criminals? How can the government aid in curbing such high risk threats to the society? As individuals it is important that we use the best internet security system to protect our systems from cyber attacks. It is important to use strong password to protect the emails or other important data or document stored online. Important details like bank account user names and passwords must not be stored online or in the computer. Remember that the cyber space is an open network and has no security or safety against such important data.

Never open unidentified emails and never reply or believe in email scams saying that you have won millions of pesos in an online lottery. Credit cards must be used sparingly or wisely online. Unsecured sites and restricted sites are always high on risk and thus using your credit cards on such sites is highly unadvisable. Always keep changing passwords and install a powerful anti virus software to protect against torzons, viruses and malware.

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