Cybercrime is criminal activity done using computers and the Internet. This includes anything from downloading illegal music files to stealing millions of dollars from online bank accounts. Cybercrime also includes non-monetary offenses, such as creating and distributing viruses on other computers or posting confidential business information on the Internet.
Perhaps the most prominent form of cybercrime is identity theft, in which criminals use the Internet to steal personal information from other users. Two of the most common ways this is done is through phishing and pharming. Both of these methods lure users to fake websites (that appear to be legitimate), where they are asked to enter personal information. This includes login information, such as usernames and passwords, phone numbers, addresses, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and other information criminals can use to “steal” another person’s identity. For this reason, it is smart to always check the URL or Web address of a site to make sure it is legitimate before entering your personal information.
Because cybercrime covers such a broad scope of criminal activity, the examples above are only a few of the thousands of crimes that are considered cybercrimes. While computers and the Internet have made our lives easier in many ways, it is unfortunate that people also use these technologies to take advantage of others. Therefore, it is smart to protect yourself by using antivirus and spyware blocking software and being careful where you enter your personal information.
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