Cyber Crime Research Paper Examples
Type of paper: Research Paper
Topic: Credit, Consumer, Adviser, Credit Card, Card, Mail, E-Mail, Victim
Cyber crime is the most criminal activity that has taken place in the 20th century which makes use of computers and computer networks to steal money (Eterno 225). Some of rampant cyber crimes that have been reported include cyber-theft, cyber-trespass, identity theft critical, money laundering, and unauthorized access. Reports show that data hacking has become the means to accomplish these cyber crimes. Even the largest and most secure banks have become victims of a data breach despite the presence of consumer protection laws. The most common practices of data hacking include the hacker’s creation of passwords that can cause bounced checks that may result to overdraft fees if funds had been stolen from a debit or checking account. The hackers can also break into the personal e-mail and disrupt the access to the victim’s bank account. The internet has become the tool for the hackers to access personal data through the use of computers, laptops, tablets, cellular phones, and other electronic media devices to carry out the commissions of cyber crimes (Eterno 225).
These hackers create websites to be able to deliberately mislead the victims to provide personal information including credit card numbers and bank account numbers. The cyber crime that had been reported to be on the top of list to date is credit card fraud. Such crime is easily accomplished by the hackers with the use of malicious web sites, phishing, sending spam email, and instant messages which they send out to the victims and requiring them to confirm passwords of their bank accounts. When the hackers are able to crack the security codes, they use the victims’ bank accounts to steal money or use the credit cards to buy merchandise online. Every bank account holder should know how to create a formula wherein the passwords can easily be remembered, but difficult for others to figure out (Goel 75).
Some of the more experienced hackers enter the security system of banks and credit card companies in order to access to personal data of account holders. They even make money out of the stolen personal information by selling the data to others to allow them to make fraudulent transactions. In one reported case of breaking into the security systems of one bank, the stolen data was utilized to create fraudulent credit cards to advance criminal activities. These hacking syndicates use appealing young women to buy expensive luxury bags using the stolen credit card and the merchandise are being sold online. Data hacking is done through phishing and sending spam email messages. The stolen personal data and bank details will be used to create duplicate credit cards to be able to buy goods or make cash advances using the duplicate credit cards.
There are several ways on how to prevent the hackers from committing cybercrimes in order to protect the victims. Part of these guidelines is by educating the internet users on viruses, worms and internet hacking. There are deceptive free applications that are available online which may harmless, when in truth, these applications can corrupt personal data and sensitive files (Bowen 1). The most common viruses include the Trojan horse, worms and other spyware. The worm is a dangerous virus which has the ability to slow down computer operations and clog the operating system. On the other hand, stealth ware can lead to identity theft (Bowen 2). Another way to prevent data hacking is by creating strong passwords and investing on a reliable anti-virus system or firewall to protect the computer from being compromised. When a person’s email has been compromised and the online bank account cannot be accessed, it is best to report the incident to the bank right away and request for replacement of credits cards and debit cards (Consumer Reports Money Adviser 6). Once the credit card account numbers and debit card account numbers have been compromised, these hackers will be able to easily use the card for fraudulent activities. Thus, it is best to get the replacements for any of the cards when the personal bank information had been accessed through unauthorized use. With this action, the criminals will have a difficult time to steal from the victims.
It is also important to safeguard the non-financial information of victims since it can be the source of more problems. When the hackers obtain the names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and other personal data that may be associated with the victim, they can send out authentic-looking e-mail that will ask the victim to log on to his or her account to confirm their identity (Consumer Reports Money Adviser 6). However, the trick is that the victim will be directed to the computer of the scammers to allow them to collect the victim’s information. Thus, it is best for everyone to practice the blanket anti-phishing policy by becoming suspicious of persons who are trying to initiate contact through e-mail, phone, or regular mail, and requesting for private information (Consumer Reports Money Adviser 6). It is important to remember not to click on links that that came from unsolicited e-mail and not to respond to pop-ups coming from computers that will need a person’s username and password. Being cautious to distinguish legitimate websites and email by calling the customer-service phone number of the bank and ask if such invitation is legitimate (Consumer Reports Money Adviser 6).
It is also best to consider a security breach when the bank account has been breached. In case a person’s Social Security number has been compromised, this number can be purchased in the black market, which can be subjected to fraudulent activities. The hackers steal a person’s identity associating the accumulated data with publicly available information that can easily be purchased from legal data brokers (Consumer Reports Money Adviser 6). The solution to this problem is a security freeze which can prevent the creation of new account that can result to fraud. A person should request one with each of the big three credit bureaus for account freeze an pay fees from $2 to $12 for every security freeze. However, these fees are waived for victims of identity theft. However, the fees will be removed when the victim has to apply for credit and other similar fees (Consumer Reports Money Adviser 6).
It is also advisable to monitor the person’s bank accounts online. It is not enough for a person with bank account to wait for the statement to be sent in the mail. The wise move is to check the latest account activity and to sign up for online access to his or her bank and credit-card accounts through the mobile-banking application. Internet banking is one of the preventive solutions that will supersede any security risk (Consumer Reports Money Adviser 6). Phone banking can also give account holders to monitor their banks account in real time wherever they may be. Although daily monitoring is tiresome, it is recommended that account alerts be activated in order to receive e-mail messages or text messages in the event that possible fraudulent activities may happen. This will enable alerts when there is an outgoing wire transfer and when there is unauthorized credit card use.
Another useful tip is by using a secure payment device. This means that the magnetic stripe on the credit cards can easily be counterfeited. In fact, MasterCard stated that the new cards with an encrypted chip (EMV cards) have limited the incidents of counterfeiting to 60 to 80 percent Virtual wallets (Consumer Reports Money Adviser 6). The better way to make payments online is by using Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and Softcard, that will enable one’s smart phone to make payments. This method will provide better security compared to the magnetic stripes.
The account holders should also be warned not to waste their money on identity protection services since they are very expensive and offer less security. The cost for identity protection services can range from $110 to $330 in one year. Some retailers will also offer free credit monitoring, but it is wise not to take it. This type of service can create a false sense of security since credit monitoring only stops fraud on the existing credit accounts and offer free ID protection. However, some of these deals may even be the source of phishing activities (Goel 65).
These financial institutions which give the account holders their hard-earned money or credit to criminals do not hold them liable for fraud losses. On their part, the account holders should report the theft immediately to avoid loss of money. The banks have the obligation to restore the funds that had been stolen from bank account immediately or within the period of ten (10) days (Consumer Reports Money Adviser 6). Finally, by using antivirus, antispyware, anti-phishing software and a firewall to the personal computer and smart phones can prevent the hackers from stealing money. By creating a data-security file that contain the credit reports, freeze requests, breach notices, and suspicious mail will make it easier to monitor the activities in a person’s bank account. It will also prevent the credit bureaus from selling personal data and information to lenders who send out preapproved offers which may be stolen by criminals inside the mailbox (Consumer Reports Money Adviser 6).
In conclusion, it is also best for the government to expand the local law enforcement capacity to monitor and prevent cyber crimes. Creating strategic cyber security policies will ensure the protection of critical infrastructure in the country. At the same time, the surveillance, interception and monitoring of a communication can deter a criminal act by using the internet service provider (Consumer Reports Money Adviser 6). Since cyber crime violates a person’s privacy rights, the government has to protect and provide security to property rights of the people. Majority of the innocent victims such as the bank account holders must be given protection to save their money against hackers who steal without their consent.
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Eterno, John A. Police Practices in Global Perspective. MD, USA: Rowman and Littlefield,
Goel, Sanjay. Digital Forensics and Cyber Crime. New York: Springer, 2010. Print.
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