While advancements in technology and electronic devices are inevitable, this also means that cybercrime is an ongoing threat. It is no longer just about hackers stealing financial information. Just looking at the sheer range of cybercrimes that exist at the moment can make someone who’s paranoid choose to just live off the grid for the rest of their lives. However, instead of taking such a drastic approach, it is better to know how to recognize cybercrime. After all, knowledge is an excellent first step to protecting data, taking basic precautions, and knowing the people to contact when you witness criminal activities online.

By definition, cybercrime is a criminal action involving a computer, a computer network, or a networked device. Most, but not all, cybercrime is executed by profit-driven cybercriminals or hackers. Both individuals and groups can commit cybercrime. Some cybercriminals are well-organized, employ advanced strategies, and have a high level of technical expertise. Others are newcomers to hacking. Cybercrime is rarely driven by motives other than profit. The crimes committed can range from security breaches to identity theft. These crimes can also include “revenge” porn, cyber-stalking, harassment, bullying, email and internet fraud, cryptojacking, cyberespionage, and more.

Most cybercrimes fall under two main categories: criminal activity that targets and criminal activity that uses computers to commit other crimes. Viruses and other types of malware are often used in cybercrime that targets computers. The people involved generally use them to damage devices or stop them from working. They may also use these methods to delete or steal data. This form of cybercrime can also be called a Denial-of-Service (DoS) attack. Using computers or networks to spread malware, illegal information, or illegal images, is defined as a Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDoS) and is similar to a DoS attack. People involved in DDoS attacks usually use numerous compromised computers to carry out their task.

Computer viruses are the most widely known kind of cybercrime. They infect computer systems, destroying files and messing with overall functionality. Viruses can include any form of malicious software, code or program written and distributed to do damage or steal data.

The risk of identity theft has also increased due to advancements in technology. In this case, if a cybercriminal plans to commit identity theft or credit card fraud, they gain access to their victim’s personal data through phishing, pharming, keylogging, and sniffing. Phishing occurs when a bait is embedded in fraudulent messages. The bait directs victims to an external site and encourages them to share personal information such as usernames, passwords, or bank details. Going one step further, pharming uses malware to reroute internet users to fake versions of websites to enter their personal details. Keylogging is a type of malware that will secretly log everything that a person types, capture their account information and other personal details. Finally, sniffing is when a person is connected to an unsecured public Wi-Fi network, and hackers steal data by “sniffing” their victims’ internet traffic with special tools.

As mentioned previously, cybercrimes can also include cyberbullying, cryptojacking, cyber extortion, and cyberespionage. Stalking, sexual harassment, doxing (publishing someone’s personal information, such as their physical address, online without their knowledge), and framing (hacking into someone’s social media and producing phony posts on their behalf) are all examples of cyberbullying.

When hackers gain access to their victim’s device and use it to mine bitcoin without their knowledge or agreement, this is known as cryptojacking. Cryptominers achieve this by infecting their victim’s device with JavaScript once they visit an infected website. This can result in slow performance and expensive electricity bills for them, while the cryptojackers profit handsomely.

Extortion is also a nightmare, and cyber extortion is a digital version of it. Ransomware, for example, is a type of virus that infects a victim’s computer and encrypts all of their files unless they pay a ransom to unlock them. Blackmailing victims with personal information, images, and video; or threatening businesses with botnet-driven DDoS attacks are examples of cyberextortion. Finally, on a bigger scale, many cybercriminals nowadays are state-sponsored organizations. World powers employ hacker organizations as one weapon in the convoluted web of global politics, whether North Korea, Iran, or even the US’s own NSA-affiliated Equation Group. State-sponsored groups may do some frightening things on the world stage by stealing confidential intelligence and employing malware to target nuclear power plants, to name a few examples.

The good news is that there are ways to protect yourself from all of these cybercrimes. First of all, it is important to keep software and operating systems updated. This way, you can benefit from the latest security to protect your computers. Secondly, anti-virus software or a comprehensive internet security solution is another intelligent way to protect your systems from attacks. This allows you to scan, detect, and remove threats before they become a problem. Third, never open an attachment from unknown sources since computers usually get infected is through malware attacks via email attachments. Additionally, it is imperative to never give out personal data over the phone or through email unless you are certain that the line or email is secure. Finally, you should always use strong passwords so that people cannot guess or record them easily. You can also use a reputable password manager to create strong passwords.

In an attempt to ramp up IT security and help businesses with their password management, Passwork has created a self-hosted password manager for business teams. This system makes dealing with corporate passwords easy. Employees can quickly find the right passwords, with all their company’s data safely stored on their server, while user rights, actions, and changes, are all managed by the administrator. The Passwork team understands the importance of cybersecurity and how crucial strong passwords are for securing sensitive data within a company. Passwork solves three main problems by safely storing self-hosted corporate passwords, working and collaborating with corporate passwords, and helping with administration and management.

Passwork is easy to use. With its light and modern interface, the system is a straightforward solution for all people, not just IT specialists. There are quite a few options to choose from depending on the needs of your company and the number of employees on your team. Each package includes fine-tuning of access rights for each user, management of user rights through roles, reports on the activity of each user, LDAP/AD support, flexible data import and export, two-factor authentication, password security panel, customizable password generator, password history, API integration, and prompt technical support.

To sign up for Passwork or to get more information, click here.