In the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to attend a couple of very insightful meetings. Meetings that dealt with an issue that is becoming a common threat to our everyday way of life and that is computer crimes or cybercrimes. Cybercrimes have been defined as crimes that are committed against individuals or groups of individuals with a criminal motive to intentionally harm the reputation of the victim financially or cause mental harm to the victim directly or indirectly, using the internet. These crimes are committed by a select group of criminals commonly known as “Hackers”.
Government and local officials have documented a significant increase in Internet scams since early 2001. In recent cases, hackers have been posing as service providers, sending victims computer messages claiming that their computer has been infected with a virus. To avoid loss of computer stored information, contact the provider at the number contained in the message to correct the problem. When the unsuspecting victim calls the number provided, hackers demand payment. Some victims reported paying as much as $800 dollars. The same occurrences took place in two major U.S cites and the victim was the local Police Department in which thousands of dollars was paid to avoid loss of critical information.
We have become more reliant on modern technology. Yet, for all its advantages, it comes with increased risk of theft, fraud, and abuse. The speakers at these meetings could not provide any concrete method to avoid becoming a victim of a cybercrime. However, they did offer some suggestions that I would like to share with you, that may help reduce your chances of becoming a victim. They suggested that you backup you computers information onto a disk or USB drive often. Limit the amount of important information that is stored on your computer. Completely shut down your computer when not in use. Consult your local IT professional to find ways to improve securing you information.
Remember to secure your vehicle when not in use, never leave valuables in your vehicle in plain sight, secure your home and set your alarm before leaving. You are always encouraged to report all suspicious vehicles, person(s), and activity and never hesitate to call security at 627-1600. Any information on the person(s) involved or vehicle description will be helpful.