Types of Cyber Crime and Prevention

Posted On : August 8, 2022
Types of Cyber Crime and Prevention
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The Internet has left the world vulnerable to a lot of cybercrimes since too much information is accessible through thin air. Although it has proved to be a boon for the tech prone generation, there are always two sides of the coin. While information, services, goods etc. are accessible within minutes through a few clicks, people have got internet as a new platform for committing crimes and instant gains. There are various types of cyber crime whereby hackers/ fraudsters use different means affecting the victims’ reputation, finances, business, etc. If you become a victim of any of the types of cyber crime in India, having a cyber crime lawyer by your side can empower you legally. Have a quick understanding of the types of cybercrime attacks and how to prevent cybercrime in the article below.


What is Cyber Crime in India?

Illegal activities committed using electronic devices over cyberspace constitute cyber crime. The Information and Technology (IT) Act, 2000 contains various provisions dealing with cybercrimes in India. The device could be the target or a tool used to commit criminal activity somewhere else. The targets of types of cybercrime attacks may include individuals, organizations, or the governments. The cyber criminals are technically highly skilled who aim to damage another device or may use such devices for profits or some other reasons.


Types of Cybercrime Attacks

Before jumping over the 10 types of cyber crime, one should know the targets of such online attacks. People often think that cyber attacks may not affect them much since they do not have any confidential information. But in the advanced era of technology when bank accounts are accessible through the internet, everyone holds a lot of information whose loss may result in big trouble. Given below are the types of cybercrime attacks on the source which affects the users:

  • Stealing Personal Information - When someone steals personal information like usernames, passwords, OTP, PIN codes, personal pictures or videos, the original owner becomes vulnerable, both socially or financially.
  • Using Device for Illegal Activities - If someone has access to your devices, they can perform any illegal activity. If tracked, the authorities will trace you behind such activities since the proxy address/ other such links will indicate towards the original users while some hacker plays his/ her tricks from miles away.
  • Committing Financial Fraud - In the world of internet banking, giving access to account number, one time password (OTP), or any such confidential information to someone else is an invitation to fraudsters to empty your bank account.
  • Interrupted Web Services - Someone sitting miles away can hack your website and cause interruption in smooth run of such a website. This affects the services being provided through such websites or the brand built through years, whatever the case be.


10 Types of Cyber crime

Given below are some types of cybercrimes in India that have affected internet users and the cases are recurring. A quick read of types of cybercrime with examples can help understand the context.


1.    Phishing

When a user receives spam emails that contain unauthorized attachments or URLs luring them to open the same, it is called phishing. The objective of this act is to gain personal information of users or organizations by tricking them. Some of them may be flagged but most of them do not show the signs of any malpractice on the face.

The cyber criminal may not directly harm the device being used but may cause financial loss to the user due to credentials shared, data loss due to website access that results in identity theft, etc. If you are a victim of phishing, lawyers for mail fraud may help with the legality and how to proceed to safeguard confidential data in future.

2.    Identity Theft

As the term itself suggests, identity theft happens when someone else impersonates the original user. The cyber criminal steals personal information of the users for fraudulent purposes.

The other day, someone posted on social media that she got an email from her boss’ account seeking a handsome amount to be transferred in a client’s account. Without verification, she transferred the amount and succeeded as a target of identity theft causing financial fraud. This is an instant example of identity theft.


Cyber Harassment and Identity Theft

3.    Social Engineering

When malicious activities are committed through the internet with a personal touch, it is termed as social engineering. They use psychological manipulation tricks through calls impersonating an official to defraud the users so that they share confidential information. In India, credit card fraud is usually committed in a similar way when someone calls the users, conveys to be a bank official and asks the users to share the one time password received on their mobile to safeguard their financial interests or bank accounts, etc.


4.    Denial of Service (DoS)

There are various websites that provide services online to their customers. If the website has errors in proper functioning, the services will be impacted. That is how denial of service (DoS) works. Fraudsters overwhelm the website with more traffic affecting online networks and thereby interrupting the services. Sometimes, the attack is distributed using various compromised computer devices and thus, is termed as Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS).


5.    Ransomware

When someone takes into illegal custody a person or property to threaten another and seeks financial benefits in return of saving such interests, it is called ransom money. Among the types of cyber crime, when fraudsters steal your confidential or personal information and threaten to misuse or delete the same unless the users transfer a certain amount to safeguard or access such information/ data, it is called ransomware. Cyber criminals usually extort users through locking the information and seeking transfer of cryptocurrency. 


6.    Malware Attacks

People using smartphones with internet connection are sometimes tracked for location, for their internet searches, the usernames and password typed on their device, through web cameras, etc.. At times, it could be legal and informed due to app permissions, but at other times, it may not be brought in the user’s knowledge and become a serious threat to confidential data. Such an uninformed activity on devices which may sneak personal information resulting in bigger financial frauds or other threatening acts are called malware attacks. The targets could be individuals or big organizations or even the governmental departments.


7.    Cyberstalking

When someone follows another over social media, online websites or search engines subjecting the user to a plethora of online messages or emails threatening for his/ her safety, it is cyberstalking. In serious cases, cyberstalking may lead to ‘sextortion’ whereby the victim is threatened for personal pictures or videos seeking money or sexual advances from their victims. Cyberstalking could result in cyberbullying which may be a permanent threat to mental and physical health of victims.


8.    Web Jacking

Digital marketing is the new normal which lured businesses into having their own websites. More traffic on the website indicates more people knowing about their goods/ services/ brand. But what if someone else steals all the traffic from your website using some malware practice? That is how webjacking works among the serious types of cybercrimes. It could be done by gaining administrator access to the URL through malicious means thereby tampering the Domain Name System (DNS) redirecting users to another webpage.


9.    Botnets

Networks from compromised computer devices which are under control of an external group of remote hackers are known as botnets. It becomes a tool for such hackers to attack other devices, or act as a malware for performing malicious activities over the internet.


10.  Prohibited Content

When someone shares inappropriate content/ information which proves to be offensive for the users, they are sharing prohibited content over the internet. Such prohibited content may consist of sexual activity, child pornography, violent pictures/ videos, and the list goes on.


How to Prevent Cybercrime?

While using the internet services, being aware of the types of cyber crime and prevention holds utmost importance for the users. Whoever has access to individual’s, organization’s or government’s web accounts should be wary of suspicious activities. Given below are some suggestions for users on how to prevent cybercrime and keep their personal information safe:

  • Keep your Operating System (OS) updated.
  • Use updated softwares/ applications.
  • Always use antivirus on devices used for internet access and keep them updated.
  • Set up web browsing guardrails to access only legitimate websites.
  • Use strong passwords and keep changing them.
  • Deploy a VPN (Virtual Private Networks) to safeguard personal data.
  • Never use the same passwords for different platforms.
  • Avoid opening attachments/ URLs in spam emails.
  • Do not open links whose source is unknown.
  • Contact the source directly in case of suspicious messages/ email.
  • Stay abreast with the bank account balance and activities.
  • Register cyber crime complaint without delay when someone maliciously approaches you over the internet.
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