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The Internet And Cybercrime Essay

1969 words - 8 pages

The Internet is a connection of computers across the world through a network. Its origin dates back to the 1960s when the U.S Military used it for research, but it became more available to the public from the late 1980s. The World Wide Web was created in 1989 and browsers began appearing in the early 1990s. Over the last 24 years, the Internet has enabled people to shop, play, do research, communicate and conduct business online. It has also become cheaper and faster in performing different tasks. As much as the Internet has done immeasurable good to society, it has also dominated people’s lives and brought with it an array of cybercrimes. According to Nicholas Carr in his book The Shallows: How the Internet is Changing the Way we Think, Read and Remember (Carr, 2010). He debates on whether the Internet has done more harm than good. People use the Internet daily to exchange accurate information and constantly personal data such as credit cards, passwords and Social Security numbers are travelling through the network from one computer to another. With security measures put in place on the Internet, personal information remains confidential. But unfortunately, criminals have adapted to innovations in technology, and today, more people are increasingly becoming victims of cybercrime. The Internet has had profound effects on the public, both positive and negative. In this paper we will examine how access to personal information has led to an increase in online and offline crimes. The essay will particularly focus on ecommerce and hacking.
For years, cyber criminals have been using bank statements, discarded credit cards, tax invoices and other bills (normally found in trash) to gain access to personal information and assume false identity. However in today’s modern electronic and digital paying arena, these criminals have adapted to new technologies and churned them into committing complex cybercrimes. Computer hacking and phishing are among other risks associated with sharing personal information online. Hackers can enter prohibited areas of the Internet, and hack into another computer on the Web. Once inside the victim computer’s network, they can view files, documents and confidential data for their self-objectives. Phishing on the other hand, is where people are duped normally through email into providing personal data to a criminal posing as a legitimate entity. Both these types of cyber criminals have been on the increase over the last decade. In-fact according to the Wall Street Journal, in 2013 there were over 9 million cases of identity theft in the U.S alone. An example of where computer hacking gained access to personal information was with Choice Point Inc., an information broker. They announced that an identity theft syndicate had hacked into their database and gained access to thousands of personal files. Information stolen included; names, credit reports, Social Security numbers and home addresses. Other large companies such as...

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