Internet crime is crime committed on the Internet, using the Internet and by means of the Internet.
Computer crime is a general term that embraces such crimes as phishing, credit card frauds, bank robbery, illegal downloading, industrial espionage, child pornography, kidnapping children via chat rooms, scams, cyberterrorism, creation and/or distribution of viruses, Spam and so on. All such crimes are computer related and facilitated crimes.
With the evolution of the Internet, along came another revolution of crime where the perpetrators commit acts of crime and wrongdoing on the World Wide Web. Internet crime takes many faces and is committed in diverse fashions. The number of users and their diversity in their makeup has exposed the Internet to everyone. Some criminals in the Internet have grown up understanding this superhighway of information, unlike the older generation of users. This is why Internet crime has now become a growing problem in the United States. Some crimes committed on the Internet have been exposed to the world and some remain a mystery up until they are perpetrated against someone or some company.
The different types of Internet crime
vary in their design and how easily they are able to be
committed. Internet crimes can be separated into two different
categories. There are crimes that are only committed while
being on the Internet and are created exclusively because
of the World Wide Web. The typical crimes in criminal
history are now being brought to a whole different level
of innovation and ingenuity. Such new crimes devoted to
the Internet are email “phishing”, hijacking domain names,
virus immistion, and cyber vandalism. A couple of these
crimes are activities that have been exposed and introduced
into the world. People have been trying to solve virus
problems by installing virus protection software and other
software that can protect their computers. Other crimes
such as email “phishing” are not as known to the public
until an individual receives one of these fraudulent emails.
These emails are cover faced by the illusion that the
email is from your bank or another bank. When a person
reads the email he/she is informed of a problem with he/she
personal account or another individual wants to send the
person some of their money and deposit it directly into
their account. The email asks for your personal account
information and when a person gives this information away,
they are financing the work of a criminal
The statistics that have been obtained and reported about demonstrate the seriousness Internet crimes in the world. Just the "phishing" emails mentioned in a previous paragraph produce one billion dollars for their perpetrators (Dalton 1). In a FBI survey in early 2004, 90 percent of the 500 companies surveyed reported a security breach and 80 percent of those suffered a financial loss (Fisher 22). A national statistic in 2003 stated that four billion dollars in credit card fraud are lost each year. Only two percent of credit card transactions take place over the Internet but fifty percent of the four billion, mentioned before, are from the transaction online (Burden and Palmer 5). All these finding are just an illustration of the misuse of the Internet and a reason why Internet crime has to be slowed down.
Stopping the problem
The question about how to police these crimes has already been constructed, but this task is turning out to be an uphill battle. Since the first computer crime law, the Counterfeit Access Device and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1984, the government has been trying to track down and stop online criminals. The FBI has tried many programs and investigations in order to deter Internet crime, like creating an online crime registry for employers (Metchik 29). The reality is that Internet criminals are rarely caught. One reason is that hackers will use one computer in one country to hack another computer in another country. Another eluding technique used is the changing of the emails, which are involved in virus attacks and “phishing” emails so that a pattern cannot be recognized. An individual can do their best to protect themselves simply by being cautious and careful. Internet users need to watch suspicious emails, use unique passwords, and run anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Do not open any email or run programs from unknown sources.