Cybercrime or cyber crime refers to violations that occur on virtual computer spaces such as the World Wide Web, closed work network, home networks, and other networks. Cyber crime can include a variety of different actions, but it usually involves the stealing of personal information, bank account information, and online assets.
A major concern with cybercrime is that it is difficult to detect. Since many computer and internet-based technologies are so new, it can be difficult for authorities to keep up with all the different schemes and crimes circulating. However, consumers can protect themselves by reporting suspicious websites, users, or activity.
Cybercrime can include:
- Hacking into personal accounts
- Hacking into work databases
- Breaking into competitor databases
- Various forms of internet theft and fraud
- Schemes/scams based on fake websites
- Various credit-related thefts
In addition, many laws now address the issue of cyber bullying. Some jurisdictions impose penalties for persons who are found to be consistently engaged in cyberbullying.
Other issues related to cyber crime can include copyright/trademark violations, false advertising, and slander or defamation.
Penalties for cybercrime can include fines and jail time. Federal violations may result in criminal charges. Also, civil damages may be needed in cases where the cybercrime has caused a person to lose economic assets. Thus, it may be necessary to report any criminal activities to local authorities. If the violation is work-related, you should inform your work supervisor and/or IT division so they can investigate into the matters. Also, some websites maintain lists of all the different scams, viruses, and fraud schemes that are circulating on the internet.
Cybercrime can negatively affect both individual consumers as well as business entities. You may need to hire a business lawyer if you need legal assistance with a cyber crime issue. Your lawyer can provide you with legal advice and representation during trial. If you need to file criminal charges, your attorney can research what types of options are available and can inform you how to proceed with a filing.