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Utilizing Computer Networks

How are Computer Used in Networks Identity Theft

How are Computer Used in Networks Identity Theft

 

Everyday people use the computer without being aware of how easily they can fall victim to online identity theft. Many times, the criminal can be someone close to the victim who is waiting to divulge the victim's personal information and use it for financial profit.

One method that some thieves may use is the method of "shoulder surfing". Shoulder surfing is when someone literally, and most of the time casually and discretely, watches over your shoulder as you punch personal information into the computer (i.e. credit card information, social security number, etc.). The criminal will then use this information, posing as the victim, to his or her advantage.

Another form of online identity theft is using malware (malicious software) in order to illegally obtain a third party’s personal information, which can also be used to the criminal's advantage. Some criminals will also commit identity theft by physically using a computer that was previously occupied by the victim to see if they can search out their personal data themselves.

However, there are steps that can be taken to help lessen the chance of online identity theft occurring. To avoid becoming a potential victim of online identity theft, you may try making sure to log off of sites that contain private information, so that you will have to log on to receive access. Sometimes the most common mistake is forgetting to log out of an e-mail account or an online bank account, where others can review all of your personal information, including finances. When you realize your identity has been stolen contact an identity theft lawyer to acquire legal advice and assistance.

Sometimes, trying to have a password that isn't too obvious can help. Instead of using your birthday or a fact that maybe many people know about you, try using an obscure reference to something many people may not be aware you even enjoy, or perhaps just a random assortment of letters and/or numbers.

Online identity theft is not a victimless crime. It is a Federal offense and can be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. "The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act", or "FACTA", works to help prevent online identity theft and to help exercise consumers' rights.

Utilizing Computer Networks For Information Warfare

Utilizing Computer Networks For Information Warfare

Information warfare is a strategic tactic that involves using data in a potentially harmful way. Many criminals commit information warfare as a means to: spread slander, disperse propaganda, vandalize web pages, cause network interference (otherwise known as a “denial of services attack” or “DoS Attack”) either physically or by installing a virus, in order to exploit an individual or a particular situation, or just using someone’s personal information in an unethical manner.
Many times, information warfare is put into action using televisions and radios as a tool to disseminate information and jam frequencies in order to complete information warfare.
Information warfare is directly connected to a type of computer crime known as cyber warfare. Cyber warfare has the same intention as information warfare due to the fact that it involves the spreading of classified information or distorting the truth in order to achieve political, social, economic gain, or as a way to perpetrate destructive behavior. However, cyber warfare is more directly connected with computer and/or Internet usage.
Many times, cyber warfare is brought on when someone, or a group of people, hack into a computer’s system or there is a breach in security within the network. Criminal hackers will hack into an account to gather secured information in order to take part in information warfare via a computer’s network or Internet (cyber warfare). The action may be against a person or company against whom the perpetrators may have a personal vendetta, or it might be implemented for political, social, or financial gain.
Cyber warfare can result in cases being brought to court. A great deal of these computer crimes even involve high ranking military officials or politicians. Recent reports conclude that over one hundred countries have considered using the Internet as a way to wage cyber warfare against their enemies. Many cyber warfare cases were reported during the summer of 2009. The attacks were initially considered to be coming from North Korea, but further investigation revealed that the attacks were actually carried out by someone from the United Kingdom.

Utilizing Computer Networks Phishing Scams

Utilizing Computer Networks Phishing Scams

A phishing scam is a scheme that involves luring victims to fake Internet sites, often disguised as everyday social sites, popular banks, etc., in order to retrieve personal information from the victim. Sometimes, phishing scams might not involve fake sites, but instead might involve a person taking on a false identity. These impersonators may claim that they are there to help the victim gain profit, when really their intention is to exploit the victim and to take advantage of them financially.
 
 
Many times, phishing scams can cause serious consequences to the victim including financial loss, identity theft, and not being able to access websites that the victim would normally be able to log on to (i.e. a personal email, bank account, etc.).
 
 
One of the best ways to avoid falling victim to a phishing scam is to heed specific warning signs. For example, if one were to receive an e-mail from a bank he or she does not have an account with or an e-mail from his or her bank that sounds like a mistake, it would be best to call the bank directly rather than taking action online. This could be a clever phishing scam for personal information.
 
 
Another warning sign is when you receive an e-mail from an unknown person with a general beginning to the letter (for example: "Dear Friend" or "Dear Miss") or if the letter talks about any kind of financial transaction with an unknown source, it is most likely a phishing scam. Inside of many e-mail accounts, there may be an option within the browser where you can actually report e-mails as phishing scams.
 
 
The Anti-Phishing Working Group is an organization that is set up to combat phishing scams. It is the belief of this organization that, as the public becomes more and more aware of phishing scams, the practice of phishing scams will die out. Punishments for phishing scams can include jail time or fines.

An Overview of Utilizing Computer Networks

An Overview of Utilizing Computer Networks

In the past few years, the number of computer crimes has risen due to the ease of crimes utilizing computers as a tool to commit unlawful acts. These computer crimes include computer fraud, phishing scams, identity theft, cyberstalking, and information/cyber warfare. Most of the time, these tactics are carried out in order to achieve some sort of financial, personal, political, or even social gain, even though the means are considered illegitimate.
Cyberstalking
Although many computer crimes involve the use of computers for money, some criminals have another kind of agenda. A good example of a computer crime that is usually committed for more personal reasons is cyberstalking. Cyberstalking is when a criminal becomes infatuated with an individual (or sometimes more than one person) and continually uses the computer as a way to harass the victim.
Harassment can include unwanted photos, e-mails, chatting, or the criminal may do or say something via the Internet that could potentially harm the victim(s). In order to avoid being stalked via the Internet, law enforcement suggests that you do not have an obvious username/password and do not be too liberal about giving out this information.
It is also recommended to stay away from anything that could be deemed as “suggestive” (this includes: usernames, pictures, e-mails, chatting, etc.). Also, when chatting, if anyone tends to make you feel uncomfortable during a chat session or says or does anything that could be considered harassment, block them and then immediately report them to your Internet service provider.
Phishing Scams
Another scam that is a regular occurrence viewed via the Internet is what is commonly referred to as a phishing scam. A phishing scam often involves the victim being lured to a false website or an impersonator that will try to gain the victim’s trust and somehow steal their personal information. Many times, the criminal’s intention involves the use of the victim’s information for the purpose of invading their funds. However, there are ways to avoid becoming a victim of phishing scams.
One course of action that can be taken includes reporting suspicious or unfamiliar e-mails. Many times, e-mail accounts have an option within the browser to report e-mails as phishing scams. Also, if you receive a suspicious e-mail from your bank, or an e-mail from any bank, make sure to call the bank directly rather than filling out information online as this may be a scam to access personal data (the same also goes for any kind of loan or even a credit agency).