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Cybercrime: What Is It & How To Avoid It

At its most basic level, cybercrime is simply any illegal activity that involves the use of a device that has access to the Internet. There are a number of different categories of cybercrime, and depending on your relationship with the online world, you may be a potential target for any and all of these.

The Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime has definitions for the varieties of potential cybercrimes, whether they involve malicious tampering or theft of data, cyberbullying, stalking, and even encompass the sale of illegal items like drugs, guns, or some forms of pornography. Identifying your likely weak spots is key to making certain you do not fall victim to cybercrime.

Remain security aware

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If you’re a business owner, then it might be concerning to acknowledge that the greatest risk to your cyber-safety is your own members of staff. They may not be trying to steal from you, but their lack of security awareness may allow criminals to gain access with greater ease than you might think. An employee who uses a weak password, another installing a corrupted app on a work device or someone even sharing a Cloud document with the wrong person, can all have devastating effects, and it is vital that your staff are given regular reminders of the risks. We all like to think that basic cybersecurity is second nature, but it is all too easy to fall victim to the professionals who are able to spot a weak point.

Stay up to date

You should have policies in place at all times that specify good password criteria, acceptable software to use, and approved websites and services. These policies should be addressed on a regular basis and updated as and when needed. It is all too easy to shift this role onto your IT department but this fails to take into account the human factor that is your staff. Managed badly, this could result in your IT staff running around putting out security fires instead of managing their actual role. This is why companies such as Torix carry out extensive Security Assessment and penetration testing services, which can identify for you the risks and show you the best ways to protect yourself and your business from those risks.

With cybercrimes on the increase, everyone needs to become more security-aware, whether you’re a private individual with your photos on Google Drive, or a big business with a number of employees accessing sensitive files on a regular basis. By staying security aware and knowing at least the basic ways to protect yourself, you will make the job of cybercriminals all the more difficult. Common sense and professional advice are your key routes to protection, as is the need to make sure that those around you are as security conscious as they can be. Cybercrime is a significant part of life now that we are all connected in a myriad of ways, and no matter your relationship with technology, you are a potential victim. Maintaining awareness is the only way to protect yourself.