Cybercrime Takes Many Forms – Learn About Prevention and Recovery This National Cyber Security Awareness Month
Week 3 of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is all about recognizing and combating cybercrime. As our world becomes more technologically advanced and people use the internet for more and more things, online crime becomes more prevalent – and the range of crimes becomes more diverse.
Although we typically talk about things like phishing and tech support scams, ransomware, identity theft and fraud and corporate data breaches when we think about cybercrime, there are online implications of a variety of other crimes. Bullying and harassment, for example, can cross from the offline world to the online world and vice versa, and the impacts can be severe. According to a 2016 NCSA survey cosponsored by Microsoft, 39 percent of online teens reported having experienced mean or cruel treatment online or when using apps in the past year; respondents’ messages were mainly about something they said or did (52%), their appearance (45%), something they did not say or do (33%), their sexual orientation (27%), their gender (25%) or their race or ethnicity (24%). Many teens also reported being “very concerned” about having someone post untrue things about them online (35%), receiving unwanted communications that make them uncomfortable (32%), being pressured to participate in harassing or bullying someone else (32%), being harassed or bullied for a sustained period (29%), being approached by people they don’t know online (25%) and being called offensive names (25%).
Additionally, crimes like stalking, domestic abuse and exploitation can take shape in the offline world and be amplified online through social media, email and other platforms, including sending harrasing posts and relentless text messages, tracking victims’ whereabouts and trying to harm victims’ reputations. Making unwanted telephone calls, leaving unwanted text or voice messages and spying on victims with listening devices, cameras or GPS devices were among the most commonly reported stalker tactics by both female and male victims of stalking in a national study.
Identity theft and financial loss still rank high in consumers’ concerns as well. In a 2016 survey of teens and parents of teens, preventing identity theft was the top online safety topic both groups reported wanting to know more about; additionally, unauthorized account access was teens’ top online safety concern, with 47 percent reporting they were “very concerned” about someone accessing their accounts without their permission.
It’s important for everyone to be aware of all types of cybercrime and for victims to know where to go to report their crimes and for help. Here are some helpful resources to check out:
- National Center for Victims of Crime
- National Crime Prevention Center
- Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
- Stalking Resource Center (A Program of the National Center for Victims of Crime)
- Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC)
- StaySafeOnline.org: Cyberbullying and Harassment
- StaySafeOnline.org: Identity Theft and Fraud
- U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime
You can help the authorities fight cybercrime by reporting any incidents to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center, the ITRC, the Federal Trade Commission and/or your local law enforcement or state attorney general as appropriate.
Learn more about cybercrime prevention and recovery with this infographic. Download and share it on social media using the hashtag #CyberAware! You can also check out our video overview of Week 3 here.
We have many exciting things coming up this week, and we hope you’ll join us! On Wednesday, Oct. 19, the City and County of Los Angeles are hosting a NCSAM Week 3 keystone event; panel discussions will address recognizing and combating cybercrime as a community and cybersecurity for small businesses. Learn more and register for the event here. Here are a few additional easy ways to participate online and in the community:
- Get involved on social media. Use the #CyberAware hashtag in your posts, follow us on Facebook and Twitter and download our sample social media content to share before and during the month.
- Become a NCSAM Champion. Register yourself and/or your organization as a Champion to take action in support of NCSAM and receive materials you can use to spread the word. It’s easy and free to sign up.
- Join our #ChatSTC Twitter chat. Each week, @STOPTHNKCONNECT will host a discussion on a different online safety topic. This Thursday, Oct. 20, at 3 p.m. EDT/noon PDT, we’ll discuss how you can recognize and combat cybercrime. Use #ChatSTC to join!
 Research Findings – Keeping Up With Generation App: NCSA Parent/Teen Online Safety Survey (https://staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/resources/research-findings-keeping-up-with-generation-app-ncsa-parent-teen-online-safety-study)
 Stalking Resource Center Stalking Fact Sheet (http://www.victimsofcrime.org/docs/default-source/src/stalking-fact-sheet-2015_eng.pdf?sfvrsn=2)