(BBC News School Report) Cyber Crime

(Reported by Oliver Cubillos, Year 9)

In the present age, we don’t know what criminals look like online the wide web. A platform these criminals strive on is the internet; cybercrime has been increasing over the 21st century which raises the question: what does an average criminal look like nowadays? In this subject there are different types of cybercrime such as: phishing, hacking and fraud. All of us mostly have at least 2 or more digital devices so this platform would be simple to access if you have the experienced of a professional or beginner.

Recently it’s been reported that young adults have been on the receiving end for identity theft and fraud, it was recorded in 2016 within the UK that 25,000 victims of fraudulent cases were aged under 30 years, with the number of under 21 year olds defrauded rising by a third. Furthermore, statistics from 277 banks and businesses displayed 173,000 recorded frauds in the previous year, -the highest level of frauds since records began 13 years ago. It’s been quoted by CIFAS (credit industry fraud avoidance system) 172,919 incidents of identity fraud last year represent 53.3% of all fraud recorded by CIFAS, of which 88% of the incidents occurred online. Comments we’ve received from City of London Police Commander Chris Greany are quoted as followed “With close to half of all crime now either fraud or cybercrime we all need to make sure we protect our identity.” And “Identity fraud is the key to unlocking your valuables. Things like weak passwords or not updating your software are the same as leaving a window or door unlocked.”

A key way to tackle the threats posed is to limit the amount of personal information you give away on social networking sites. Your real friends know where you live and know your birthday, as if you gave this information away who knows who’s on the receiving end for this information this mainly results in identity theft and can in some extreme cases result in unwanted visitors appearing at your doorstep. Secondly, updating your computer’s firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware programmes. Up to 80% of cyber threats can be removed by doing this when applied increases your security from outside malicious content. Never share passwords or PINs (personal identification numbers) with others and do not write them down, by doing this, people have access to your money and bank funds that you worked for. Use strong passwords and PINs – don’t use your date of birth or your child’s name, include a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and punctuation marks. Aim for a minimum of 10 characters in a password, try to choose more of a different combination that would seem unlikely to use there making your access code even more difficult to guess. Do not use the same password or PIN for more than one account, in an extreme circumstance picture that one of your accounts have been breached by an unwanted intruder, what to say that they won’t try and use the same combination for your other accounts. Shred all your financial documents before you throw them away, this stops identity theft and certain information about you or the people around you being spread to unwanted eyes.

Hopefully from this article you’ve gained a useful insight on cyber security and how to stay safe online from identity theft and fraudsters, however this does leave some end untied such as “will our privacy be secured if these continuous breaches occur?” or “will fraudulent cases continue to increase with time ” only  time will tell.