Cyber crime is defined as a crime in which a computer is the object of a crime or it is used as a tool to commit a crime. The term itself is extremely broad, as there are multiples subcategories of computer crimes and various crimes within each of them. Examples of cyber crimes that affect the personal being of a person are security breaches, fraud, digital piracy, child pornography, counterfeiting, and money laundering.
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There are also crimes that can corrupt the functioning of the Internet itself. Examples of these are hacking, spam, and cyberterrorism, which can lead to public disturbances and even death. A majority of cyber crimes are committed by Americans due to the widespread adoption of technology and the Internet.
Identity theft is one of the most popular forms of cyber crimes in which hackers are able to access addresses, Social Security numbers, birthdates, and driver’s license numbers. With these valuable pieces of personal information, cyber criminals can commit acts of fraud, such as receive medical services, apply for credit, and file taxes. The most common types of identity theft are tax ID theft, in which a thief files false tax returns using a stolen Social Security numbers, social ID theft, in which a thief uses personal information such as name and photos to create a fake account on a social media platform, medical ID theft, in which a thief steals medical information such as Medicare ID or health insurance information, and child ID theft, which is particularly difficult to detect until it is far too late. Similar to child ID theft, identity theft in general is usually so destructive due to the fact that it typically goes undetected until the damage is done and there isn’t anything left to do. These types of criminals mostly leave you in financial difficulties such as denied loans, credit collections, mystery bills, and large sums of money disappearing from bank accounts. In order to report identity theft, the easiest way to do so is online at identitytheft.org or by calling 1-877-438-4338.
Digital piracy is the distribution of copyrighted material in an illegal manner. For example, downloading a song, movie, electronic book, or software illegally is considered digital piracy, despite the fact that it seems like almost everyone does it in this day and age. In fact, the act of someone transferring files from their home computers to their work computers used to be considered digital piracy in earlier times. Media can be attained multiple ways, but most of it can be found through websites containing a large amount of pirated material. According to CNN, approximately 90% of all downloaded music is downloaded illegally, which is considered digital piracy.
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