To begin with, it is important to mention that with the dramatic development in the technology of communications and computers, the world has benefited a lot. However, the price for all these achievements could also be very expensive. Thus, computer crimes are now becoming an extremely serious problem, which are costing up to billions of dollars. A close look at the data indicates that the U.S., where the computer appeared as an invention, is considered to be the native land of the worst computer crimes so far. Furthermore, other countries are also contracting this modern problem as their businesses, governments, and individuals become more dependent on networks and computers. It means that computer crimes are threatening the future of confidentiality, communication, and even the integrity of organizations, businesses.
It is essential to highlight that the world today is becoming much smaller with every day due to the aspects of globalization, especially the Internet. Thus, thousands of companies, agencies, and organizations in addition to millions of various people all over the world have possibilities to contact each other and to have communicate through the Internet. Needless to say that it is through the phone and the computer that many of the worst computer crimes are taking place. Evidently, a computer crime takes place when some unauthorized person reaches data and information that he was not supposed to reach. The other aspect of a computer crime is when an individual inflicts damage on the systems, files, and networks of others on purpose. Needless to say that these crimes are now becoming felonies, which lead to heavy fines and even imprisonment in countries such as the U.S.
In 2017, more than sixty percent of all American companies reported that they experienced computer crimes (Peltier, 201-203). A close look at the data illustrates that the cost of these crimes were an average of more than five hundred thousand dollars per company. Obviously, the most common crimes were computer viruses, hardware theft, and unauthorized access to information and data. The current research indicates that those who steal hardware are known as thieves, whereas those who use viruses or try to break into systems and networks are known as computer hackers (Schinder, 93).
It is possible to argue that the theft of hardware is not a very serious problem. For example, a printer that disappears or a computer that is stolen could always be replaced. It means that the cost is always known, and various consequences can be made up for. On the other hand, in the case of a computer crime, which involves breaking into the informational system of the company, the results are regularly out of control. It is impossible to find out the size of real damage done to a company whose files were stolen until a very long time to pass. Moreover, the situation is even worse when the company could not be aware of the crime.
The other very serious problem of the computer security is connected with computer hackers. They commit their crimes in a different ways. Firstly, they could install a virus program inside a computer network of a certain company. Generally, this virus program starts fixing and recording all kinds of passwords used in the system, and sends them to the hackers through email. As a result, the hacker breaks into the security systems and reaches access to any information, which might be hidden away by the staff of the company on their computers.
Evidently, the other way is to install computer viruses on the network of some company (Schinder, 442). These virus programs could be programmed to start working at a programed time or when some specific application is run. When the virus activates, it could do the kind of designed damage. For instance, it might delete some or all kinds of important files on the computer. It could make the applications run in a specially distorted way. Finally, it could simply destroy the entire system, making the network impossible to operate. Obviously, in either case, the important information is lost, as well as various valuable applications, which require a lot of time and money to repair.
Needless to say that files visited by hackers could contain sensitive information about allies, clients, and competitors, and their fall in the hands of the wrong people could be disastrous for the victim company. As a result, a victim company could lose its customers to its competitors and could even lose serious projects if such information leaks out to some unauthorized parties. Undoubtedly, the dollar measurement of such damage is not usually possible. However, it is regularly very huge.
The current research shows that it was traditionally believed that only big companies and organizations were attractive targets for hackers because their information could be valuable and worthy (Easttorm, 48-54). Nevertheless, recent developments show that no one could feel secure when it comes to computer crimes. Thus, even simple individuals with their private computers could face the attack of hackers. It happens because modern DDOS attacks need to be made from the big amount of computers. Therefore, it is important for hackers to make your computer the part of their criminal system.
In the modern world, computer crimes happen on a mass level (Schinder, 310). For instance, a virus could be sent through e-mail to millions of individuals, organizations, groups, and governments at the same time. This is usually named as spamming, a term, which is very closely related to mail junking. This too is considered to be a serious federal computer crime because it has a negative impact on privacy.
Taking everything into account, it is possible to conclude that the phenomenon of the computer crime is always present in the modern society, and the only way to reduce its destructive power is through awareness of users. However, this awareness is the first step, and alone, it could do nothing. Thus, potential victims, especially organizations and companies that have sensitive and valuable data on their computers have to resort to technological and managerial strategies in order to deal with various computer crimes.
Easttorn, Chuck. 2016. Computer Crime, Investigation, and the Law. Cengage Learning. Print.
Peltier, Thomas. 2018. Information Security Fundamentals. Auerbach Publications. Print.
Schinder, Debra. 2018. Scene of the Cybercrime. Syngress Publishing. Print.