Cybercrime and effect on the civilians.

Cybercrime means different things to different people and as a result, there are plenty of definitions for it. In 2013 McGuire et al. broke ‘cybercrime’ down into two parts – cyber-dependent crimes and cyber-enabled crimes. Cyber-dependent crimes are ‘are offences that can only be committed by using a computer, computer networks, or other form of ICT’. This includes:

  • The spread of viruses
  • Hacking

Cyber-enabled crimes are ones which can be committed without the aid of a computer, but are often made easier with the use of one. These include:

  • Fraud
  • Theft
  • Harassment

All three of these crimes can be committed ‘traditionally’ ie face to face. However the introduction of the internet means that these crimes have developed, you no longer have to leave your house to harass someone or steal something. Whilst this might benefit some unsavoury characters, for the general public this makes life a lot scarier. To avoid being a victim of crime, it is not enough to simply avoid spooky alleyways at night, or to lock your doors anymore. With the development of crime there also needs to be a development of ways to avoid being a victim.

All of these blog posts will focus on how we, the civilians, interact with cybercrime – that is, how it affects us, what we might be doing to enable it, whether we fear cybercrime and whether we deserve the right to anonymity on the internet. A blog post will also focus on who should tackle cybercrime, as regardless of my focus, it is an important area to discuss.

This area of cybercrime is interesting to me as it is a part that directly affects people like me. It is not just theory, or something that ‘just happens to other people’, cybercrime can affect anyone, even university students! Rather than it just being a concept, like a lot of criminology is (for example, there is a lot of focus on prisoners (which I am not), lower class people (which I am not), or ex convicts (which I am not!), cybercrime does not discriminate, it will affect anyone.

References:

McGuire, M. and Dowling, S. (2013) Cyber crime: A review of the evidence Research Report 75 Summary of key findings and implications. Home Office. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/246749/horr75-summary.pdf [Accessed 11 October 2016].