What Are the Top Five Cybercrimes?

What Are the Top 5 Cybercrimes

From phishing and extortion to harassment and more, here’s a look at the most common cybercrimes companies face.

In 2020, over 240,000 people in the U.S. reported being victims of phishing. The second most commonly reported cybercrime was the non-delivery of products, followed by extortion. Cybercrimes are more rampant than ever. Recognizing that, 154 countries have enacted cybercrime legislation. Still, that has not deterred cybercriminals who steal information and money from vulnerable people and companies. Startups and small companies are among the most common targets.

So, here are some of the most common cybercrimes to watch out for:

#1 Phishing

“Tap on this link and win a million dollars right away!” Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it probably is. Hyperlinks, attachments, a sense of urgency, and unrealistic offers are the characteristics of a phishing cybercrime.

Phishing refers to emailing or contacting someone by pretending to belong to a well-known and famous organization. Cybercriminals use phishing to lure people into providing sensitive information like credit card details and addresses. Some other forms of phishing include smishing (SMS phishing) and vishing (video phishing). 

As per Proofpoint’s 2021 Threat report, 75% of organizations experienced some type of phishing in 2020. To protect yourself from such scams, use spam filters, update browser settings, encourage your team to regularly change their passwords, and onboard a monitoring system.

#2 Cyber Extortion

In July 2021, the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) faced a ransom demand of US$50 million in return for the company’s leaked data. This is known as cyber extortion. 

Cyber extortion is a crime where someone holds your data hostage till your company pays the ransom. Cybercriminals gain access to your computers and steal confidential data. They often gain this access by sending suspicious emails containing malware—malicious software—that hijacks your computer. They can resort to blackmail, denial of service, locking you out of your system, and more.

To keep your company safe from cyber extortion, you can opt for cyber liability insurance, install anti-virus software, maintain numerous data backups, and educate your employees.

#3 Data breach

In 2021, data breach costs rose from US$3.86 million to US$4.24 million. An IBM report revealed that that’s the highest average total cost in 17 years. Compromised credentials were the major cause of data breaches.

Data breaches can happen by accident or intentionally. Poor technological firewalls and reckless employee behavior can result in a data breach. Often, hackers use phishing emails and malware to steal sensitive and confidential information, resulting in a data breach.

The IBM report found that companies with AI-enabled security systems were most protected from data breaches. There are also other ways to protect your company. These include enforcing strong credentials, installing encryption security software, and having a disaster management plan in place for such incidents. 

#4 Identity theft

Dwight Schrute from The Office, a beloved TV show, was right when he said, “Identity theft is not a joke.” Indeed, it is not. In 2020, Americans lost a whopping US$56 billion to identity theft.

Identity theft happens when a person pretends to be someone else to commit fraud. Cybercriminals steal your personal information, like identity cards, credit cards and the like, to make transactions. The most common type of identity theft is financial identity theft. There are also other types, like medical identity theft, child identity theft and more. 

Often, criminals find your paper receipts containing bank details and use them to commit identity theft. To avoid that, shift to using digital financial statements across your company. For the things that have to be in paper form, use a quality shredder to ensure that you dispose of them safely. Additionally, have strong passwords and ensure that only a select few have access to all company files. You don’t need to share every single piece of information with each employee. 

#5 Harassment

Harassment takes on many forms for small businesses. For instance, in April 2021, singer Demi Lovato came under fire for harassing a local frozen yogurt shop on Instagram. She accused them of triggering her “eating disorder” by placing the sugary yogurt options before the vegan ones. There was also another instance of a woman bullying a Houston cafe online for speaking up against the Texas abortion law. Harassment hurts the business’ reputation and often leaves a mental scar on the person being harassed.

Be it because of their employees, customers or outside criminals—many companies have become  targets of online harassment. Harassment includes bullying, stalking and the like. Sometimes insiders use confidential information to bully the business owner. Other times, outside cybercriminals use the information to threaten individuals. They don’t always use only business data. Many use personal information, like pictures, family details, and more, to harass your business or employees. They know that the leakage of that information will be detrimental to your business.

To protect your team from harassment, you must have a stringent anti-harassment policy in place. 

Header Image by Pixabay

SHARE THIS STORY

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

RELATED POSTS

Amazon vs Flipkart Who Will Win Festival Sale War in India

Amazon vs. Flipkart: Who Will Win the Big Festival Sale War in India?

Amazon India and Flipkart, the two biggest ecommerce giants in India, have always been in a neck-to-neck competition for supremacy in the country. There is no better occasion to showcase their strength and take advantage of people’s shopping mood than during the Indian festive season, which begins in late September featuring various festivals, like Durga Pooja, Dussehra and Diwali.

Reviewing Top AI Boyfriends on Google Play Store

Anima vs. Replika: Reviewing Top AI Boyfriends on Google Play Store

Finding your perfect match can be a long and tedious process. You can go on date after date and still have a long way to go before you find your soulmate. In the meantime, you can curb your loneliness by speaking to an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot.There are dozens of AI chatbots on the market today that give you the experience of having someone to vent your issues to and discuss your daily lives with.

Shrinkflation

What Is “Shrinkflation” and Why Opting For It Isn’t Companies’ Only Choice

You might have noticed grocery prices are soaring, or your usual go-to pack of chips is shrinking in size—all thanks to massive inflation. As of August 2022, the U.S. consumer price index (CPI), which measures the change in consumer prices for a specific set of goods over a period, has increased by 8.3% (year-on-year). Although it has gone down slightly from 8.6% in May, the highest it has ever been since 1981, it remains high and worrying.

Top 3 Affordable and Little-Known Smartphones to Bring Home in 2022

Top 3 Affordable and Little-Known Smartphones to Bring Home in 2022

Apple has remained at the center of the smartphone industry for years. The sleek, striking design, ever-improving chip and robust camera system of the iPhone have made it one of the most sought-after smartphones in the world. This month, Apple cemented and extended its lead in the industry by putting forward the next generation of iPhones.

5 More Business Podcasts You Need to Listen To

5 More Business Podcasts You Need to Listen To

Entrepreneurs have one thing in common—they always look for opportunities to learn and grow. To gain an understanding of running a viable business, you need to listen to the experiences of those who have emerged triumphant in the business world. A great way to do so is by tuning into a vast number of business and entrepreneurship podcasts scattered across the internet today.

5 Hobbies To Maximize Your Entrepreneurial Drive

5 Hobbies To Maximize Your Entrepreneurial Drive

Entrepreneurs are a special breed of person. They’re go-getters, risk-takers and dreamers. Yet, even the most driven entrepreneur needs to take a break from time to time. Spending every second of your day on your business is stressful, and you will lose your drive very soon. If you want to stay energetic and ready to take on new challenges at work, hobbies are what you need.