What is cybercrime?

Cybercrime is a bigger threat than ever before, now that more and more people are connected to the Internet via laptops, smartphones and tablets, and is one of the most profitable ways to make money in the criminal world. There are a wide variety of cybercrimes, which can broadly be placed into two categories: one-off crimes, such as installing a virus that steals your personal data; and ongoing crimes such as cyberbullying, extortion, distributing child pornography or organizing terrorist attacks.

Cybercrime
Where does cybercrime come from?

Cybercrime, like other crime, is the work of criminals but it is practiced by those who have technological skills and use the internet to achieve their nefarious ends. Cybercriminals employ their diverse skill set to access bank accounts, steal identities, blackmail, defraud, stalk, and harass or use a compromised computer as part of a sophisticated botnet to stage DDoS attacks on large institutions.

How do you recognize cybercrime?

Recognizing a cybercrime depends on the crime being committed. Malware surreptitiously downloaded to your computer might slow it down and prompt it to give you error messages. Phishing attacks, meanwhile, usually involves receiving emails from unknown sources trying to trick you into giving up your passwords or personal data. Keyloggers leave their own telltale signs, like strange icons, or duplicating your messages. On the other hand, you may never suspect your computer has been enslaved to a botnet.

How do you stop cybercrime?

Resolving cybercrime is a job for the police, national cyber security departments, and commercial cyber security firms. On a personal level, however, you can put an end to cybercrime by removing the most common methods of committing these types of crimes: malware. Comprised of viruses, spyware, and ransomware, using a powerful antivirus to scan your system and removing dangerous files not only keeps you safe, it keeps cyber-criminals from making money, which is typically their primary motivation.

Some tips to prevent cybercrime
  • Don’t download anything from unknown sources
  • Don’t click on links embedded in emails from people you don’t know
  • Don’t ever give out your password or personal data
Protect yourself from cybercrime

Protecting yourself against cybercrime can be time-consuming, but always worth it. Practicing safe browsing, such as avoiding strange downloads and untrusted sites, is a common-sense solution to cybercrime. Being careful with your login details and personal information can also keep you a step ahead of cybercriminals. But the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to use a powerful antivirus such as Avast Free Antivirus.

Why Avast?
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  • It’s the "Antivirus with the lowest impact on PC performance” (AV comparatives)
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