Week 7: The danger of the Internet D:

March 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Cyber-crime strikes 70% of Internet users in S’pore
(Source)

The article above dated 9th September 2010 published information about the cases of cyber crimes in Singapore. The cyber crimes stated can range from computer viruses, fraud, identity theft and even cyber bullying. However, one of the issue of cyber crimes is that victims often do not report their situation to the police.

As the Internet grows, more and more people are increasing their usage of it. It would be no surprise that cyber crimes will increase, when offenders realized the many things they can do on the Internet. Just what are the more serious trends in cyber crimes?

1) Virus, Worms, Spyware!

Probably the most hated problem by everyone that owns a computer 🙂 A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer. It can actually be “spread” from computer to computer (by sending it over the network, or transferring it in a external drive/disk/floppy).

Below is actually a list of the top ten computer viruses and you can see how a virus can cause so much damage and also the many possible ways it can spread. It can infect emails and word documents and infected computers will be affected as their system will crash or be restarted.

(Source)

Other than a computer virus, there is also Malware. It is a software designed to harm or secretly access a computer’s system without the owner’s informed consent. It contains harmful bugs and sometimes can come in the form of a genuine software and also from a official website. One of the more famous malware will be the Trojan Horse. It is a program that invites the user to run it, concealing a harmful payload. Once activated, it will lead to many undesirable effects by deleting files from the computer or installing more malware.

Spyware is also part of malware, and once installed on a computer, it is designed to collect small pieces of information about users without their knowledge. It collects personal information such as Internet surfing habits and sites visited. Other than that, it can also change the computer settings and slows down the speeds, changing webpages or functionality of other programs. Spyware is also one of the main reasons why identity theft and fraud are committed as there are spywares designed to steal users’ credit card information, passwords and user names.

2) Cyber Bullying

Worms aside… Another cyber crime that is prevalent now is Cyber Bullying.

A search on the Internet about this topic brought me to this website -> http://dontcyberbully.com/
This is a educational support website against cyber bullying. More often that not, children are the victims of cyber bullying. Cases of children being called names and insulted online are very common in Singapore. In the United States, there are even more serious cases of victims who were bullied online, ending up committing suicide.

One of the more famous case of cyber bullying in the US will be Lori Drew’s case.

“As in the 2007 case of Ms Lori Drew, a mother from a Missouri suburb, in the US.

She had posed as a boy, “Josh”, online and befriended Megan Meier, who had had a fall-out with her daughter.

The ploy was so that she could find out what Megan, who lived down the street from her, was saying about her own daughter.

The unsuspecting Megan, then 13, had talked online with “Josh” for more than a month. She hung herself the day after “he” abruptly ended their friendship, calling her a “liar”.”

It is disturbing to see that not only kids and young adults are involved in cyber bully, even parents are doing it. Cyber bullying is a serious case and there should be more focus on this crime, educating the people about the seriousness of it.

The Internet has served us well, providing us with many high technology opportunities that we can ever have. However, there are sure to be the cons to it and that is crimes in cyberspace! Although it’s something we cannot eliminate but I am sure, with the right measures, such crimes can be brought down to a minimum!

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