Home Engineering The dark side of technology
Smaller-scale computer crimes
Crime generates an equally profitable business for honest cyber experts and consultants, as many websites offer and sell advice on protective measures such as anti-virus software, and also detail the various weak points in our defences where attacks are likely to originate. Social networks are particularly dangerous for the unwary, as they involve people we are communicating with, who initially may seem to be a new ‘friend’. Initially we trust them. The ‘phishing’ scams and information gained about details of our lives, or even incriminating photographs, may soon follow. The latter are used for blackmail, and this is a growing and very profitable crime. Blackmail scams are mostly hidden, but there has been an increase in the number of suicides they cause. Overall, the
UK 2013 estimates ranked the relative danger for access to these crimes by social networks in Google, LinkedIn, Myspace, Twitter, and Facebook from 5—39 per cent (in the order listed).
People effectively are trusting, gullible, and put themselves at risk—the expert advice from Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) (the UK department concerned with security and electronic espionage, etc.) suggests that 80 per cent of cybercrime could be blocked or avoided by better security and risk management, and a less trusting attitude to strangers whom we do not really know and may never meet (not forgetting that the pictures we see of them may be of totally different people).
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