Cybercrime, or simply computer aided crime, is a form of criminal activity that involves the use of a computer over a network. In brief, it involves a criminal using a computer to commit an offense. In other cases, the computer might be the target of the criminal. Most forms of cybercrime include offenses committed against people, or groups, with the sole purpose of victimizing the targets. In certain cases, the aim could be to cause mental distress or even physical harm on the targeted person. Normally, this is achieved through the help of modern telecommunication networks which include computers, or even mobile phones, over a networked system (Wall, 2007). Notably, the perpetrator of the offense may engage the victim through chat, an email, or an SMS with the intention of causing harm. Cybercrime is an issue of concern, when it comes to the usage of the Internet, to an extent that it threatens the security and financial plan of the nation. The issues touching on cybercrime are very sensitive; they entail hacking of confidential information, infringement on copyright, as well as child pornography.
The main issue, when it comes to cybercrime, is the breach of privacy since a criminal is able to access confidential information belonging to the victim. In some cases, a victim is deceitfully made to disclose their personal information which is then used for ulterior reasons. The effects of cybercrime are both physical and psychological because. The latter, however, is more serious since it might even lead to death if not addressed in time. Many organizations, including corporate and governmental agencies, engage in cybercrime through espionage and financial theft which has led to what is popularly referred to as cyber warfare among nations. Recently, the United States complained that Russia could have played a role in the recently concluded elections because some Russian nationals hacked into American computer systems holding confidential information about Hilary Clinton, an aspirant who later lost.
Securing information from cybercriminals has never been an easy task because of the availability of sophisticated and a murky underworld economy that facilitates acquisition of digital data through illegal means. In most cases, the stolen information is often used to gain access to the personal accounts and credit cards of the victims. Many criminals, especially those operating across borders, rely heavily on stolen information to survive. They undertake activities such as phishing, malware distribution, hacking, and pharming of corporate databases to acquire information which they then use for illegal purposes. The presence of malicious code writers, specialized web hosts, and networks for lease is a great challenge in dealing with cybercrime globally. Recently, it was approximated that the global economy loses close to one billion dollars, annually, due to cybercrime (Williams, 2006). In the developed nations, the government, and society in general, has developed a culture that condemns cybercrime activities such as hacking, espionage, copyright infringement, and child pornography. In many advanced societies, special agencies have been formed to ensure the behavior is dealt with accordingly. Unfortunately, the developing countries, especially the unstable/failing states, do not have the capacity to deal with the menace. The overriding ideology of most perpetrators of this kind of crime, within their societies, is that a person can be rich, or can end up acquiring finances using any available means, as long as it does not affect their lives directly.
The second challenge that the society faces as far as cybercrime is concerned is the advancement of communication technologies and the overreliance of people on digital technology (Richet, 2013). The rise of industrialization has given forth to the type of crime that enables the movement of commodity and personal information too quickly to an extent that even law enforcement agencies cannot detect in time. In addition, the methods that law enforcement agencies use cannot keep pace with new emerging technologies. In fact, the law agencies have no capacity to respond to the new forms of crimes. Lastly, cybercrime is a global issue that blurs the traditional distinction between internal and external threats. Traditional states are unable to respond effectively to the form of crime because it is conducted at a global level by exploiting loopholes which exist across nations. For instance, a person suspected to have illegally accessed another person’s information may decide to move to a different territory after realizing that he is being followed. Most of the criminals prefer moving to regions without any capacity to deal with their form of crime. Therefore, it makes it difficult for such a person to be arrested because it needs cooperation on a global platform. For instance, a cybercriminal living in the United States may choose to relocate to a country in Africa which does not have the capacity to detect the form of crime to be committed, or already perpetrated (Csonka 2000).