Citizens Crime Commission of New York City

A non-partisan non-profit organization working to make criminal justice
and public safety policies and practices more effective through innovation,
research, and education.

INITIATIVE: Cybercrime Prevention
FBI / Crime Commission Alliance on Cybercrime

What is Cybercrime?
Cybercrime is a broad term that can be used to describe any criminal activity committed involving a computer and the internet. In a society where technology is continuously growing, this type of crime is becoming increasingly widespread. The threat posed by cyber crimes is not only limited to the use of computers. It can occur with the use of any device used to communicate with others such as mobile phones, tablets, and video game consoles. These electronic crimes most often involve hacking into private information and stealing large sums of money. Some forms of cyber crime may include: spam, harassment, drug trafficking, cyber terrorism, offensive content, blackmail, forgery, and embezzlement. Identity theft, the most frequently reported form of cyber crime, typically involves techniques known as phishing or pharming to steal personal information. Cyber criminals use these techniques to bring internet users to fake websites (that look authentic) to obtain passwords, bank account information, and other identifying information.

The targets of cyber crime can be people, property, businesses, institutions or government. It is a huge concern in the business community, with many instances occurring where millions of dollars are being stolen from large corporations. Cyber criminals are hacking into corporate websites and stealing confidential information with the intent to commit fraud. Not only is this an issue that affects corporations, but private individuals as well. In making everyday transactions such as online banking or shopping, e-mail, and social networking, an individual's information is always at risk, providing an opportunity for cyber criminals to take advantage. Since these cyber crimes are such a common occurrence, it requires everyone to use extreme caution when using computers and the internet. The internet is a tool that in many cases makes our lives easier, but it can also be used for others to take advantage. Therefore, it is tremendously important to take measures in securing one's home network, as well as for corporations and businesses to do the same.

What To Do If You Are A Victim Of Cybercrime
If you believe a cyber crime has been committed against you, there are resources for reporting it:
  • Private citizens can visit the Internet Crime Complaint Center, where a claim can be placed. Detailed information regarding the incident will need to be provided before a claim is filed and sent in for review.

  • Tips about any crime, including theft of data and national security threats can be reported on the Tips and Public Leads section of the FBI website.

  • Visit, the federal government's one-stop resource to help you report and recover from identity theft.

Cybercrime Pages
» Overview
» What is Cybercrime?
» How to Protect Yourself from Ransomware
» How to Protect Your Organization from Cybercrime
» Secure Our Smartphones (S.O.S.)
» Predictive Prevention Lab
» Getting Your Feet Wet - Learning to Detect
Phishing Emails

Media & Resources
» New Report! How Human Behavior and Decision
Making Expose Users to Phishing Attacks

Visit the Internet Crime Complaint Center

Security Information For Businesses

Security Information For INDIVIDUALS

Cybercrime Terms
Adware: A computer program used to track users' online activities and deliver targeted pop-up ads to users.

Bitcoins: Uninsured digital currency, also known as "cryptocurrency," which operates independently of central banks. It is used for peer-to-peer electronic transactions and transfers.

Botnet: A collection of private computers that have been infected with malware and are being controlled by a cyber criminal without the owner being aware. Criminals will likely use botnets to send out spam messages, spread viruses, and commit fraud.

Computer Worm: A malware that replicates itself over a computer network and usually performs malicious actions such as damaging data, or using up the computer's resources and possibly shutting the computer down.

Denial-of-service (DoS): An attacker attempts to prevent legitimate users from accessing information or services. Typically, a network server is bombarded with authentication requests; the attack overwhelms the resources of the target computers, causing them to deny server access to other computers making legitimate requests.

Encryption: The process of encoding data or confidential information so that it is not easily understood by those who are not permitted access to it.

Firewall: A computer security program that blocks incoming network traffic and screens for hackers, viruses and worms that try to reach your computer over the Internet. Users should make sure that firewalls are enabled on all their network devices.

Keylogger: A type of spyware that records every keystroke of the user and reports this information back to its source.

Malware: Short for "malicious software." It consists of viruses, worms, spyware, Trojan horses and botnets that become installed on computers, Internet of Things or mobile devices without consent. Malware is often used to steal private information, send spam messages, and commit online fraud.

Phishing: A type of cybercrime in which individuals deceive others by posing as legitimately established enterprises (your bank, government agencies, the FBI, employer) as to steal users' valuable personal information, such as account data and credit card information.

Proxy Server: A proxy server is an intermediary between your PC or device and the Internet. This server makes requests to websites, servers and services on the Internet for you. Cyber criminals use proxies to route their communications through several different locations or even countries. Because of this, it can be quite an exhausting challenge to track down cyber criminals.

Ransomware: A type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system. This type of malware forces its victims to pay the ransom through certain online payment methods in order to grant access to their systems, or to get their data back.

Spyware: A type of malware that is self-installed on a computer and can be used to collect personal information about users without their knowledge.

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