Let’s not beat about the bush but give an answer straight away: it is only going to be worse. In this article we will address the causes and provide some tips to arm yourself against it. The tips are no guarantee that cybercrime will never affect you, but you now know you have been warned.
Cybercrime is simple and lucrative
Ransomware is software that is easy to build and that can easily be bought through online platforms. Once this malware has taken over your computer, you have a grave problem. You can choose to pay the intruder ransom money and hope for the documents to be released. All in all, we are talking big money here on the whole: in 2017 cybercrime cost 600 billion dollars, and 2018 is expected to be even more costly.
Cybercrime: the chance of getting caught is very small
Cybercrime is very profitable indeed and criminals are very likely to get away with it. This is why many people are interested in it. Some play the crime game alone, but criminals also form alliances and gang up on computer users together. What has made cybercrime even harder to fight is the bitcoin and other virtual currencies, because they make ransom payments virtually untraceable.
Cybercrime: government sponsoring creates an extra boost
Sponsoring of cybercrime by countries such as North Korea and Russia leads to the creation and expansion of international networks of cybercriminals. They not only work together but they are even government funded and aided by government experts. About one billion dollars are funnelled into cybercrime by governments every year. The western world has woken up to this massive and large-scale threat, investing in special police services and security services to combat cybercrime. Unfortunately, due diligence in politics and legislation is the spanner in the works in many countries, simply because legislation procedures cannot be quick and dirty and cybercriminals can always remain one step ahead
of newly introduced legislation.
Cybercrime: how can you protect yourself?
You do not have to be an IT expert to be able to protect yourself against cybercrime. Most ransomware can be easily recognized, and it is always you who allows malware to be installed on your PC. Opening and downloading suspicious files is never wise. Throw emails that you do not trust away. Do not even open them. If the email was important it will surely come around again, and then you can always verify it with a phone call to the sender. Phishing mails also get opened every day, despite constant warnings by banks and other service providers. The principle is: if you do not know it, do not trust it. For the rest, it is the government’s move. Legislation has to be adapted at short notice, so that cybercriminals can be apprehended and put behind bars. And the money made has to be impounded and returned to the rightful owners. Last but not least, much more international cooperation is needed to stem cybercrime and to stop countries such as North Korea and Russia from funding cybercrime.