The ever-increasing internet growth and a plethora of rapidly evolving communication technologies have had some unintended consequences as well. One of the drawbacks of this technological advancement has been cybercrime. Unfortunately, the cybercrime rate has been on the rise recently, owing to the deep penetration and easy accessibility of various communication technologies. Cybercrimes are broadly categorized as offenses related to computers, infringement of copyrights and other related regulations, offenses related to online content, violation of availability, integrity, and confidentiality of any computer data and systems, etc.
Furthermore, cybercrimes are termed as offenses, specific illegal activities like child pornography and child sexual abuse displayed online, and other such offenses which can be accessed through cyber connectivity. Some of the examples include attacking pivotal national infrastructure, creation and spread of ransomware, introduction and dissemination of malware, data attacks on websites to force them offline, online acquiring of drugs, online laundering of money, fraudulent online practices, extortion through sharing of abusive imagery on the internet, forums like the darknet, abusive behavior on social media sites, hate-mongering on social media forums, and many more. The list goes on and on, but here, the focus is on how to reduce cybercrime.
Following are some of the global practices that are widely being used to curtail and reduce the menace of cybercrimes.
- Making Criminal Justice System Effective
The criminal justice system is the fundamental deterrent against any criminal activity or offense. The soon-to-be criminals should feel threatened by the reach and efficiency of the criminal justice system in order to refrain from committing an offense. The strengthening of the criminal justice system requires professional and well-trained human resources to deal with criminals in a stringent manner. This can be achieved through an authentic and all-encompassing degree like a bachelor criminal justice degree. The qualified human resource must make sure that criminals are swiftly nabbed, and justice is judiciously served. More importantly, the reform in the personality of the offender and eventual betterment of the criminals along with their behavior should be part of the objectives of any efficient criminal justice system.
- Strengthening the Response of Government
The response of the government to the increasing rate of cybercrime offenses is pivotal for the success of any reduction strategies against it. The detection and prevention of cybercrimes is an intensive process that requires resources. Today, significant monetary and personnel resources are being reserved for addressing the cybercrime issue. This is only possible through governmental involvement and intervention.
- Enhancement of Legal Framework
Cybercrimes and other related offenses are relatively recent phenomena. The legal framework for addressing the cybercrime issue is at a developmental stage. A comprehensive policy framework is being formulated by governments around the globe in order to curtail such malpractices. New legislation pertaining to cybersecurity and punitive measures for online transgressions are in the making as well.
- Coordination Among All Stakeholders
Federal and state governments, law enforcement agencies, private sector corporations, and the general public at large are some of the prominent stakeholders of any cybercrime elimination strategy. They should all be on the same page in order to address this hazard and well-equipped with related information through awareness.
- Regulating the Social Media Giants
Many social media forums like Twitter, Facebook, and other multibillion-dollar companies belonging to the private sector have an enormous effect on the masses due to the almost cult-like following among their users. There are ongoing efforts to bring them into the ambit of regulatory agencies. There is an ever-increasing consensus on addressing the issue of cybercrimes in a coordinated and effective manner. The recent recording of testimonies and cross-questioning of the social media executives in various parliaments around the globe are some of the steps taken in the right direction.
- Awareness among General Public
Another important aspect of the global practices to reduce cybercrimes is the awareness among the general public at large. There are plans being implemented for better communication and publicity about what constitutes cybercrime and how it should be addressed in a manner that has a significant effect. People must know about their online rights and all the remedial measures available to them in the case of any infringement of their privacy or an online threat of any kind. Everyone should be well-informed and updated about the risks associated with one’s online presence.
- Reinforcing Digital and Physical Security Infrastructure
The digital and physical security infrastructure is the first line of defense against any cyber attack. Therefore, it is imperative that this infrastructure should be reinforced on a regular basis. Some of the digital and physical security protections include server and network traffic monitoring, antivirus, firewalls, data center security, and the likes. Monetary gain is the primary incentive for hackers most of the time. They might lure you into online transferring of money, sharing your confidential information like account pin codes, credit card pins information, and more to steal money from you. Therefore, it is advisable to have a promising and complex cyber defense mechanism to make it harder for cyber attackers to intrude into your online domain. There is not much gain for any hacker to attack a secure data center. Therefore, setting up a stronger defense mechanism is beneficial in the long run. This has the resultant effect of dismantling any harmful moves made by the cybercriminal.
Hackers and cyber attackers are always looking for loopholes and vulnerabilities in the cybersecurity regimen to intrude and take advantage of. The effects of a well-organized and targeted cyber-attack can be very detrimental. Imagine the hacking of a nuclear power plant network which can result in widespread chaos and a possible catastrophe. Nowadays, almost everything under the sun utilizes cyberspace. Therefore, the risks and threats associated with any network infiltration are greater than ever. This much is clear that the phrase “it is better to be safe than sorry” played an appreciated role in the introduction of cybersecurity.
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