Cyber crime is an ‘umbrella’ term for lots of different types of crimes which either take place online or where technology is a means and/or target for the attack.
It is one of the fastest growing criminal activities across the world, and can affect both individuals and businesses.
Cyber crimes can affect people in different ways, and in most cases victims will feel worried and scared by what has happened. For this reason cyber crimes are treated as ‘real world’ crimes and are prosecuted as such.
The adopted definitions of cyber crime are:
- Cyber Dependent Crimes, where a digital system is the target as well as the means of attack. These include attacks on computer systems to disrupt IT infrastructure, and stealing data over a network using malware. The purpose of the data theft is usually to commit further crime.
- Cyber Enabled Crimes, ‘existing’ crimes that have been transformed in scale or form by their use of the internet. The growth of the internet has allowed these crimes to be carried out on an industrial scale.
- The use of the internet to facilitate drug dealing, people smuggling and many other 'traditional' crime types.
Anyone can be a victim of cyber crime – whether you are a young person who feels they are being bullied or harassed online or an older person or business who has been scammed out of money or important data.
Bedfordshire Police has a unit dedicated to investigating cyber crime – the Cyber Hub. If you are a victim or have information about crime call us on 101. Online fraud offences can also be reported to Action Fraud - 0300 123 2040