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What cybercrime is and how to prevent it

| Jul 16, 2019 | Cybercrime

Individuals and companies use computers for most things these days and, while this is easy and convenient, it can also lead to bigger issues in Rhode Island. Cybercrime is a major problem, and the consequences can be large. People should know how to recognize this type of activity and take steps to prevent it from occurring to them.

According to the FBI, the two top priorities for federal investigators are network intrusions and ransomware. Computer invasions can be very serious and affect banks, hospitals and 9-1-1 services. Every year, companies and the government spend billions of dollars repairing the damage. The perpetrators of these crimes may be:

  • Businesses trying to get ahead
  • Computer hackers looking for bragging rights
  • Criminal rings looking to steal personal information
  • Terrorists and spies trying to launch terror strikes or steal National information

Ransomware is a type of malware that locks up vital files on a computer and demands a ransom in exchange to release them. The use of ransomware can be devastating to both large companies and families. Other priorities related to cybercrime are identity theft, online predators and going dark.

The Department of Homeland Security outlines some tips to help prevent cybercrime. One of the main ways criminals deliver ransomware is through email links and attachments. If anything seems suspicious, it is better to delete the message than take the risk something may infect the computer system. Keeping the system clean is also important. This includes downloading all software updates and using a spyware detector. Using strong passwords is also important, especially for accounts that store personal and financial information.