In this piece, we are going to give a little information about common Cyber crimes and harassment methods, on the internet and other electronic devices. Knowing more about the problems can help you fight them. Here is our Internet Glossary for Parents and Educators.
The Internet Glossary: Cyberbullying
So what is Cyberbullying? A common definition is “willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.” In effect, it is everything that can be said to threaten, humiliate or hassle someone using modern technology, rather than bullying face-to-face.
The Internet Glossary: Cyberstalking
Cyberstalking is similar to offline stalking, in that it is repeated harassment of the victim. This harassment takes place in the electronic world but may be coupled with more physical stalking. Common methods include posting false accusations or defamatory facts online, threatening behaviour, monitoring social sites and IP addresses, viral attacks on PCs and other electronic devices, identify theft, malicious ordering of items in the victim’s name (such as pornographic items), and encouraging others to join the harassment.
The Internet Glossary: Spamming
Remember how you used to get all that junk mail delivered by the mailman? Spamming is simply a far cheaper way to do it. Unsolicited bulk messages can be sent to an entire raft of email addresses or posted on social media or gaming websites (even in-game messages). Trillions of messages are sent every year, and apart from email and web filters, judicious use of the delete key and ignoring them, there is not much you can do about them. It is possible to take spammers to court, but this can be difficult as they frequently operate from countries with more relaxed laws.
The Internet Glossary: Phishing
Be careful how you say this one! The word is derived from fishing and alludes to the sender baiting you into a trap. Phishing is a form of spam that is designed to convince you to give out personal information to what you thought was a trusted person/entity or to visit a trapped website. Typically it is an email or message from a financial organization, social network, or other companies, sometimes apparently from the IT Administrator. It looks legitimate but asks either for the person for their SSN, passwords, bank routing details, etc. or gives you a special link to click on. Clicking this link would take you to a website where the Phisherman may want you to enter your personal information, or the website attempts to load viruses and malware onto your PC or laptop.
The important thing to remember here is that legitimate companies would never ask for your information like this. If in doubt, call the company (and do not use the phone number listed on the suspicious email), and they can confirm the authenticity of the communication.
The Internet Glossary: Hacking
Although the term hacker has had a variety of meanings over the years, the most common one refers to computer criminals. Hacking aims to exploit weaknesses in computer security, sometimes only for a challenge, but if done maliciously it is normally for profit or protest. Malicious hackers can be referred to as crackers (to identify them separately from the benign variants of hackers), and either attempt the same function as a Phishermans email, or damage websites and/or business entities.
The Internet Glossary: Identity Theft
The aim of Phishermen and crackers is to get enough information to ‘steal’ your identity. While your identity cannot really be stolen, your personal information can be used to obtain goods, services, credit or other benefits. The victim would not receive or benefit from these transactions, this would go to the perpetrator of the identity fraud (as it is more correctly called), and the victim would only receive the attention of debt collectors or legal authorities.