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December 23, 2019

Role of Technology in Changing the Pattern of Crime

Change is the law of nature that can’t be denied. In the present day world, advancement in technology is a dire necessity for many reasons. Technology has always been the foremost contributor towards changing our lives and these changes will continue in the future. However, unfortunately, all the changes brought by technology are not positive in nature. Over the last few decades, we have also experienced a darker side of technology in the form of a growing crime rate. In fact, the advent of modern technology has created new opportunities for criminals. Some of these technological advancements have also changed the area and scope of criminal activities.

With the ever-increasing popularity of the internet, a wide range of information is now available and criminals make use of this information to commit illegal acts that were unheard of a few decades ago. The emergence of cybercrime has certainly brought new challenges for the law enforcement authorities, criminal lawyers, and common people. A cybercriminal operates by hacking different portals and websites to gain access to sensitive information, commit online frauds, implant viruses, and commit several other crimes.

Cyber Crime and its Types:

The term cybercrime refers to any criminal activity executed using a computer network or system. As a result of its anonymous nature, these crimes often remain undetected, unnoticed, and unreported. Though cyber crimes can be of many different types, it can be divided into the flowing categories.

  • Hacking: This can be defined as an unsuccessful or successful attempt to gain unauthorized access to someone else’s computer system. This is an extremely dangerous crime and has already made a negative impact on the credibility of the internet. According to data security firm Norton, $172 billion were stolen by hackers from people in 2017. In 2018, 978 million people in 20 countries were financially affected by hacking.
  • Viruses: In today’s computer-dependent world, one of the biggest threats for the users is the damage and corruption of their valuable digital information with the help of different types of programs such as worms, viruses, Trojan horses, Logic Bombs, etc. In 2017, Microsoft (News - Alert) Security Intelligence Report and Consumer Reports suggested that 2. 16 million American households were affected by virus problems in the previous two years.
  • Pornography: This is one of the foremost concerns for the legal authorities in the changing global landscape of crime. With the electronic revolution, it is much easier now to create, circulate, and access pornographic content. One of the most alarming aspects of pornography is child pornography. Offenders sell their porn content to pedophiles, using the ease of distribution of the internet. These offenders are also engaged in luring children into situations for sex via online chat rooms.
  • Cyber Stalking and Harassment: Unfortunately, in today’s computer era, women are more exposed than ever before to abuse, harassment, and violence via cyberstalking. This may take place in different forms, but cyberstalking is mostly done via online channels such as emails, forums, or social media.
  • Cyber Terrorism: This term refers to the criminal act of damaging critical infrastructures such as communication, energy, transportation, and others by making use of cyber tools. These attacks are generally politically motivated and executed to cause widespread fear or severe disruption in society.
  • Cyber Bullying: This is a form of bullying that involves sharing harmful, negative, mean, or false content about someone over digital devices. The objective is to cause humiliation or embarrassment to someone by spreading personal or private information. 

To sum up this discussion, it is not an option to avoid modern technology just because of its probable criminal abuse. Instead, the focus should be on exploiting the strength of technology to combat crime. The good news is that crime prevention bureaus have already started making use of these technological innovations.

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