Week 4: Cyber Crime

Week 4- Cyber CrimeToday’s post is in honor of week 4 of National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Back in July of 2013, a study was released by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which was funded by McAfee. It estimates that cyber crime costs the U.S. economy $100 billion dollars annually. If that’s not bad enough, its damage to the economy resulted in as many as 508,000 jobs lost. The next question is what can we do to lessen the effects of cyber crime? A great place to start is to check out STOPTHINKCONNECT.org. Here you will find many resources on cyber crime prevention. If you are a victim of a cyber crime or need to report a cyber crime, go to Stay Safe On-line to find additional resources including a tip sheet for victims of cyber crime. Prevention is ideal, however swift action will prevent others from being victimized.

The Family Jewels

Women are typically prime targets for a RAT. Except in the case of Hector Hernandez, a 17 year old from Detroit, MI. Unbeknownst to him, he was being spied on through the webcam on his laptop in his own home. He began receiving threatening messages saying that he must send $1,100 cash to an account in the Philippine’s. He stole precious jewelry from his family in order to meet this RAT’s demands. For $100k in jewels, he received $1500 from a local pawn shop. He wired the money and hoped the threats would stop. Guess what? They continued to threaten Hector with exposure if he didn’t continue to meet their demands. It was then he had the courage to come forward and tell his family what he was going through.

By simply covering your webcam, you are not allowing your privacy to be compromised. This is something as a parent I am very adamant about with my children. When not in use, cover your webcam!

With the holidays around the corner, many will be asking for tablets, laptops and desktops. Most of these devices have built in webcams. Remember to include a package of Peep Shields with your gift. It makes a great stocking stuffer!

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