The world today has been described as a global village ,this is due to the fact that everyone has gain to the world wide web which is often known as the internet which as a result has made communication and even exchange of information to be shared in real-time therefore reducing the world to a mere “village”. Thus social media has become a very great part of our lives in the present day. This has also paved way for the not so famous that is the infamous term known as cybercrime.
According to Wikipedia ,cybercrime has been defined as a crime that involves a computer a network and the computer having been used in the crime or been the target , in other words ,the tools that are needed to commit the cybercrime is not something big but just a mere use of a computer gadget which can be a computer , a smartphone or even a laptop ,the access to a network provider or internet connection not forgetting the intention of committing the said cybercrime .
Much has been said about the onset of cyber security due to the fact that it was the onset of social media across the world that led to the rise of online fraud .because as you might have gazed almost anything can be accessed and even done online from banking which can be done through e-commerce, online learning commonly known as e-learning and also communications done on the social media sites such as Facebook whats’app just to name a few. Communications and online interactions can be done by friend’s families and even with strangers by using the social media sites.
Cybercrimes has therefore been pushed by the onset of social media since it has produced a lot of risk factors to the users over the years individuals who use the social media sites are most of the time told to leave their personal information like their email address, their phone numbers even their bank details depending on the site that the internet user is surfing. This as a result renders the social media user vulnerable to the cybercrime offenders because some of their very personal information are at the disposal of the cybercrime offenders with the unknowing social media user interacting in the different social media sites be it Facebook or even istagram just to name a few .
Simply because cybercrimes happens in cyberspace; that is the interface in the World Wide Web, it does not make it less of a crime and it is therefore punishable in a court of law. Their actions affects various individuals across the globe and cannot be left unpunished. Before looking at the effects of social media on cybercrimes, some important terms are to be familiarized with in order to understand why it is a crime.
Someone who gains illegal access to information and violates various computer terms for negative or malicious gain is best termed as a hacker. They get into the system to get information which in future can be used for their own personal gain. Malicious software is a term that is best known as malware is a software that is used by hackers or crackers so as to destroy the computer. phishing is also a common term that is used to describe a way in which cyber criminals always try to gain confidential materials which are mostly of monetary value from the world wide web by sending emails that look like the actual emails but is fake and is not correct but carrying false information .There are also individuals who are known as career criminals, these are people that earn a living from committing different cybercrimes.
There is little to no privacy when it comes to surfing the World Wide Web because most individuals tend to share too much information about themselves which as a result will lead to them being targets and victims of cybercrimes. These individuals are willing to share critical details about themselves so as to gunner a large following and also atom get more likes and so forth.
As mentioned earlier the different types of social media attacks include use of social media as a weapon et cetera . Hacking as earlier mentioned is where an individual who is very knowledgeable in computer accesses your computer programs without your knowledge for personal gain .Hackers usually have a vast knowledge of computers and the various computer programs in the computer. Computer programs or software can be best explained as instructions that are given to a computer and it tells the computer various instructions to do. There are various reasons that can prompt a hacker to access files that are unauthorized by him or her. These factors include for the purpose of showing off their skills in the various computer programs to curiosity to learn more about something or simply greed to acquire information about a particular thing in the software. Those hackers who gain access to materials because of greed are commonly referred to as crackers. Hackers can use the details that an internet user leaves in the social media sites to gain access and then relay them to their remote computers after which the hacker will be able to log into the said victim’s social media account say twitter and thus change the details according to the hacker’s desire or wish.
E-mail bombing and phishing is also a type of cybercrime where the cybercrime offender sends tons of spam messages to a victim which will intern render the victim’s e-mail account to get destroyed. These spam e-mails can be identified by spam filters and filter them out .It is always advisable not to open e-mails from senders who you do not know since t can be a junk file . E-mail bombing is very hard to control because there are numerous source addresses. These e-mail addresses are taken from different chat- rooms, websites, and also from viruses which intern have viruses that may destroy your hardware and even software.
There are instances where a social media user can be perused online ,a term that is known as cyber stalking .It is a new form of cybercrime .This is mostly done when an individual likes to post a lot of sensitive and personal in the social media sites that make the social media user a victim to cyber stalking .Cyber stalking can even lead to an actual physical stalking by the stalker ,a cyber-stalker can be a stranger or a person that is familiar to the victim .Majority of the time the cyber stalker may decide to stalk the victim for a criminal reason ,either to harass the victim or to threaten the victim .
Reconnaissance is where an attacker can decide to put on surveillance on the social media user, these may include the posts that the social media user puts on the various social media platforms or even the information an institution or even a company decides to post on the social media platform .Information that is gained can be then used to create a fake account on the individuals which will look like the one copied from but in real since fake. Fake accounts in turn are used to send out fake information concerning the victims and which will intern have malware that destroys the said programs.
Cybercrimes can also be summarized into three different categories which include crimes that are against the individuals or social media users, crimes against property be it the individual’s property or the institutions and finally crimes against the government.
Various activities tend to happen when a social media user is browsing through the different social media platforms, these activities may include credit card fraud and also child pornography .These crimes affect the individuals and are referred to as crimes against individuals or people. Your property is also at risk when surfing across the different social media platforms There are malicious messages that can be sent in form of spam via emails .The messages contain viruses which can render your gadget senseless in no time ,this is what is referred to as crime against property .Cyber terrorism can be regarded as a crime against the government Hacking to gain information about the government databases to gain information that is sensitive is also a threat to the civil authority which is the government .