Innovations cannot be entirely good and beneficial. This is the assertion of Bagchi and Udo (2003). Without any further scholarly study, even the layman can testify to this. Cellular phones, the television, radio, telephone, computers, laptops, and all other gadgets are beneficial as much as they are detrimental. In terms of crimes, the internet and the computer have accelerated its level further. Thanks to its efficiency and mobility, people around the world are getting the poison out of their own medicine. How and by who The internet makes financial crimes possible because of many factors.
Wall (2005) asserts that criminality is becoming advanced due to the contributions of modern computing. Crimes have entered a new era, and the authorities are finding it hard to catch up. Pattavina (2005) agrees. She states that the internet made criminal activity easier to do. Because people have easy access to electronic advances, all criminals need to do is just get some financing and set up a sophisticated hacking, phishing, or breaching system to infiltrate personal mails and private websites. In these terms, no one is safe. The internet has enabled criminals to access private sites and information, better known as hacking.
(Wall, 2001) Government and private office suffer the consequences. Not only once has there been a case of bank run brought about by multiple breaches and forgeries of criminals who successfully infiltrated financial institutions. Apart from the ease of getting the peripherals needed to get the crime started, it is also easy to learn the ins and outs of the fraud business. The internet itself offers a wide array of information about hacking, security breaching, identity theft, and other illegal means of acquiring another person’s money. It can also be learned.
Subtly, computer technology courses can tackle, albeit not in detail, how these can be done. With this, criminals easily get familiar with the tricks of the trade and easily get good at it. One great feature of internet for criminals is that they can work with anonymity. (O’Brien, 2000) Because criminals can work from home, without anybody seeing them, they can assume any identity at their disposal. In the discussion of identity theft, it has been decided that mere public information can be used to get the more private information about a person.
Every business transaction done by a person leaves a mark, and diligent criminals are fast to recover these information. Thus, they can easily use and assume another person’s names and details without the institutions or that person knowing. In the past, verifying the identity of a person is easy and trustworthy because transactions are done in person. Thus, it is easy to detect any case of probable identity theft. With the automation of businesses, it is easy to transact without having to walk in a store personally.
If face-to-face conversations get away with identity theft, then so much more with electronically processed transactions. (Smith, 1999) The global reach of the internet also made crimes globalized. (Wall, 2005) O’Brien (2000) agrees, stating that many digital criminals work from all around the world to all around the world. A criminal from Europe does not necessarily have to victimize Europeans. He can use the internet to infiltrate other countries because of the global scope of the internet. Thus, it is also harder to criminalize or penalize those found guilty.
Unless there is an extradition between the two countries involved, the perpetrators can get away. On top of all these factors, it is significant to note the character of perpetrators. It should be considered that they cannot be all computer hackers and nerds as we can envision them. They may look like ordinary people, even businesslike. Thus, it is right to say that suspects can be the ones we least expect. Despite continuous efforts to alleviate or solve the problem, the law is never enough. (Wall, 2005) The movement of technology is too fast for laws to keep up.
Despite new regulations being enacted and approved to protect the interest of the electronically inclined, especially those with financial transactions online, new menaces and new manipulations happen everyday. The law is in a continuous pursuit after identity thieves and fraudulent individuals. They are continuously seeking money launderers and scammers. Yet the lay is maimed at totally eliminating the problem. Enactments can only give verdict to those who have already victimized others, often when too much damage is already done. But the law, being not enough, should not be blamed.
It is just a small part of the big web of fighting strategies that can be used against this widening web of deception. Yet as much as the internet has made criminality easier, it also enables cheaper, faster, and more efficient observation of criminal activity patterns. This makes it easier to surveillance any activity posed as a threat to another person or property, and it can be done under cover easily. Using the anonymity, familiarity, and the wide reach of the internet in justice’s advantage, authorities have found a way out of the dilemma. It is equally important to use identity verification methods in all business transactions.
This is especially true for businesses and families. Try to establish identities according to non-obvious information such as something you have like the color of your car keys, something you know such as the birthday of your mother, something related to your person like the name of your pet, or something indicative of location such as the location of the school you attended in grade school. (Smith, 1999) Personal identification numbers and passwords should also be used carefully. People may overlook this basic yet important reminder. (Smith, 1999) As they were designed, PINs and passwords should never be divulged to anybody.
If one must do so, it should also be changed right away. PINs and passwords should also be changed regularly. This is the measure by many online banking services to ensure that PINs and passwords are being individualized. Businesses may also want to invest in biometric security. (Smith, 1999) Whether by fingerprints, retina scan, hand prints, and other biometry, these are good albeit costly sophisticated ways to take security seriously. However, the hundreds or thousands that is invested in these counter gadgets will surely save hundreds of thousands or even millions for the company.