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Cyber Security Risks and Cyber Crime

Cybercrime is a general social nuisance supported by the widespread use of computers, smartphones, and the internet. Cybercrime manifests itself in several forms, including phishing, data breaches, harassment, cyber extortion, intellectual property theft, and identity theft. Phishing is when cybercriminals contact gullible people to get credit card information or pin codes that they use for extortion. Numerous advertisement over the internet to win money is a tactic incorporated to con people. Data breaches occur when hackers access private and confidential information from others for benefit. Cyber extortion is a common type of cybercrime where a perpetrator demands ransom for compromising data hacked from a company or individual. Moreover, Identity theft is when a criminal impersonates someone to commit a crime to avoid taking the fall for it. Online harassment attacks a business’ reputation or a person’s confidence from the insults and shame hauled by an online bully. These forms of cybercrime are difficult to curb, investigate and convict the perpetrators. Therefore, it is advisable to consider various strategies to mitigate and avoid falling victim to cybercrime.

Combating cybercrime is a grueling task for law enforcement officials and the general public. There are many cybercrimes committed daily globally, yet available resources and personnel dealing with these cases are lacking. Cybercrime is continuously evolving with the advanced technology and introduction of new systems and features of computing. The development of cryptocurrencies, encryption, dark web, cloud storage, and web3 makes it easier for cybercrime to thrive. A perpetrator can block access to their physical location and likely erase any footage that incriminates them. Nonetheless, the advancement in cybercrime is proving impossible to combat with a lagging judicial system limited in how it convicts, judges, investigates and detains cybercrime perpetrators (Brown, 2015). Moreover, there is a lack of standardized regulations and guidelines internationally to be used to arbitrate over cybercrime. The right to privacy inhibits access to personal data by jurisdictional offices; thus, incriminating data retrieved without consent cannot hold its salt as evidence in a court of law (UNODC, 2019). Furthermore, law enforcement has difficulty detecting cybercrimes due to the trivial amount of reported cases. Often, cybercrime does not pass as a grave offense that requires judicial action since many people are victims who never report the crimes.

There have been several Supreme Court cases on cybercrime and exploitation of children online presided over. For instance, the case between Van Buren and the United States where Van Buren, a police sergeant, was convicted of accessing a particular license plate number and selling this information for money. Van Buren argued that he already had access to the information within his authorization. Furthermore, he argues that he used his identification details to retrieve the information, further discrediting the case pit against him (Supreme Court, 2021). The constitution was seemingly unclear on the boundaries of accessing the license plate number. The state argued that the constitutional provision had an extensive meaning that encompassed his action to violate the rules. The court rules against Van Buren and sees the sale of confidential information accessible to police officers as a crime.

Likewise, the United States vs. American Library Association law case in 2003 set regulations for libraries that are vital to protecting children from obscene materials and information from the internet. The ruling provided financial aid and discounted costs in setting up internet filter software in public schools and libraries, hindering children’s access to obscene material (McLeod, 2003). Moreover, the Paroline vs. the United States case in 2014 raised concerns about the exploitation of children and children pornography. Doyle Paroline pleaded guilty to possessing images of minors being sexually assaulted, including images of a minor named Amy. The supreme court ruled that he must pay for all the damages Amy goes through due to the sexual assault, approximately 3.5 million dollars. Paroline’s defense team opposed this notion because Paroline was not directly involved in Amy’s sexual assault and should not pay more than the actual perpetrator. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court ruled against Paroline, arguing that people who possessed images of child pornography and assault were the ones that created the demand for those photos and consequently increased the rate of child exploitation (Rodriguez & Senosian, 2014). These cases have ruled in favor of children and the government, raising people’s trust in getting justice.

Furthermore, victims of various cyber crimes fall into a specific category of people. For instance, women between the ages of eighteen and thirty are common cyberstalking, bullying, and exploitation victims. However, people well known to these women, such as boyfriends, online acquaintances, divorced or separated spouses, or friends, are their stalkers. Likewise, these women are easy targets to cybercriminals due to inadequate knowledge in creating firewalls and hacking. Celebrities, influencers, and well-known females under the age of 30 are common targets of cyber exploitation as perpetrators hack their social media platforms and mobile phones, fishing out their indecent videos and photos, which force them to pay a ransom for the material. Cybercriminals steal their identities to lure customers and gullible people into sending them money.

Additionally, children are at high risk of falling victim to cyber exploitation, bullying, stalking, and obscenity. Pornographic photos and videos of children are in high demand on the dark web; thus, cybercriminals target children to coax them into taking crude videos or photos for money. Children go through cyberbullying by other kids on social media platforms or gaming sites (Zhu, 2021). Additionally, perpetrators of cyberstalking and exploitation fall into the category of people with similar characteristics. People who commit cybercrime offenses are primarily middle-aged and have general know-how of computers and hacking. Most perpetrators are men between the age of twenty-five and forty. Moreover, college and university students are other groups that commonly exhibit perpetrators of cyberstalking and exploitation. Male students often indulge in cybercrime such as hacking companies for ransom, stalking their female counterparts, or exploiting confidential data.


Brown, C., (2015). “Investigating and Prosecuting Cyber Crime: Forensic Dependencies and Barriers to Justice.”  Open Access: International Journal of Cyber Criminology. Volume 9 Issue 1: pg 55-119. DOI:10.5281/zenodo.22387.

McLeod, S. (2003). “United States vs. American Library Association Law Case.” Britannica.

Rodriguez, P. & Senosian, M., (2014). “Paroline v. the United States.” Cornell Law School: LII Supreme Court Bulletin. 

Supreme Court. (2021). “19-783 Van Buren vs. the United States.: Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.” Supreme Court of the United States.

UNODC, (2019). “Module 5: Cybercrime Investigation” E4J University Module Series: Cybercrime. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Zhu, C. (2021). “Cyberbullying Among Adolescents and Children: A Comprehensive Review of the Global Situation, Risk Factors and Preventive Measures.” Frontiers in Public Health.


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