The technology advancements in computers have made our lives easier, but it has also made us more vulnerable. We use computers, smart phones and the internet to do everything. We save credit card information, passwords, work projects, everything valuable in our laptops, smartphones and tablets. We think it's all safe because it's on our persons, until our checking account is emptied out, our email is hacked or another company has already patented our new idea. That's when we freak out. While there are ways for users to protect themselves, everyone is in danger.
Computer crime is any crime that involves a computer and a network. The computer may have been used in committing the crime, or it can be the target. By the year 2000, of over 300 million internet users, 1 million were involved in computer or internet crimes. These types of crimes often threaten the security and financial health of a person, business or even a country. The U.S. Department of Justice defines computer crimes as "any violations of criminal law that involve a knowledge of computer technology for their perpetration, investigation, or prosecution." Because of computer crimes have such a broad definition it is nearly impossible to attain accurate statistics. Statistics are also difficult to gather because of the large amount of unreported computer crimes. .
Cybercrimes or computer crimes are often categorized into three groups. The first group is where the computer itself is targeted, also known as cyber theft. Cyber theft includes crimes in which a computer is used to steal money or other things of value. This can include embezzlement, fraud, theft of intellectual property, and theft of personal or financial data. The second group is where something affects the computer. This second group consists of computer viruses, including worms and Trojan horses, denial of service attacks, and electronic vandalism or sabotage.