Computer Crime Research Center


Fighting crime in cyberspace

Date: January 04, 2006

Fighting crime in cyberspace requires vigilance

The Star's view: Caution and a heavy dose of common sense will go a long way toward reducing identity theft and other forms of cyberspace crime.

Even though a sense of routine and normalcy returns after weeks of holiday cheer, keep in mind you are not alone in cyberspace when you log on to the home or office computer. Cybercriminals are ready to zap your data as you get comfortable and start zipping through the Internet.

Last year was the worst ever for computer security breaches, USA Today reported last week. At least 130 security breaches put more than 55 million Americans at risk for ID theft last year.

Big companies suffered significant data losses last month that could have a big impact on individuals. Last week, the time-share unit of Marriott broke the news to 206,000 employees and customers that key personal data, such as Social Security numbers and credit card numbers, went missing after backup computer tapes disappeared from an Orlando office.

Similar personal data of 70,000 current and former Ford Motor Co. employees vanished when a computer was stolen. And about 600 credit card holders who purchased gas at Sam's Club fuel stations might have been affected by fraud. The Star recently reported that cell phones have been used to snap pictures of credit cards of unsuspecting shoppers as they stand in checkout lines.
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