Cybercrime – one of the fastest growing criminal activities on the planet. It ranges from developing websites that promote racial hatred to hacking into bank accounts. From the spreading of malicious viruses to using the internet to stalk people. But it doesn’t seem to get the exposure that it surely needs to help solve the problem.


It’s no secret that hackers have always been one step ahead of the companies developing products to help protect you and your computer – which helps explain why almost all those companies employ skilled hackers to test their software.


 A recent report showed cybercrime to have risen in the UK by more than 9% in 2007, taking the total number of crimes committed in the digital world to more than 3.5 million, and it doesn’t look like it will slow any time soon.


Online identity firms have been warning of increases in online fraud for the duration of the so-called ‘credit crunch’, and it is no coincidence that 2007 saw the biggest rises in online financial fraud, with the UK reported more than 250,000 incidents – a 20% rise on the previous years figures.


Some experts believe that networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook have done nothing but aided digital criminals, making people’s details easier to access and often storing personal information that aids identity theft. At the very least they have made it easier to harass people, reports of such actions rose to above 2 million in 2007, and in August users of the networking sites were warned against posting personal information on the sites.


But with the perpetrators sitting comfortably behind their computer screens and however many defences they’ve set up to stop themselves from getting easily detected, how can we address the problem that almost all evidence seems to be proving is growing at an alarming rate?


While some plans have been laid out to help police the issue, including the conservative plans in March earlier this year to create a new ministerial position and a special enforcement agency, it all seems somewhat in vain as comments from the FBI believe many digital criminals to be almost untraceable.


So – is cybercrime out of control? It certainly seems so. Incredibly few prosecutions and an ever increasing capacity to commit such offences, the problem needs to be acted on now more than ever.


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