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Cybercrime has risen by 21% since last year.[1] It is also a crime that is dominated by the young, however reality is that many are doing it for fun, not realising the penalties they could face if caught. Cybercrime/fraud is an excellent example of how crime and criminal behaviour keeps up with technology.

There are various ways that cyber criminals can ‘hack’ your computer, smart phone or laptop.


Probably the most common and simplest approach is a concept referred to as ‘phishing’. This is where fraudsters collect account information, login details etc. by sending emails, text messages or making phone calls. For example, I am sure we have all at some point had a message from a company telling us we have won £500 in a recent prize draw and all we need to do is to provide our account details….thought so. This is the most basic way a fraudster can obtain your information, and with increased awareness in the media people are savvier when it comes to disclosing their personal information.

File Hijacker:

This one can be very serious, and will often involve your files being held to ransom. In recent news one deluded individual created a crypto-ransomware named Jigsaw, after the killer in the Saw films. The software told victims their files has been encrypted and if payment of $100-200 was made within the hour they would be given the password or files would start to be deleted from their computer.

To make matters worse ‘Jigsaw’ would appear on the victims screen. There have been many similar incidents, although as this one has taken its name from a horror film, it sticks in your memory. The problem with this type of hijack is that you cannot turn your computer off as some of the programmes used by fraudsters will mean files are completely deleted.

Webcam manager:

This is where a fraudster will take over your webcam. This means that fraudsters can watch your every action.


This is another particularly clever hack where the fraudster hacks your device, so that they can track what you type. This will inevitably include passwords, card details etc.


This is where the fraudster will take a screen shot of your computer or other device, leaving your security open to the hacker.

 All of the above can be prevented by the following:

  1. Installing the latest anti-virus software on your devices.
  2. Consider anti-spyware software.
  3. Use a firewall.
  4. Never give details for any of your personal, financial or business accounts over the phone, text message or email.
  5. Do not open suspicious emails especially if they include attachments, it is very likely that the attachments are the hackers route of entry into your device.