Digital crime is a reality today. Be aware of a new breed of crooks, they call them cyber-criminals. But, of course, there is also a new class of cyber-protectors to help you. Know who can protect you, and how you can protect yourself.
In today’s digital age it is very easy for anyone to get on the Internet, and we all love that. However, there is another group of people who does not limit itself just enjoying the Web, they are trying to digitally hurt others. This group of hackers, cyber-criminals, schemers and stalkers does not limit itself to attack normal users only; sometimes they target organizations, networks and businesses.
Who Do You Go to if Abused?
In the Internet jungle we live in, there are few organizations that can protect you from cyber-attacks. One is the U.S. Army CID’s Computer Crimes Investigative Unit, as known as CCIU, an Army established in January 1998. Click here if you wish to know more. This organization is an entity conducting worldwide digital criminal investigations, therefore no matter if you are from a country outside the U.S., you still can get in contact with CCIU in case you need to.
The CCIU headquarters is based in Virginia, and is considered a real Army for electronic defence. Furthermore, it is considered the only entity for leading criminal investigations regarding computer networks as well as other form of digital crimes. The fantastic thing about CCIU is that no matter in which country these schemers commits a crime, the Army will find them and bring them to justice. I do not know about you, but I feel safe knowing there is an entity out there ready to help, if necessary.
Some cool stuff about CCIU:
- Detectives working at the Army have an extraordinary level of computer expertise.
- The people working there continuously monitor both domestic and foreign locations.
- The army always collects a digital evidence for the investigations they do.
- New agents assigned to CCIU immediately receive specialised computer training from the Defence Cyber Investigations Academy.
- They obviously have the best of technology available, including the Rapid Extraction and Analysis Program (REAP), which allows detectives to perform an in depth analysis of a hacked system plus extracting digital evidence. The REAP was developed by CCIU itself.
FBI Older Than CCIU
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) special team called CART (Computer Analysis Response Team) was born before the CCIU.
CART was created in 1992, since then has done a lot of work, and I really mean it. To let you understand the quantity of work, consider that only in 2012 they conducted about 13 thousand digital forensic examinations involving more than 10 thousand terabytes of data. Yes, exactly! That is a lot of data. CART consists of around 500 highly specialized agents working at the FBI headquarters in the U.S. offering digital forensic services to FBI investigators, and sometimes to local as well as state agents.
CART is able to work plus analyse a vast range of digital media, such as:
- Desktop and laptop computers.
- CDs and DVDs.
- Digital cameras.
- Digital players.
- Flash media.
- And much more.
Don’t Forget Your Smartphone
In today’s world you need to protect your smartphone as much as you do with your computer. Cyber-crime is growing a lot in the mobile industry too. The reality is that smartphones continue to increase in power and functionalities, therefore are more like computers today than mobile phones. You must have some security measures in place to protect yourself.
How can you cut the risk of exposure to mobile security threats? A work from the Federal Communications Commission (FC) helps you understanding which measures to put in place to protect yourself. If you, like me, have an Android OS smartphone, please read below. However, if you have a different phone choose the right model from this page. The security steps are:
- To enhance security, set PINs and passwords that are difficult to guess. Do you get annoyed by continuously type PINs and passwords? Do as I do: when I am at home, or otherwise in a secure place, I shut the automatic lock system down. When I am outside in a public place I turn the security layer on again.
- Never change your smartphones security settings for convenience’s sake.
- Make sure you back up important data from your smartphone.
- When you download and install apps, do that from trusted sources.
- It is important you really understand apps permissions before you install them.
- Install security apps that can help in case your phone get stolen or otherwise misplaced. See this page if you wish to have a look at a list of security apps.
- Keep updating apps on your phone regularly. When systems are current, they are less sensible to cyber-attacks.
- When possible, avoid accessing an open or public Wi-Fi. Your phone becomes an easier target to cyber-criminals when you do so.
- Erase all personal data from your phone before you donate it, sell it or recycle it.
- If your phone gets stolen, immediately report the event to the authorities.