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Cybercrime is a type of crime that occurs over the Internet. These crimes are often committed by hackers who want to use computers to steal data or cause damage. This can be done through viruses that infect a computer system or malware that infiltrates an entire network.

The criminals also target individuals and businesses. They may steal personal information, such as bank or credit card numbers. They can also hack into corporate networks and gain access to sensitive data.

Common cybercrimes include fraud, identity theft and money laundering. These crimes can occur in any country, although crime laws differ across countries.

In Europe, the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime defines cybercrime as the use of computer programs to commit crimes. It includes illegal interception of data, system interferences that compromise network integrity and availability, copyright infringements, and e-commerce fraud, among others.

Some of the most common cybercrimes are identity theft, computer virus infections and ransomware attacks. These can be devastating for both individual victims and businesses.

Aside from financial losses, cybersecurity breaches can disrupt business operations and cause investors to lose confidence in the company’s value. This can lead to a drop in share prices and increased costs for borrowing.

The best way to reduce the risk of cybercrime is to maintain good security practices and to know how to identify suspicious emails or websites. These are often the first signs that a virus or malware is in your computer system.