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Cybercrime is criminal activity that targets computers (or electronic devices) or uses a computer as an accessory to another crime. This includes things like hacking, phishing, identity theft, ransomware, malware, DDoS attacks and more. The list of possible cybercrimes is ever-growing as technology evolves.

The most basic types of cybercrime involve using the Internet to commit fraud, traffic in child pornography and intellectual property, stealing identities, or violating privacy. Further up the spectrum are crimes such as cyber-terrorism and cyberwarfare, which can range from a simple denial of service attack to a full-blown global war. Finally, at the very top of the spectrum, you’ll find state-sponsored hackers whose activities include everything from stealing classified intelligence to shutting down nuclear power plants.

Unlike criminals who live in the real world, cybercriminals often don’t fight one another for control and power. Instead, they work together to improve their skills and share information about new opportunities. This makes it very difficult to stop them.

Small Businesses Can be Especially Vulnerable

The effects of Cybercrime can be devastating to businesses, and these effects can have long-term impacts. Some examples include a loss of investor awareness that can lower company value, a reduced credit score and higher insurance premiums, and damage to brand image and reputation.

In addition, there are a number of soft costs associated with Cybercrime that can also be extremely damaging. These can include the loss of customer trust, which can make it very hard to recover from a data breach or other cyber attack. This can result in a decrease in sales, or even the closure of a business.