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As the world becomes more digitally connected, cybercriminals exploit weaknesses in online systems and networks. These attacks have a huge economic and social impact on individuals, businesses and governments worldwide. Examples of these attacks include phishing, ransomware, data breaches, computer viruses, scams and more. Some cybercrimes cross international boundaries and require collaboration to combat them. International entities are working together through formal mechanisms to strengthen institutional responses and promote law enforcement capacity in fighting cyber crime. These partnerships help to ensure that legislation is in line with international standards. They also contribute to establishing multilateral treaties on cyber crime, which help to address the scale and transnational nature of these crimes.

Criminals gain unauthorized access to protected data through techniques including installing malware, using phishing tactics, manipulating a victim’s emotions or misusing personal information to perpetrate financially motivated scams on social media platforms. These activities also violate intellectual-property rights by revealing confidential business information or stealing industrial design.

The best way to fight cyberattacks is to use good password practices, update your devices often and choose software with well-reviewed ratings on the App Store or Google Play. Earning a degree or gaining professional experience in the fields of technology, information security or law enforcement is another way to build knowledge about protecting against these threats. Finally, a trusted antimalware and antivirus solution can protect your devices from malicious software and spoofed websites. HSI is working to counter these attacks through its Cyber Crimes Center, which delivers a range of technical services to federal, state and local law enforcement partners investigating cyber crimes.