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Module 2

Lesson 3: Internet Dangers


Cybercrime

Cybercrime is any criminal activity that takes place in cyberspace. One of the earliest and
the most common types of cybercrime activity is hacking. It roughly started in the 1960s. It
involves stealing identities and important information, violating privacy, and committing
fraud, among others.

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, over 170 million personal records were
exposed through 780 data security breaches in 2015. The global cost of cybercrime is
expected to hit $6 trillion by 2021. 30 to 40% of businesses are affected by cybercrime. From
2017 to 2021, businesses are expected to spend more than $1 trillion for cybersecurity.

Every country in the world has their varied laws and rules against cybercrime activities. In the
Philippines, it is stipulated in the Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention
Act of 2012. A substantive cybercrime laws that prohibit cybersquatting, cybersex, child
pornography, identity theft, illegal access to data, and libel, among others is included in the
bill. In the next section, we will determine the most common types of cybercrime activities.

Common Types of Cybercrime Acts

Cybercrime involves the use of computer and network in attacking computers and


networks as well. Cybercrime is obviously a criminal offense and is penalized by the
law. Cybercriminals devise various strategies and programs to attack computers and
systems. These are the most common types of cybercrime acts:

Fraud
Fraud is a general term used to describe a cybercrime that intends to deceive a person in
order to gain important data or information. Fraud can be done by altering, destroying,
stealing, or suppressing any information to secure unlawful or unfair gain.

Hacking
Hacking involves the partial or complete acquisition of certain functions within a system,
network, or website. It also aims to access to important data and information, breaching
privacy. Most “hackers” attack corporate and government accounts. There are different
types of hacking methods and procedures.

Identity Theft
Identity theft is a specific form of fraud in which cybercriminals steal personal data,
including passwords, data about the bank account, credit cards, debit cards, social security,
and other sensitive information. Through identity theft, criminals can steal money.

Scamming
Scam happens in a variety of forms. In cyberspace, scamming can be done by offering
computer repair, network troubleshooting, and IT support services, forcing users to shell out
hundreds of money for cyber problems that do not even exist. Any illegal plans to make
money falls to scamming.

Computer Viruses
Most criminals take advantage of viruses to gain unauthorized access to systems and steal
important data. Mostly, highly-skilled programs send viruses, malware, and Trojan, among
others to infect and destroy computers, networks, and systems. Viruses can spread through
removable devices and the internet.

Ransomware 
Ransomware is one of the most destructive malware-based attacks. It enters your computer
network and encrypts files and information through public-key encryption. In 2016, over 638
million computer networks are affected by ransomware. In 2017, over $5 billion is lost due
to global ransomware.

DDoS Attack
DDoS or the Distributed Denial of Service attack is one of the most popular methods of
hacking. It temporarily or completely interrupts servers and networks that are successfully
running. When the system is offline, they compromise certain functions to make the website
unavailable for users. The main goal is for users to pay attention to the DDoS attack, giving
hackers the chance to hack the system.
Botnets
Botnets are controlled by remote attackers called “bot herders” in order to attack
computers by sending spams or malware. They usually attack businesses and governments
as botnets specifically attack the information technology infrastructure. There are botnet
removal tools available on the web to detect and block botnets from entering your system.

Spamming
Spamming uses electronic messaging systems, most commonly emails in sending
messages that host malware, fake links of websites, and other malicious programs. Email
spamming is very popular. Unsolicited bulk messages from unfamiliar organizations,
companies, and groups are sent to large numbers of users. It offers deals, promos, and
other attractive components to deceive users.

Phishing
Phishers act like a legitimate company or organization. They use “email spoofing” to extract
confidential information such as credit card numbers, social security number, passwords,
etc. They send out thousands of phishing emails carrying links to fake websites. Users will
believe these are legitimate, thus entering their personal information.

Social Engineering
Social engineering is a method in which cybercriminals make a direct contact with you
through phone calls, emails, or even in person. Basically, they will also act like a legitimate
company as well. They will befriend you to earn your trust until you will provide your
important information and personal data.

Malvertising
Malvertising is the method of filling websites with advertisements carrying malicious codes.
Users will click these advertisements, thinking they are legitimate. Once they click these ads,
they will be redirected to fake websites or a file carrying viruses and malware will
automatically be downloaded.
Cyberstalking
Cyberstalking involves following a person online anonymously. The stalker will virtually
follow the victim, including his or her activities. Most of the victims of cyberstalking are
women and children being followed by men and pedophiles.

Software Piracy
The internet is filled with torrents and other programs that illegally duplicate original
content, including songs, books, movies, albums, and software. This is a crime as it translates
to copyright infringement. Due to software piracy, companies and developers encounter
huge cut down in their income because their products are illegally reproduced.

Child Pornography
Porn content is very accessible now because of the internet. Most countries have laws that
penalize child pornography. Basically, this cybercrime involves the exploitation of children
in the porn industry. Child pornography is a $3-billion-a-year industry. Unfortunately, over
10,000 internet locations provide access to child porn.

Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is one of the most rampant crimes committed in the virtual world. It is a
form of bullying carried over to the internet. On the other hand, global leaders are aware of
this crime and pass laws and acts that prohibit the proliferation of cyberbullying. 

Cybersquatting
Cybersquatting is registering, selling or using a domain name with the intent of profiting
from the goodwill of someone else's trademark. It generally refers to the practice of buying
up domain names that use the names of existing businesses with the intent to sell the
names for a profit to those businesses.

Keeping You and Your Computer Safe and Secure

Computers are created to increase productivity – personal or business use. Automation is


possible through the use of computers and the internet which make everyday operations
and transactions more efficient and more accurate.
However, given the threats anywhere in the digital environment, more than treatment and
troubleshooting, it is best to be cautious at all time. In the world, over 30% of computers are
under threat.

Every user should prevent various types of computer threats and risks from attacking their
computers. Follow these 16 effective tips to keep you and your computer safe and secure:

Install Anti-Virus Software


It is a standard that you install anti-virus software on your computer. There are many free
anti-virus software available on the internet. Apart from the virus, there are other software
that specifically target other threats including malware, spyware, and Trojans, among others
that slow down the performance of your computer. 

Update Your OS & Software


Keep your computer up to date. Check from time to time if there are updates on the
operating system and software available. The updates will help fix certain irregularities in
your system that may increase the risk of threats entering your computer.

Check Your Firewall


The firewall acts as a barrier between the computer and any unauthorized programs trying
to access the system through the internet. Most computer systems, especially Windows
have built-in firewall hardware. Check if it is turned on. You can also install firewall software
for more security.

Back Up Your Data


Make sure that you back up all your data to an external storage. Backing up can be done
online or through an external storage device. You can send all your data to online cloud
storage like Dropbox and Google Drive. This is important in case your computer crashes due
to power outage or cyber-attack.

Always Scan
You cannot prevent other devices from connecting to your computer – flash drives, external
storage devices, and smartphones. Make it a habit that you thoroughly scan these external
devices before accessing them to avoid entry of viruses.
Protect Your Email
One of the favorite entries of viruses and other forms of security threats is your email. Make
sure that you enable spam filters or you add anti-spam or virus extensions that regularly
scans your email for some threats.

Don’t Click Mail Links


Some emails may still enter your inbox. When you open them, avoid clicking the email links
especially if the email sender is unfamiliar to you. Most of these are fraudsters and phishers.
Usually, they come in form of banks, insurance companies, promos, games, lottery etc.

Use Trusted Browsers


Use browsers that are common and are known to be safe and trusted. The most reliable
browsers available are Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. These browsers have built-in security
features that minimize the risk of your computer from acquiring viruses, malware, etc. You
can also check the security and privacy settings of the browsers where you can manage
certain areas in the browser that strengthens the security.

Check Website Security


As you access a website, view its site information. In most browsers, you can see it beside
the URL. Basically, it will tell you if the website is “Secure” or “Not Secure”. But even “Secure”
websites are not 100% secure because they may use cookies that will invade your privacy.

Be Selective of Sites
In connection to the previous tip, make sure that you use your judgment and be selective of
the websites that you open. Open websites that are familiar and are trusted. Avoid opening
porn sites, gambling sites, promo sites, etc. as they are the favorite hosts of viruses.

Manage Your Passwords


It is best that you choose the strongest passwords that you can think of. Don’t use the same
passwords for different accounts. Avoid using birthdays, name initials, and other easy to
guess passwords. Moreover, it is important that you regularly update your passwords once a
month to tighten the security.
Filter Downloads
Some browsers have a security feature that asks you if you want to continue a download.
They may prompt you that the file you are going to download contains materials that may
harm your computer. Moreover, before opening the downloaded files, make sure you scan
them first as they may carry viruses as well.

Add Site Blockers


Apart from the built-in security features browsers, there are also site blockers available on
the web. Site blockers block potentials websites that may contain or may be involved in
fraud, phishing, scam, and other threats. You can also program these site blockers to block
certain sites with certain keywords. They can also help in blocking pop-up ads and sites.

“Filtering” or “Blocking” Software


The two terms are sometimes used interchangeably but there are key differences between
them. Internet filters are a common tool used to limit access to certain material and
websites on the World Wide Web. These filters are a method schools systems use for
internet security. Filtering software denies access to a website based on its content,
while blocking software denies access based on the offending site’s URL.

 Keyword blocking: software program looks for specific concepts based on a


predetermined list of words, phrases, and word combinations that are not wanted by
the program administrator. These filters scan pages and limit access to sites that
contain the inappropriate and/or undesired words.

Keyword blocking can be ineffective in schools because even if the website only uses one of
the words from the list once, the whole site is completely blocked, assuming the entire site
is about that specific keyword. This blocking method does not focus on the context of the
word nor the context relevant on the site. For example: chicken breast, Anne_Sex_ton.
Because these words have a certain combination with an inappropriate keyword, the whole
site would be blocked.

 Site blocking: predetermined list of specific websites that can or cannot be accessed


and/or viewed.

Site blocking can be effective because it can limit specific site to students. On the other
hand, because the internet changes every day, the program and list of websites needs to be
updated often. Site blocking software only blocks "known" websites and some of the
programs only block domain level sites. Many filtering programs in school settings use site
blocking for sites like Facebook, MySpace, or even YouTube. "Go lists" are commonly used
with site blocking software which allows users to view specific pages. A teacher can give
students the opportunity to view only specific websites with the "go list" strategy, therefore
monitoring which selected websites students can use. Many people think this method limits
students to in-depth research and discovery using the internet.

 Protocol blocking: software limiting access to a certain type of internet services.

Domains such as Usenet and FTP are blocked because of their high concentration of sites
unwanted in school. This method is used to block and kind of chat room or instant
messaging service popular to students. For example: AOL Instant Messenger, SKYPE, etc.

 User blocking: when each user is given a username and/or password, then the
access to sites is determined by the users criteria.

User blocking is a widely used method in schools because of its tailored teacher versus
student filter. Everyone in the school can use the same computers, but school administration
can decide and apply different access levels based on the specific user. There is normally a
less restricted access level for the teachers compared to the student users.

Avoid Public Wi-Fi


Do not easily trust public Wi-Fi. Anyone malicious in your surroundings may be secretly
accessing your accounts or stealing your passwords through the Wi-Fi. We suggest that you
use a Virtual Private Network or VPN that encrypts your connection by connecting to a safe
and secure server in the middle.

Don’t Be Fooled by Online Deals


On the internet, there are many ads and deals everywhere in a website and a page. Most
commonly, they appear to be so enticing and attractive. Well, they are purposely created to
appear like that. As much as possible, avoid clicking online deals or any ads that are not
familiar with you. Usually, they will redirect you to a website that hosts hundreds of viruses.  

Disconnect
If you do not need an internet connection, make it a habit to disconnect. This is a preventive
measure that will help you avoid security threats from entering your computer through the
internet.

Apart from these preventive measures, ask a PC technician or IT expert to check your
computer if there are signs of viruses, malware, etc. inside the system.
Lesson 3: Internet Dangers
Guide Questions

1. What is cybercrime?
2. What are the common types of cybercrime acts?
3. How can you keep you and your computer safe and secure?

Answers to Guide Questions

1. A cybercrime is any criminal activity that takes place in cyberspace.


2. The most common types of cybercrime acts are fraud, hacking, identity theft,
scamming, computer viruses attack, ransomware, DDoS attack, Botnets, Spamming,
Phishing, Social Engineering, Malvertising, Cyberstalking, Software piracy, child
pornography, cyberbullying, and cybersquatting.
3. We can keep ourselves and our computer safe and secure by: installing anti-virus
software; updating our computer’s OS and software; checking our computer’s
firewall; backing-up our data; scanning; being wise when clicking links, visiting
internet sites, and opening emails; managing passwords; filtering downloads; and
using add site blockers.

Lesson 3: Internet Dangers


Learning Activity:

Create a vlog showing internet dangers and how to avoid these dangers. (Individual)

Lesson 3: Internet Dangers


Key Points

 Cybercrime is any criminal activity that takes place in the cyberspace. One of the
earliest and the most common types of cybercrime activity is hacking.
 In the Philippines, laws, and rules against cybercrime are stipulated in the Republic
Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
 Over 30% of the world’s computers are under threat of these cybercrimes.
 The most common types of cybercrime acts are fraud, hacking, identity theft,
scamming, computer viruses attack, ransomware, DDoS attack, Botnets, Spamming,
Phishing, Social Engineering, Malvertising, Cyberstalking, Software piracy, child
pornography, cyberbullying, and cybersquatting.
 Installing anti-virus software; updating our computer’s OS and software; checking
our computer’s firewall; backing-up our data; scanning; being wise when clicking
links, visiting internet sites, and opening emails; managing passwords; filtering
downloads; using add site blockers and avoiding public wifi are some of the ways
that we can do to keep ourselves and our computer safe and secure.

Lesson 3: Internet Dangers


Assessment:

Considering the dangers of the internet, as a future teacher are you ok with the idea of
integrating the use of technology and the internet in your lessons? Explain your answer.

Lesson 3: Internet Dangers


References:

16 Effective Tips to Keep Your Computer Safe and Secure | VoIP Shield. (n.d.). Retrieved
August 30, 2020, from https://www.voipshield.com/16-effective-tips-to-keep-your-
computer-safe-and-secure/

Cybersquatting: What It Is and What Can Be Done About It | Nolo. (n.d.). Retrieved August
30, 2020, from https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/cybersquatting-what-what-can-
be-29778.html

Filtering & Blocking Software - Education Technology Center - UIowa Wiki. (n.d.). Retrieved
August 30, 2020, from https://wiki.uiowa.edu/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=41879146

Republic Act No. 10175 | Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. (n.d.). Retrieved
August 30, 2020, from https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/2012/09/12/republic-act-no-
10175/

The 16 Most Common Types of Cybercrime Acts | VoIP Shield. (n.d.). Retrieved August 30,
2020, from https://www.voipshield.com/the-16-most-common-types-of-cybercrime-acts/

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