The 23 Most Common Cybercrimes And How To Avoid Them: History, Impact, Statistics

Cybercrime is more common than you think. Every year, cybercriminals are developing new ways to target businesses and consumers, not just with sensitive personal information, but also with account numbers, passwords, address books, and more.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you have been the victim of a cybercrime, but the first step is to understand what type of cybercrime you have been targeted and the type of information potentially exposed. We are breaking down the 23 most common types of cybercrime and tips to avoid cybercrimes.

What is Cybercrime?

Cybercrime is defined as a crime in which a computer is the object of the crime or is used as a tool to commit a crime.

A cybercriminal can use a device to access a user’s personal information, confidential business information, government information, or deactivate a device.

It is also a cybercrime to sell or obtain the above information online.

Types of Cybercrime

To protect yourself, you must be aware of the different types of cybercrime. Here is the list of the 23 most common cybercrimes.

1. Botnet


A botnet is a compromised computer network that is externally controlled by remote hackers.

Remote hackers spam or attack other computers through these botnets.

They typically target businesses and governments, as botnets specifically target the information technology infrastructure.

2. Cyberstalking


Usually, the victim and the harasser know each other.

The victim is often the target of online harassment in the form of a barrage of messages and emails online.

The stalker will virtually follow the victim, including their activities.

The goal of online stalking is to make the victim miserable or to exercise control as a perverse way of being in contact with the victim, just like ordinary stalking.

The majority of cyberstalking victims are women and children followed by men and pedophiles.

3. Cyberbullying


Cyberbullying is one of the most widespread crimes committed in the virtual world.

It is a form of harassment that is transferred to the Internet.

It can also be done by posting images and videos online that will offend the victims.

On the other hand, world leaders are aware of this crime and pass laws and acts that prohibit the proliferation of cyberbullying.

4. Debit or Credit Card Fraud

Debit or Credit Card Fraud

Theft and fraud committed using a credit or debit card to obtain unpaid goods or to obtain unauthorized funds from an account.

According to a recent study by the Identity Theft Resource Center, 20 percent of all breaches in 2017 involved credit and debit card information, an increase of nearly 6 percent year-over-year.

5. DDoS Attack

DDoS Attack

DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service attack is one of the most popular hacking methods.

It temporarily or completely disrupts servers and networks that are working properly.

Then the hacker hacks the system once the network is down.

6. Email Bombing

Email Bombing

An email bomb is more of a form of internet abuse.

Email bombardment is an overload of emails directed to one email address, this will cause the person receiving the email server to slow down or even crash.

They may not necessarily be stealing anything from you, but having a slow server can be a real pain and a difficult job to fix.

7. Exploit Kits

Exploit kits require a vulnerability (bug in software code) to gain control of a user’s computer.

They are pre-made tools that criminals can buy online and use against anyone with a computer.

Exploit kits are constantly updated similar to normal software and are available on dark web hacking forums.

8. Eavesdropping & Surveillance

Eavesdropping & Surveillance

Eavesdropping without the consent of the parties is a crime and can be done online or by phone.

The most common form of eavesdropping is by wiretapping, which is the practice of connecting a listening device, usually to a phone line, which allows the offender to secretly monitor the conversation.

9. Identity Theft

Identity theft is a specific form of fraud in which cybercriminals steal personal data, bank account data, credit cards, debit cards, social security, and other confidential information.

They can also open a phone / Internet account in your name, use your name to plan criminal activity, and claim government benefits on your behalf.

According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), more than 1.1 million Americans are victims of identity theft.

10. Logic bombs

Logic bombs

Logic bombs are the same as viruses, but they are small programs or sections of a program that are activated by an event.

This event can be a certain date or time, a certain percentage of full disk space, the deletion of a file, etc.

Then a program could remove critical sections of code, rendering your software useless.

People who execute logic bombs are usually installed by insiders who already had access to the system.

11. Malware

Malware comes in many different forms.

Some specifically target users ‘financial information by installing keyloggers on victims’ computers.

More than half (55%) of all types of cybercrime involve malware, according to the report.

These attacks include spyware, malware, which give access to attackers everything you do on your device.

12. Malvertising


Malicious advertising is the method of filling websites with advertisements that contain malicious code.

Users will click on these ads, thinking they are legitimate.

Once they click on these ads, they will be redirected to fake websites or a file with viruses and malware will be automatically downloaded.

13. Online Credential Breach (user names and passwords)

Online Credential Breach

Being a victim of an online credential breach can happen in a number of ways: malware, phishing attack, credential stuffing, etc.

Seventeen percent of the attacks involved credential compromise, which means that a hacker uses your login information to gain unauthorized access to your accounts.

14. Online Scams

Online Scams

Online scams occurs in a variety of ways.

But many of them have something in common: they convey an attractive offer that in many cases tries to trick users into sending money.

Any illegal scheme to earn money becomes a scam.

15. PUPs

PUPS or potentially unwanted programs are less dangerous than other cybercrimes, but they are a type of malware.

They uninstall the necessary software on your system, including search engines and previously downloaded applications.

16. Phishing


Phishing is a type of attack in which attackers try to trick innocent users into doing something they normally wouldn’t, such as clicking on a malicious URL or an email attachment.

Cybercriminals are becoming more established, and many of these emails are not marked as spam.

They send out thousands of phishing emails with links to fake websites.

Users will believe that these are legitimate so that they will enter their personal information.

17. Prohibited/Illegal Content

Prohibited/Illegal Content

Prohibited/Illegal Content involves sharing and distributing inappropriate content that can be considered highly annoying.

18. Ransomware


Ransomware is one of the malware-based attacks. It enters your computer network and encrypts files and information using public-key encryption.

The attacker will send you a notification demanding a large sum of money to later recover your data.

In 2016, more than 638 million computer networks were affected by ransomware. In 2017, more than $ 5 billion was lost due to global ransomware.

19. Social Engineering

Social engineering is a method in which cybercriminals get in direct contact with you through phone calls, social media, emails, or even in person.

They will be your friends to earn your trust until you provide your important information and personal details.

Once they obtain your personal data, they can sell your information.

20. Spamming

Spam uses electronic messaging systems, most commonly emails to send messages containing malware, fake website links, and other malicious programs. Email spam is very popular.

Clicking on the malicious link, It offers deals, promos, and other attractive components to trick users, it means that you could be downloading malware that can lead to the theft of personal information.

21. Sales & Investment Fraud

Sales & Investment Fraud

By obtaining the contact details and account information available to savings or investment account holders, scammers can take on the persona of an investment broker.

They will then reach out to clients to lure them in with easy, profitable opportunities, but they seem much more trustworthy because they talk about accounts you already own and real results.

22. Software Piracy

Software Piracy

The internet is full of torrents and other programs that illegally duplicate original content, including songs, books, movies, albums, and software.

This is a crime as it results in copyright infringement.

Due to software piracy, companies and developers face a huge reduction in their income because their products are illegally reproduced.

23. Web attacks

Web attacks

Web attacks take advantage of website vulnerabilities to access the data of other site users.

For example, hackers can inject malicious code into an e-commerce website that allows them to steal customers’ credit card information.

History of Cybercrime

The malicious link to hacking was first documented in the 1970s when the first computerized phones were becoming a target.

Tech-savvy people are known as “phreakers” found a way to avoid paying for long-distance calls through a series of codes.

They were the first hackers to learn to exploit the system by modifying hardware and software to steal long-distance phone time.

This made people realize that computer systems were vulnerable to criminal activity and that the more complex the systems became, the more susceptible they were to cybercrime.

Crime and cybercrime have become a growing problem in our society, even with the established criminal justice system.

In both the public webspace and the dark web, cybercriminals are highly skilled and not easy to find. Read below to learn more about how to avoid cybercrime through cyber law.

Impact of Cybercrime on Society

Cybercrime has created a major threat to those who use the Internet, with millions of information stolen from users in recent years.

It has also had a great impact on the economies of many nations.

IBM President and CEO Ginni Rometty described cybercrime as “the greatest threat to all professions, all industries, all companies in the world.”

Read below for the shocking cybercrime statistics on the impact of cybercrime on our society to date.

21 Shocking Cybercrime Statistics
1. 780,000 records were lost per day in 2017
McAfee Reports 80 Billion Malicious Scans Per Day by One of the Leading Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

2. More than 24,000 malicious mobile apps are blocked daily
In the first quarter of 2018, Google Play had more than 3.8 million applications in its store.

3. Microsoft Office file formats are the most commonly used file extensions
According to Cisco’s 2018 Annual Cybersecurity Report, 38% were Office formats

4. US, UK, and China most vulnerable to smart home attacks
According to Trend Micro, the US accounted for 28% of smart home device incidents. The UK and China followed with 7% each.

5. 21% of files are not protected

6. Healthcare Industry Ransomware Attacks Will Quadruple

7. Cybercrime will cost $ 6 trillion in 2021

8. 30% of phishing emails are opened in the US
Many of us receive these emails every day and 12% click on the links/attachments they contain.

9. 58% of UK businesses sought advice on cybersecurity
79% of medium-sized companies sought advice, while only 50% of micro-companies did.

10. 300 billion passwords worldwide by 2020

11. French President Emmanuel Macron’s emails hacked

12. More than 60% of fraud originates from mobile devices

13. 2.53 million are victims of cybercrime in UAE

53% of cybercrime experienced by millennials in the past year

14. The Netherlands has the lowest rate of cybercrime
59% of the population were victims of computer crimes

15. Personal data sells for as little as $ 0.20

16. The Japanese exchange lost $ 530 million due to piracy

17. In 2016, Adware affected 75% of organizations

18. The average demand for ransomware is $ 1,077
The demands are increasing significantly because we are so dependent on the internet. As ransomware attacks increase, we can expect demand values ā€‹ā€‹to increase as well

19. China has the most malware in the world
Once hacked, attackers can access personal information, passwords, and infect other devices connected to the same network.

20. 90% of hackers use encryption

21. It takes companies more than 6 months to notice a data breach
83% of financial companies suffer more than 50 attacks per month. Once the data has been stolen, it is sold on the black market.

Tips To Avoid Cybercrimes

It seems that in the modern age of technology, hackers are taking over our systems and no one is safe.

The average dwell time, or the time it takes for a business to detect a cyber breach, is more than 200 days.

Most internet users are not concerned about the fact that they can be hacked and many rarely change their credentials or update their passwords.

This leaves many people susceptible to cybercrime and it is important to be informed. Inform yourself and others about the preventive measures you can take to protect yourself as an individual or as a business.

  1. Be vigilant when browsing websites.
  2. Flag and report suspicious emails.
  3. Never click on unfamiliar links or advertisements.
  4. Use a VPN whenever possible.
  5. Make sure websites are secure before entering credentials.
  6. Keep antivirus/application systems up to date.
  7. Use strong passwords with more than 14 characters.
  8. Malicious software – Install an internet security suite on all your devices, including your PCs, Macs, tablets, and smartphones.
  9. Credit or debit card fraud – Sign up for a credit monitoring service that can alert you to any unusual card activity.
  10. Data Breaches: Sign up for an identity theft protection service that can monitor and alert you to any suspicious activity, such as credit card applications that use your personally identifiable information.
  11. Compromised Passwords – Create strong and complicated passwords that are difficult to crack. Use a combination of 10 numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and symbols, or consider using a password manager.
  12. Unauthorized access to email and social networks: The best defense for these types of accounts is also a strong password. Avoid the temptation to use the same password for each account and then take the time to create a super-strong password. Remember, your email and social media accounts can be used as credentials to access your other accounts, so keep them carefully and never share them.


By exercising common sense and following best security practices, users can protect themselves against phishing attacks, ransomware, malware, identity theft, scams, and some of the other more common types of cybercrime.

But as we all know, nothing is stagnant on the web.

Cybercrime is continually evolving, so organizations must continually train their employees and help them develop their knowledge of IT security threats.

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