Who is a cybercriminal?
A cybercriminal is an individual that commits crimes with the use of a computer as a tool or as a target. Cybercriminals operate in many ways but the most common way cybercriminals operate in today’s digital age is through social engineering.
Social engineering is a strategy used by cybercriminals to manipulate or trick people into revealing their personal or sensitive information. In most cases, it involves interesting and convincing stories from cybercriminals to lure unsuspecting individuals, companies, or organisations into falling victim. Common social engineering attacks include:
1. Sending fake distress messages to unsuspecting victims.
2. Sending an email with a link that will redirect an unsuspecting victim to a fake website.
3. Sending a message to an individual that he has won a lottery involving a huge amount of money and asking him to provide his bank account details or other personal information.
4. Sending attachments or apps containing malware to unsuspecting victims.
5. Pretending as a bank, internet service provider, business partner, or social media platform administrator and asking for a password, PIN, or other personal information from an unsuspecting victim.
The internet can be a very good tool for learning, creativity, sharing useful information, and connecting with people but despite its great benefits, it is also used by cybercriminals to commit crimes.
In today’s technology age, cybercriminals can be very smart when it comes to online fraud. They will use all kinds of tricks to target their victims around the world.
As internet usage increases on daily basis so does the amount of sensitive and personal information which are made available on social media. Cybercriminals are aware of this and they always want to take advantage of it.
However, we must be informed that we all have personal or sensitive information that is worth something to cyber criminals which they can sell out to other criminals or unsuspecting victims. This is why it is very important for us as individuals or organisations to understand the mindset of a cyber-criminal.
The mindset of a cybercriminal:
1. He thinks faster than his victims.
2. He is always searching for people’s personal and sensitive information and he is ready to get it at all costs.
3. His main motive is to obtain money or personal information from his victims.
4. He is always learning and thinking of new strategies to defraud his victims.
5. He wants to make friends with as many people as possible to increase his chances of getting more victims.
6. He doesn’t give up on his victims no matter how pathetic the victim’s situation is.
7. He wants to use his cyber security knowledge to defraud anyone that comes in contact with him at any time.
8. He believes in using different identities to convince his victims.
9. He spends a lot of time studying the mindset of his victims.
10. He has a special interest in defrauding aged people and young children because they are the most vulnerable to cybercrime in today’s digital age.
Conclusively, we must be informed that our greatest weapon and best defense against cybercriminals is to educate ourselves about their strategies so that we can understand their mindset.
Rotimi Onadipe, is an ICT expert