The creation and infinite applications of the Internet have completely permeated and changed today’s society. Along with the endless positive uses of the Internet come a myriad of negatives, which in many cases rise to the level of criminal activity. Indeed, wrongdoers use the Internet on a daily basis to seduce, bully, cheat, hack and abuse others. This results in Internet-enabled crime significantly impacting the average user on an interpersonal, financial, moral, behavioral, societal, sexual and psychological level.
What motivates cyber criminals to commit these crimes, what factors contribute to online risk and cybercrime, what pleasures and gratifications are achieved through certain online crimes, and what does the crime tell us about the criminal?
The answer lies in learning more about the virtual world where there is both a perceived and a functional ability to be anonymous, a place where individual morals and ethics become a critical element to guiding behavior. Also, certain factors increase the opportunity for online crime to exist, particularly where the ability to hide one’s identity is so simple. Moreover, with enhanced access to the Internet and increased availability of Internet-enabled devices, more people are spending more time online.
Therefore preventing risk and preventing cybercrime, is dependent on transforming risky behavior to safe behavior and offering opportunities that satisfy the growing demand for choice, control, citizenship, justice and education about the Internet. GCSC focuses on this growing demand by providing thought-provoking and fascinating programs that encourage prevention, education and self-protection for anyone using the Internet.
The growth of electronic commerce and the use of the Internet by particularly vulnerable demographic groups such as children and senior citizens, has certainly contributed to the accelerated growth rate of cyber-related crimes. There is little reason to expect this rampant growth will slow without a concerted effort to increase awareness of cybercrime and the ability to leverage the efforts of the Internet community to help one another reduce risk and crime in cyberspace.