Informative articles on Cybersecurity, IT Services, and cyber threats as they relate to small and medium size companies.

8 Major Types of Cybercrime



Many different types of cybercrime exist today, targeting device vulnerabilities and people's gullibility. 

While most cybercrimes use computers, not all may impact computers or networking equipment. 

For instance, social engineering attacks exploit the naivety of users to get them to give away their personal information or do things they shouldn’t do. 

Cybercrimes have evolved significantly over the last two decades, with criminals becoming increasingly sophisticated. 

The statistics give a clear picture of how serious cybercrimes can get. In 2022, over 1,800 data compromises affected over 422 million people in the US

Countries worldwide have dedicated agencies to fight cybercrimes, as cyberattacks on individuals and organizations have rapidly increased in the last decade. 

Understanding the different types of cybercrime is essential to prevent them. 

8 Types of Cybercrimes

Here are the major types of cybercrimes today:

Malware and Ransomware

One of the most common cyber threats is malware, malicious software written to gain access to computers and information. 

There are many different types of malware, from viruses that damage the functionality of a device to programs that block access to data. 

Ransomware, a type of malware, has become its own category thanks to its growing prevalence and serious ramifications. 

Attackers use ransomware to steal and block access to data and extort money. Such attacks have increased exponentially over the years and mostly target organizations. 

According to a report by Sophos, the median cost of recovery from a ransomware attack in 2023 is $1.82 million. 

DDoS Attacks

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks target networks by flooding servers with requests and making them inaccessible to users. 

DDoS is a cybercrime that overwhelms services and negatively impacts businesses by making their services unavailable. 

For example, a DDoS attack on an ecommerce website causes the customers to be unable to visit the website, resulting in a loss of revenue. 

DDoS attacks use multiple connected devices, typically botnets (compromised devices). 

Such attacks have increased in recent years, with 2022 seeing a whopping 74 percent rise in reported DDoS cybercrimes


Phishing is the most prevalent cybercrime, impacting tens of millions of people. It’s also one of the oldest that has only become more sophisticated. 

Phishing attacks involve emails that trick people into giving their personal information or clicking malicious links. Such emails may also contain dubious attachments. 

Such emails mimic the exact look and language of an entity the receiver trusts, for example, a friend, bank or insurance provider. 

While email providers have mechanisms in place to mark such emails as spam, many still manage to make it to the inbox. 

Socially Engineered Attacks

Phishing is a social engineering threat, but several other forms of such cybercrimes exist. 

Such attacks typically use urgency or fear to exploit unsuspecting individuals into giving sensitive information. 

Besides phishing through email, malicious parties may also use phones to get sensitive information from users. 

For example, an attacker may pose as a customer representative from a bank to get credit card details or online banking passwords.

Socially engineered cybercrimes often involve less tech-savvy individuals who may be unaware of the threat or the consequences of sharing sensitive information with a stranger. 

Identity Theft

Identity theft is another severe cybercrime where the perpetrator steals a person’s personal information to commit fraud or other nefarious activities. 

From social security to credit card numbers, attackers can obtain sensitive information through various means. 

They can then use this information to pose as the person on different platforms. For instance, they can apply for a credit card using the victim’s information without their knowledge. 

Identity theft can result in financial and reputational damage. 


Hacking is a broad term that describes activities that exploit device and network security weaknesses. 

Hackers can hack people’s email and social media accounts to gain personal information or conduct nefarious activities. 

Not all types of hacking activities are cybercrimes. Organizations also use hacking to identify vulnerabilities and pitfalls in their security. 

However, hacking of personal accounts on any online platform constitutes a crime. 


Cyberstalking involves stalking or harassing a person online. A perpetrator uses email, social media, or messaging apps to stalk, contact, and harass their victim. 

They typically do so anonymously so as to not give away their real identity and location. 

Cyberstalking is often used with the term cyberbullying. The former is a part of the latter, which involves bullying a person online through various means. 

Both cyberstalking and cyberbullying are punishable cybercrimes. Unfortunately, such crimes often go unnoticed or unreported. 

Cyberstalking can include tracing the victim’s location, collecting and sharing their personal information, sending unwanted messages or content, and more. 

The emotional toll of cyberstalking and cyberbullying can leave a long-term mental impact on the victim. 

Illegal Content and Piracy

The sharing and distribution of prohibited content online is also a serious cybercrime. 

Prohibited content can include explicit or violent content unsuitable for consumption, especially by minors. 

Similarly, selling and sharing pirated content and software is a prosecutable offence in many parts of the world. 

For instance, sharing content without copyrights is considered illegal and an online crime. 

Websites distributing or streaming movies, shows, and other content without appropriate licensing commit cybercrimes. 

How to Prevent Cybercrimes


Cybercrimes can affect governments, organizations, and individuals alike. 

Taking preventative measures is the only solution to stave off the many cyber threats today. 

Here are some essentials for preventing the different types of cybercrime:

Strong Cybersecurity

Investing in network security with firewalls, monitoring, and security management solutions is vital for businesses. 

Attackers are always on the hunt to exploit even the most subtle vulnerabilities in the network. 

Therefore, monitoring network security for misconfigurations and other vulnerabilities is vital before a hacker comes across it. 

Cybersecurity tools such as those provided by Cyberlynx can scan and detect vulnerabilities in the network before they get more extensive and complicated. 

Strong Passwords

Weak or old passwords are often the reason behind compromised accounts. And this is an issue that can impact businesses and individuals both. 

It’s highly encouraged that passwords be kept stronger every few months. 

You can mandate solid passwords and changes for all your employees if you're running a business. 

Avoid Unsafe Websites

If a website seems fishy, it probably is. You can avoid browsing unprotected and malicious websites by using security plugins on the browser that automatically block such websites. 

Only visit websites whose URLs begin with HTTPS and have SSL encryption enabled. 

Make it a habit to check the URL of a website before clicking on the link. 

Also, verify the authenticity of the URL and the website before entering any personal information. 

Education on Cyber Threats

It’s incredibly important for businesses to educate their employees on avoiding socially engineered attacks like phishing and spoofing. 

Training staff to identify, subvert, and report such attacks can save businesses expensive recovery and reputational damage. 


What is cybercrime?

A cybercrime is any illegal activity that uses computer technology. Many types of cybercrime include ransomware, data theft, phishing, DDoS, and cyberbullying. 

Cybercrimes can target an individual, group, or organization. Such crimes can also target government agencies and departments. 

While the underlying purpose of a cybercrime can vary, financial gain is usually involved. 

What is the most common cybercrime?

Phishing, a socially engineered attack, is the most common type of cybercrime worldwide. 

It started during the early days of the Internet and continues to cause damage to individuals and organizations. 

This type of cybercrime involves the attacker using a fake email domain to pose as the real person or organization and make the receiver take the desired action, for example, downloading a file or sending personal information. 

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