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Understanding Fraud and Computer Misuse: A Relevant Topic for A-level Sociology

With the rapid technological advancements of the past few decades, the incidence of cyber-crime has risen steadily. Two types of cyber-crime that have increased dramatically in recent years are fraud and computer misuse.

This article will explore these two types of cyber-crime, define their key principles, discuss the increase of these crimes in England and Wales, and look at key statistics regarding these forms of cyber-crime.

Defining Fraud and Computer Misuse

Fraud is the act of deceiving someone for personal gain, usually for the purpose of stealing money or property. This type of cyber-crime typically occurs online and can consist of a variety of forms, including banking and payment card frauds, consumer and retail frauds, and advance fee payment frauds.

Computer misuse, on the other hand, involves the use of computer viruses or unauthorized access to computer material for malicious purposes. The Computer Misuse Act 1990 in England and Wales criminalizes offenses such as these that involve hacking, the spreading of viruses, and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.

It is not just limited to computers; smartphones, games consoles, and smart TVs can all be targets of computer misuse.

The Increase of Fraud and Computer Misuse in England and Wales

The rise of cyber-crime has been a major concern for the government in recent years. According to data from the Crime Survey of England and Wales (TCSEW), there were approximately 10 million incidents of cyber-crime experienced by adult victims in England and Wales in December 2020.

This is an increase of approximately 29% compared to the previous year. The government is currently engaged in a battle to combat cyber-crime and is working to protect the public from these types of crimes.

Key Statistics of Fraud

The incidence of fraud has been increasing in recent years. In the UK, the police have reported an increase in reported fraud cases for two consecutive years.

The majority of victims tend to be older age groups with higher income households being more susceptible to fraud. Moreover, gender and ethnicity do not seem to play a significant role in fraud victimization.

The lack of contact between the offender and victim means it is often an anonymous crime.

Key Statistics of Computer Misuse

Unlike fraud, there has been a decrease in computer misuse in recent years, possibly due to increased security measures taken by technology companies. However, older people tend to be more susceptible to computer misuse due to a lack of technological literacy.

Victimology data further indicates that class and media coverage of computer misuse also play a significant role in victimization. Faceless crimes like computer misuse are often associated with globalisation and the increasing reliance on technology worldwide.

Conclusion

This article has explored the types of cyber-crime known as fraud and computer misuse, examining their definitions, how they occur, and their prevalence in England and Wales. It has also discussed key statistics regarding these types of cyber-crime, showing how they have been increasing or decreasing in recent years, as well as noting which groups tend to be more susceptible to victimization.

Cyber-crime is a rapidly evolving field, and it is important for individuals and organizations alike to keep up to date with the latest technological advancements and countermeasures to protect against these types of crime.The study of crime and deviance has long been a focus of A-level Sociology. With the rise of cyber-crime over the past few decades, it has become essential to include topics such as fraud and computer misuse in the study of crime and deviance.

This article will explore the relevance of fraud and computer misuse to A-level Sociology, discussing topics such as victimology, media and crime, and the methods perspective. Additionally, further resources for those interested in learning more about these topics will be discussed.

Study of Crime and Deviance

A-level Sociology often focuses on the study of crime and deviance. Fraud and computer misuse, being forms of cyber-crime, are a crucial component of this study.

Understanding the motivations, characteristics, and prevalence of cyber-crime is essential in developing a comprehensive understanding of crime and deviance in the modern age. Lessons on the significance of these forms of criminal conduct can benefit students pursuing careers as criminologists or working for organizations with online security concerns.

Victimology

Victimology is the study of the victims of crimes. The study of victimology has helped to provide insight into some of the notable characteristics of victims of cyber-crime.

In the context of fraud, for example, older adults with higher income households are more susceptible to victimization. In computer misuse, older individuals are more likely to suffer from victimization, with a lack of technological literacy playing a significant role.

Furthermore, gender and ethnicity seem to have limited significance in victimization. By studying victimology, students can get a better grasp of the impact of cyber-crime on individuals and groups, and how to protect themselves from cyberattacks.

Media and Crime

The growing incidence of cyber-crime has resulted in a surge of media coverage of these crimes. Cyber-crime often takes place online, making it more elusive and difficult for law enforcement officials to track down the responsible parties.

Given the importance of the internet in today’s world, students studying A-level Sociology can learn how media coverage of cyber-crime has influenced public perceptions about the nature and scale of these crimes.

Methods Perspective

The methods perspective is a core component of the A-level Sociology curriculum. In the case of fraud and computer misuse, the faceless nature of the crime poses a significant challenge for traditional methods of law enforcement.

As the world becomes increasingly globalized, it becomes easier for cyber-criminals to operate outside the UK, which can significantly hinder the ability of UK law enforcement agencies to bring these criminals to justice. Students studying the methods perspective in A-level Sociology can learn about the difficulties and limitations of traditional methods of law enforcement in the context of cyber-crime.

Problems with Measuring these Crimes

One of the primary concerns with studying fraud and computer misuse is the difficulty in measuring the incidence of these crimes. The Office for National Statistics in the UK compiles and publishes data that provides details of the incidence and prevalence of these crimes.

However, measuring the true extent of these crimes is challenging due to the anonymous nature of many cyber-crimes. PowerPoint presentations from the ONS are available online for those who want to learn more about how to measure these types of crime.

Protecting Yourself from Cyber Crime

Given the rise of cyber-crime, it is crucial for individuals to educate themselves on how to protect themselves from cyber-attacks. Independent research conducted by various organizations can aid in this regard.

The Nature of Fraud and Computer Misuse, published by the National Crime Agency, is an excellent resource for those seeking a comprehensive understanding of these forms of cyber-crime. The guide provides information about the various types of cyber-attacks, how to protect against them, and how to report any attacks you may experience.

Cyber Crime in Scotland and Northern Ireland

Cyber-crime is not limited to England and Wales, it is a problem in Scotland and Northern Ireland as well. There are various resources available for those interested in learning about cyber-crime in the rest of the United Kingdom.

The Scottish government, for instance, has published “The Scottish Governments Cyber Resilience Strategy,” outlining its approach to combatting cyber-crime. Northern Irelands Department of Justice provides additional resources on the incidence of cyber-crime in Northern Ireland on its website.

Conclusion

This article has explored the relevance of fraud and computer misuse to A-level Sociology, highlighting key areas of study, such as the study of victimology, media and crime, and the methods perspective. Additionally, further resources have been provided for those who would like to learn more about this topic.

Cyber-crime, especially fraud and computer misuse, is a significant challenge in the modern age, and it is essential for individuals and organizations alike to stay informed regarding these types of crime. In conclusion, this article has explored the types of cyber-crime known as fraud and computer misuse, defining their key principles, discussing the increase of these crimes in England and Wales, and looking at key statistics regarding these forms of cyber-crime.

The article has also discussed the relevance of these forms of cyber-crime to A-level Sociology and provided helpful resources and FAQs for those interested in learning more. Cyber-crime is an ever-evolving field, and it is crucial for individuals and organizations to stay informed about these types of crime and take steps to protect themselves against them.

FAQs:

1. What is fraud?

Fraud is the act of deceiving someone for personal gain, usually for the purpose of stealing money or property. 2.

What is computer misuse? Computer misuse involves the use of computer viruses or unauthorized access to computer material for malicious purposes.

3. How prevalent are fraud and computer misuse in England and Wales?

In December 2020, there were approximately 10 million incidents of cyber-crime experienced by adult victims in England and Wales, an increase of approximately 29% compared to the previous year. 4.

Who is more susceptible to fraud victimization? Older age groups, particularly those in higher income households, tend to be more susceptible to fraud victimization.

5. Who is more likely to suffer from computer misuse victimization?

Older individuals are more likely to suffer from victimization, with a lack of technological literacy playing a significant role. 6.

What can individuals do to protect themselves from cyber-crime? Education on how to protect against cyber-attacks, along with implementing security measures and reporting any attacks experienced, can help individuals protect themselves from cyber-crime.

7. What resources are available for learning more about cyber-crime in the UK?

The Office for National Statistics, National Crime Agency, Scottish government, and Northern Irelands Department of Justice provide resources for those interested in learning more about cyber-crime in the UK.

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