The Internet is a fundamental tool for human beings today. Business, communication, even our social life revolves around the screen of the computer, smartphone or tablet. It seems like a utopia to think of a world without the Internet, but its success has also attracted a huge number of criminals who want to take advantage of this platform to make their fortune. In Spain, the number of computer crimes grew by 71% last year according to data from the Prosecutor's Office, to exceed the figure of more than 20,000 judicial processes related to this issue. Against this background, what are the most common crimes? The company Carlos Aldama Informática Legal has compiled a list of the most widespread crimes today.
According to the director of the company Carlos Aldama himself (and one of the most important IT experts in Spain ), scams are the jewel in the crown among judicial processes dedicated to computer crimes, with more than 17,000 cases (almost one 85% of the total) . The explanation for this phenomenon lies in the ease with which it can be scammed today, thanks to the increasing use of social networks and the scammer's ability to act from anywhere in the world. In addition, many times users do not report this situation or go to a computer expert before removing or modifying the evidence.
2. Discovery and revelation of secrets
These types of crimes are increasingly in vogue, which in 2014 grew by 60% to reach 858 cases. This includes both the disclosures themselves and illegal access to computer systems.
3. Crimes against the privacy of minors and harassment
During 2014, 641 cases of this type were registered , including 581 crimes of child pornography or of the disabled . The number of cases of harassment of minors that reached the courts stands at 60 . The most common channels through which these crimes are carried out are communication platforms such as WhatsApp or Skype, cloud storage systems or private forums.
4. Threats and coercion
Threats and coercion grew to 527 cases , a figure that doubles the number registered in 2013. Related to this type of crime also includes insults and slander against public officials (with 381 complaints ).
5. Document forgery
This type of crime was below 1% of the total, with 156 cases . Among the most common practices are modifying a contract, an email, or an image.
6. Computer damage and sabotage
According to data from the Prosecutor's Office, these crimes reached the number of 143 registered cases . However, other sources point out that there could have been many more cases.
It is a very widespread practice that in many cases is placed at the center of a scam. The cases registered in 2014 rose to 117 crimes , almost always related to impersonation in social networks or email.
8. Crimes against intellectual property
Interestingly, registered crimes against intellectual property only reach 58 cases. A very small number when compared to the huge number of people who illegally download movies, music or books. In fact, according to the Gfk consultancy, almost 90% of the digital content viewed in Spain (in 2014) is pirated. The consulting firm itself estimates the losses generated by this practice at more than 1,700 million euros.
Carlos Aldama has more than 16 years of experience in the field of expert opinion and seven years in computer forensics, with more than 250 expertises made during this time.