The prevailed COVID-19 pandemic led many countries to command ‘quarantine’ to stay safe from the virus’s contagion. The rate of cybercrime is likely to increase as people avoid going out and spend more time at home.
The victimization during the pandemic may vary according to the type of crime. Domestic abuse (intimate partner crimes) appears to increase, whereas a significant decline in street crimes is observed.
According to Coyne (2020), it is evidenced, significant counties across the U.S. have reported a decrease in street crimes from 30 to 42 percent due to staying at home.
During the quarantine time, people spend much of their time going online, which changes the cyber-routine and could expose them to stalkers. According to the research, the people accessing the internet from home are on the hike of being cybertheft’s potential victims.
The cybercriminals could target both the organization and the employees working from home via business email platforms, teleworking software, and education technology.
It is not really that spending an increased course of time online will expose to the threat of being victimized. It depends on the type of activities of engagement.
The online activities that pose risks include playing online games, doing online shopping, and web surfing increase cyber victimization rates by making offenders’ access easier.
Although working through web portals has increased due to the pandemic, like working online, going through the news, browsing social media webs. These activities are less likely to affect people from being victimized to risks.
Reading news and other online articles may have shown a significant rise in the COVID-19 pandemic period.
The different online threats include identity theft, unknown transactions, online harassment, and malware.
Despite the pandemic, the level of cybercrime is growing independently. The victimization of social media increased dominantly in the U.K. during the pandemic. Even getting notifications of cyber victimization decreased from companies instead.
Cybersecurity awareness would make it trouble-free to notice and report these sorts of crimes rather than hackers getting caught. Another important fact is that the cybercriminals switched to government and critical infrastructures in place of attacking individual users. Ultimately this act has increased reporting rates to the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation).
The use of antivirus programs, firewalls, and blocking software will more likely reduce the chances of becoming a victim of cybercriminals.
People are increasingly teleworking, resulting in decreased mobility due to the shelter-in-place order. Hence, according to Hawdon, Parti, & Dearden (2020), 88% of the organizations have encouraged their workers to work from home to stay safe from the deadly, globally spread COVID-19.
Undoubtedly, lives have radically altered by the most widespread pandemic in history. The pandemic has brought a significant decline in street crime activities, a rise in domestic crimes, and no cybercrime change (Hawdon, Parti, & Dearden, 2020).
Coyne, M. (2020). Crime rates across the U.S. drop amid the coronavirus pandemic. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/marleycoyne/2020/04/11/crime-rates-across-us-drop-amid-the-coronavirus-pandemic/#3cb596c9311e
Hawdon, J., Parti, K., Dearden, T. (2020). Cybercrime in America amid COVID: Initial results of a national experiment, American Journal of Criminal Justice, 45. 546–562.