Digital Crimes: Their Main Characteristics and How to Protect Yourself

Quais os crimes digitais e suas principais características - STW Brasil

In an increasingly connected and cybernetic world, Digital Crimes are a growing concern, posing risks to both businesses and individuals. The concern for cybercrimes is legitimate and necessary in everyday life to avoid becoming a target of such actions. After all, Cybercriminals are always up-to-date with changes in the digital environment.

Rather than panicking, it’s better to seek to understand more about digital crimes, how they work, and how to act to defend yourself and mitigate risks. Information is one of the most powerful allies in preventing internet crimes. After all, behind software and hardware, there are human beings capable of interfering and acting in search of greater protection through technology use.

In today’s article, we’ll tell you what digital crimes are, show you the most common ones, and offer some tips to protect yourself online. Join us!

What Are Digital Crimes?

We define Digital Crimes as all criminal actions that target or make use of computers, a computer network, or devices connected to a network. They are usually committed by cybercriminals or hackers, as well as carried out by individuals or organizations.

Today, crimes committed through the internet are a concern and cause significant losses. The situation is likely to become even more worrying with the arrival of 5G, the consequent expansion of the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence in homes and businesses.

The Gravity of Digital Crime

To better understand the gravity of what may be to come: imagine if hackers not only hijack data but also equipment and machinery, paralyzing or harming a production line, among other worse possibilities, such as the hijacking of the promised autonomous vehicles.

Network and information technology security is an important and urgent issue for the future. It should be debated beyond the technology sector players.

Personal and political issues are also found as motivations for attacks.

The Main Digital Crimes Today

There are two main categories in which most of the main cybercrimes committed today fall:

  • Those that target computers, and those that use computers.
  • Those that target computers often use viruses and malware in attacks to damage or prevent the provision of services, as well as for data theft and kidnapping.

Digital crimes that prevent the use of hardware, operating systems, or software are called Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.

On the other hand, cybercrimes that use computers are those that use computers or networks in spreading viruses, malware, illegal information or images. This is the case, for example, of distributing child pornography, selling illicit items, and distributing piracy through the World Wide Web.

It’s worth reinforcing that criminals often use both methods during an action. For example, when several compromised computers are used to perform a Denial of Service attack.

The United States also recognizes a third category of digital crime: when a computer is used as an accessory for criminal practice to store stolen data.

Thus, we can define today’s main digital crimes as:

  • Illegal interpretation or data theft;
  • Slander, defamation, racial insult, and stalking;
  • Interference in systems and network compromise;
  • Copyright violation;
  • Illegal gambling practices;
  • Sales of illegal items on the network;
  • Incitement, production, or possession of child pornography.

Protecting Yourself from Cybercrimes

Knowing all this can be terrifying. However, the good news is that it is possible to mitigate the risks of suffering from digital crimes. Mainly through good practices when using devices connected to the network.

Never click on suspicious emails and websites, always keeping an eye out not to be a victim of Phishing – when criminals imitate a trustworthy site, such as your bank, to capture your data – or download malware and viruses that compromise your system and facilitate network invasion.

Furthermore, it is essential to keep your software and systems always up to date. Developers are always correcting vulnerabilities and gaps. Updating is prevention in information security. Also, rely on security software, such as antivirus and anti-spyware.

Reporting Cybercrimes is Important

It is possible to file a police report at any police station. If you are a victim of a crime against a person committed on the internet, do not omit it, report it. Depending on the case and the region where you live, the authorities may refer your case to police stations specializing in combating virtual crime.

For companies, it is also important to invest in employee training, spreading good practices in using the internet and the systems adopted.


It is not uncommon for human beings to be the component of vulnerability exploited by cybercriminals. Follow these actions, as simple as they may seem, they will contribute to mitigating the risks of suffering from digital attacks. Together we can make the internet a safer environment for everyone!

Keep following our blog and like our social media pages to learn more about information security and protect yourself adequately from digital crimes.

See you next time!

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