Cybercrime first appeared in the 1980s. Now, it is the third-highest priority for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The need for people with criminal justice degrees and advanced computer knowledge will only grow in the future, making fighting cybercrime an excellent career opportunity.
What Is Cybercrime?
Cybercrime is any crime that is committed over a network of Internet connections. Crimes of this nature include fraud, obscene content, harassment, drug trafficking and cyberterrorism. As mentioned, cybercrime began in the 1980s, and by the 1990s, computer-assisted crime had become a major part of white-collar crime.
The National Institute of Justice has identified three types of computer crimes:
- Computer Abuse. Any intentional act involving computer use or technology. One or more perpetrators made, or could have made, some kind of gain. Likewise, one or more victims suffered, or could have suffered, loss.
- Computer Fraud. Any crime in which a person uses a computer either directly or as a vehicle for misrepresentation or deception. This is usually done to cover up embezzlement or theft of money, goods, services or information.
- Computer Crime. Any violation of a computer crime law.
Another thing to consider is that computer crimes are hardly confined to a specific geographic place. The “Morris Worm,” for example, crippled 6,200 computers all over the country. Computer crimes occur internationally as well.
Why Should You Consider Combating Cybercrime?
The threat of cybercrime will only grow as technology becomes more pervasive. Thus, combatting cybercrime will continue to be one of the most in-demand functions of criminal justice. Here are some facts to illustrate this:
- Cybercrime-related jobs are projected to increase by as much as 22 percent through 2020, according to data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2011.
- In March 2012, FBI Director Robert Mueller announced that computer crime could soon become the agency’s top priority.
- Unlike many information-technology jobs, outsourcing data integrity or information security work remains ill-advised. As a result, domestic job security is expected to remain strong.
- As the U.S. economy improves, many organizations will begin to prioritize cybercrime prevention as one of the foremost issues.
According to Payscale.com, the current median salary for a computer security specialist is $70,000 annually. Currently, most companies don’t have a specific department dedicated to computer crime, but this will likely change. Take into consideration that the New York City Police Department will soon expand its cybercrime lab, with an increase in funding of $4.2 million.
Who Should Help Fight Cybercrime?
To find a job in this area, you’ll need a criminal justice degree and either a computer science degree or other advanced training in computers. People who are interested in getting an information security degree online are especially excellent candidates for this field.
Job Possibilities in Cybercrime Prevention
As someone trained in criminal justice, as well as information security and other computer skills, you’ll have many career options. You might work with law enforcement, or a range of different companies could hire you as an IT security professional.
Cybercrime Will Only Increase
As technology becomes more prevalent and more people become involved with social networking, computer crimes are becoming more advanced. While once the work of bored teenagers, cybercrimes are carried out on a larger scale, with money often the objective. One computer hacker could access up to 10,000 networks in a day and inflict a prodigious amount of damage, so stopping such people is extremely important; however, this is an area that requires adequately trained individuals with a high degree of technical knowledge. Start training today, so you can be on the front line against cybercrime.