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PrefaceA Message from the Authors
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
Cyber Crime Fighters: Tales from the Trenches is an important part of your personal safety arsenal. The reality these days is that you are far more likely to become a victim of a cyber crime than a physical crime. Preventing victimization online can translate into preventing yourself from being vulnerable offline as well. Studies show a significant correlation between stalking and physical abuse, sexual assault, and even homicide; therefore, every step toward education, awareness, and prevention can make a huge difference in regard to your safety.
Many books are now available about cyber crime and online safety, but few are written from the perspective of two women with over 25 years of combined law-enforcement experience who understand both the limitations of law enforcement and the court system in prosecuting cyber crimeas investigators, experts, and victims of cyber crime.
For example, the reality of the legal system today is that prosecuting a cyber stalker, even if a guilty verdict is obtained, does not mean the offender will necessarily spend a great deal of time behind barsif they're even sent to prison at all. This does not take into account that only a fraction of these incidences are ever reported, let alone prosecuted. It is estimated that 1.4 million people are stalked in America every year. Only 42% actually report their stalker to the police, with 57% saying that they did not initially report for fear of being ignored or laughed at (University of Leicester, 2005). It is estimated that over 80% of stalking incidences on college campuses are not reported to the police (National Victimization of College Women, Fisher, Cullen & Turner, 2000). That's the painful reality we see day in and day out in our real jobs.
Cyber Crime Fighters: Tales from the Trenches chronicles the real-life stories of fighting cyber crime, how it can be prevented, and the human component of victimizationputting a face on the issues and telling the stories of victims that are never told .
We'll show you the shocking tools readily available to cyber stalkers and identity thieves. This book becomes an important tool in your personal safety arsenal by providing information in an easy-to-understand format with resources for further investigation.
We'll reveal tools available to track someone's whereaboutsboth in person and onlineincluding many that can be installed in under 5 minutes! It covers important issues such as whether it's legal for someone to covertly take your picture with a digital camera and post it online. We'll provide specific websites for you to get a better idea of how much of your personal information is already available online, plus teach you how to limit your information from getting out there in the first place. These are the tools of cyber stalkers, but we want you to be aware of them so you know exactly how a cyber stalker thinks. For a cyber stalker, information is dominance and power, and we show you the websites they use and the lengths they'll go to obtain that power. CCF shows how a few simple steps can reduce your web whereabouts from being tracked. We introduce the concept of online voyeurism while explaining the laws about digital privacy, and we give you easy steps to follow to shore up your computer's defenses to prevent identity theft. CCF covers the most recent stories and technologies to ensure your personal online safety. We even share our own personal experiences, including becoming victims of cyber crime and trying to "catch our own predators." We also give you and your children important safety tools to use.
Cyber Crime Fighters: Tales from the Trenches covers the impact of social networks, the migration of cyber crime to the cell phone platform, the Adam Walsh Act, legislation to stiffen penalties against sex offenders, voyeurism, YouTube as a virtual ground for all kinds of criminal activity, and the horror of online dating gone bad.
If you were to install a security system in your house, does it guarantee you'll never get burglarized? Of course not, but it can significantly reduce the chances of someone breaking into your house. You still need to be vigilant and mindful. Consider this book an adjunct to your personal safety system. It is the flashing red alert to advise you that the email that sounds too good to be true, is. It is the caution flag that let's you know someone's demeanor could easily lead them to becoming an online stalker. It is the resource that shows you what tools are available that make it easy for someone to track your whereabouts, read your email, and steal your identity. We even show you ways to protect your iPod and laptop from getting stolen.
The purpose of this book is not to scare anyone away from going online, but rather to educate readers on how to go online and be safe. The Internet can be a very safe place with some basic knowledge of what is not safe and how to avoid it.
Felicia and Kristyn
Note - Whenever possible, we have used actual cases that have been publicly disseminated. In many cases, we have identified offenders by name. We do not, however, identify victims by name, even if their names were publicly released. We have changed the names of victims in order to protect their identity. We feel very strongly about not revictimizing anyone for the sake of this book.
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