Despite cyber-crime being widespread the response by law enforcement has had limited impact. A report by the UK Home Office estimated that only 1% of cyber-crimes are reported by individuals and companies only report 2%. This is shocking considering a Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) report claimed 59% of companies globally experienced cyber-crime in the last year.
Cyber-crime is everything from scam emails to attacks on corporate infastructure
One of the mains problem is that cyber-crime covers everything from what individuals would perceive as minor annoyances such as scam competitions to attacks on sophisticated corporate infastructure. While there is a lot of focus on the latter not as much consideration is given to small but serious crimes against individuals such as hacking of email accounts or scams. The police are not really prepared to deal with such crimes and while there have been policies to improve the tackling of cyber-crime the focus is mostly on intelligence services who tackle the most serious threats. There is a demand for a more serious respond, despite concerns about government snooping, for example 64% of Americans want the government to do more to regulate what websites do with their personal data.
While few individuals reports cyber-crime to the police, it is more common to report crimes to the relevant internet company. But that also brings problems as companies are likely to play down the issue to avoid bad publicity. Companies have interests that are not always in line with those of the user. But this has in the UK particularly led to the police working more closely with private companies to combat cyber-crime.
Cross border enforcement is also an issue as many crimes occur in other countries and makes it difficult to pursue criminals. There is co-operation between countries via Inter-pol but again this only targeting the largest and most serious perpetrators of cyber-crime.
Individuals can do more to stay secure online
It seems grim, for the average internet user, but the gap in policing has led to many users taken the initiative and find their own security solutions such as ZenMate. Which has has been downloaded by almost 8 millions users. ZenMate encrypts browser traffic, hides your IP and can also avoid geo-restrictions.