Enter the maze

Mouse arrest

Any new technology can give criminals a new way to try and commit crime, and unfortunately computer technology is no different. In fact our increasing dependence on computers to work, rest and play, combined with the Internet's ability to link most places on the planet, has given criminals a chance to seek out new opportunities in cyberspace. In this series of articles we will look at some of the strange ways that crime has used the Internet.

Computer Science to the rescue

Mouse Crime

The Internet like the real world is a mixture of wonders and worries. As with every technology it's what you do with it that determines whether it is good or bad. High tech crime is leading to high tech crime investigation. Many computer scientists specialise in computer security to keep one step ahead of the criminals. Others specialise in forensic computing using their skills to convict criminals by tracking down their cyber trails, and new technologies such as anti-virus software and biometrics, where you can be identified by more than just a password will help make the internet safer. New mobile phones and laptops with fingerprint readers are available now, so that you cant lose the password. New laws are developed to try and counter criminal and antisocial use of the Internet, such as the Computer Misuse act and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers act, but the effects of these laws often takes time to bite.

But the best way to protect yourself from cyber crime is to use a decent password, have and use up to date anti-virus software and to never ever open unexpected emails, however exciting the subject line may be.

It often seems that the Internet is a lawless wild west frontier town. Sometimes it seems it would be exciting to play the bandit. In reality it is much more of an exciting challenge being one of the new breed of computer scientists developing ways to protect the cyber world from criminals. In the meantime, you don't have to hide in the cellar but be careful.