Online Crime Grows and Offline Crime Drops Drastically
Crime has been falling since the mid-1990s in Great Britain, as it has much of the world. Since 1995 burglaries down globally 67%, correlated theft is down 79%, and most misdemeanors in the United States have dropped considerably. The decline is not attributed to a growing moral fortitude in the human race but due to alarms, car mobilizers, security technology, and in the United States with the vast proliferation of firearms. This coupled with an increased use of databases such as DNA may getting away with crimes a lot harder, and thus decreasing the reward for burglary and other minor crimes by making it a great deal more likely to be caught.
Unfortunately crime has not simply disappeared, it's moved locations. With more than 80% of all households connected to the Internet and 60% of the worlds population using smart phones online crime is on the rise. This technological saturation has given criminals a much richer playground to work in, and one that is a great deal more difficult to get caught in. This can be seen by the fact that 69% of all companies in Great Britain experienced some cyber security incident in 2014, with 59% of all global corporations reporting incidents cyber-crime.
Cyber-crime is an overused term that could mean many things covering areas from sophisticated terrorist attacks on government websites to confidence scams such as e-mails offering monetary rewards or prizes. Because of this diversity most cyber-crime is small-scale though high in volume. Sometimes it is difficult to determine if a cyber-crime is merely a nuisance or if it is really harmful.
The scale of it is also hard to measure. In England a study by the group get safe online showed that card and bank fraud could contribute 3.6 to 3.8 million incidents of crime in total over the year. This level of fraud is clearly harmful and millions of dollars of citizens money is at risk.
Add to this issue the fact that businesses tend to keep cyber attacks is quite possible. This is due to the fact that they don't want their customers to believe that their information or assets are at risk even if they are. In the United States a famous cyber attack in 2011 crippled Sony industries and shut down their online offerings for almost a month. This one attack cost Sony millions of dollars and placed customers information at risk. It is not known how much this particular attack cost Sony or its users but he did set the tone for cyber attacks in the future.