Cyber Crime Fighters: Tales from the Trenches

Authors: Felicia Donovan, Kristyn Bernier
Pages: 336
Publisher: Que
ISBN: 0789739224


Every new technology has the capacity to be used for good or for evil. And where is a new way to commit crimes, criminals will find it. That being said, this book covers the great majority of criminal acts that can be done by using “new” technology and offers you tips on how to avoid being targeted or, if you already have been victimized, what steps to take and how to minimize the damage done to your life.

About the authors

Felicia Donovan is a law enforcement technology and cyber crime expert who spent ten years at a New England police department and received recognition from the FBI on her work related to cases.

Kristyn Bernier, a detective and 15-year veteran of a New England-based police department, currently specializes in undercover work fighting Internet crimes.

Inside the book

Every chapter deals with a specific type of crime and how it can be carried out. The authors additionally demonstrate, using real-life examples, cases that have been investigated and prosecuted. Unfortunately, the prosecution is not always successful.

To help you out in case you need them, the book also lists resources, addresses and telephone numbers of organizations that aid victims.

From this book you will learn about:

  • Cyber stalking: how GPS, keylogging, identity assumption can become weapons in the hands of a stalker
  • What kind of information can a malicious person gather about you and the place you live on the Internet, based on what you or different services put online (social networks, tax assessor’s database, real-estate tools, online memorials and website registrations records – to name just a few)
  • Identity theft: what’s the difference between identity theft and identity fraud and how to prevent them both
  • The perils of online dating
  • How the Internet has become a means for sexual predators to reach their victims
  • Smart use of social networks – tips on what type of information not to share with strangers
  • Phishing, pharming, spam and scams.

Particularly interesting and useful is chapter 16 that presents an elaborate list of safety measures you should take to secure your computer and your network. Although the authors are focusing more on the technical aspect of these crimes, they don’t forget to emphasize that common sense plays a great role in safeguarding oneself.

This book is a good mixture of technical knowledge, current laws, how-and-what-to-dos and actual cases. It’s particularly these real-life experiences that help us translate all this information and make it easier for us to realize that some of these things can happen to us too, and that spending some time and effort on security is well worth it.

Final thoughts

In this fast paced world where the criminals seem always to be one step ahead of us and where, in most cases, our children know a lot more about the Internet and new emerging technologies than us, I think it’s important to educate ourselves about how these technologies can be misused.

This book won’t be an eye opener for advanced IT users, but it will provide a good overview for all new users. It’s difficult to say if this is a book suitable for kids or teenagers – that is the kind of thing every parent should decide of him/herself after reading this book and weighing the pros and cons.

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