4 Core Elements of Cyber CrimesThe proliferation of computers and the wide availability of internet access to global users have transformed the ways of criminals. In the past, those who prey on children frequented parks, schools or malls just to see youngsters. These days, however, offenders only need to turn their computers on to check out what sort of images or videos they could find. Then, there's bullying, which today not only involves hurting someone physically, but also emotionally and mentally. Identity theft, which was unheard of several years ago, is now a real and present concern. So, there really are so many ways that criminals have evolved together with modernization.

When you say "crime", what immediately comes to mind is any physical act that is done to hurt another human being or even an animal. What about cyber crime? The scope of cyber crime is much more complicated. It goes beyond the physical, and many are even victims without them knowing. These are a few characteristics of cyber crime.

1. A cyber crime is committed even without physical contact.

Anyone, most especially children, can become victims of online criminals. Here's an example. The photos or videos uploaded by people can be transformed or edited into something that's offensive. In other words, opportunistic individuals could use material found on the internet to create graphic images that portray pornography. Any act involving the manufacture, creation or distribution of such materials is already a crime even without physically touching or making contact with victims. The scary thing here is that victims aren't even aware that they are already victims.

2. Anonymous doesn't mean safe.

Because a lot of people who use the internet remain anonymous, they believe that they are perfectly safe. This isn't necessarily so. So many individuals, even children, are bullied, harassed or stalked online. Most of the time, they don't even take such things seriously believing that anonymity will protect them from any harm. Anonymity gives offenders and victims a false sense of security. However, any criminal act should be reported or treated seriously in order for people to take proper action to stop the crime or to prevent a criminal act from escalating into something more serious.

3. Oftentimes, cyber crimes traverse jurisdictional boundaries.

Even with the high tech computer systems that authorities posses and even with the presence of super geniuses who run such systems, it is still challenging for even the most respected of agencies, such as the FBI or Interpol, to keep track and to catch cyber criminals. Cyber criminals only need to have a small computer at home or even in their offices, as well as an internet connection, in order to harass and stalk others. Their victims aren't just found locally. These could be people or children from other states or other countries.

4. The internet hides criminal or evil intentions.

It is frightening to note that so many seemingly innocent online activities lead to atrocious crimes. A kidnapper who wants to abduct a child can easily disguise himself as a friend or a concerned adult whilst chatting with his would-be victim online. A group can advertise sex tourism to sexual predators. A person can readily post pornographic or damaging material on the internet to harass, exploit or bully another. The act of chatting, messaging, posting, downloading or uploading and other online activities all seem to be harmless. Nevertheless, criminals can perform such activities in order to get what they want.

Claire Brown is a freelance writer who often contributes articles about personal injury and crime. She writes for many websites, including a bail bonds Santa Ana company that offers assistance to those who need bail for themselves or their loved ones.