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Internet Safety

Special Feature
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Overview

Crimes committed on the internet continue to rise year after year, resulting in significant losses for businesses and individuals of all ages and backgrounds.

In 2020, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received a record 791,790 complaints of cybercrime, with reported losses exceeding $4.1 billion. Over the past 8 years, the total number of annual complaints has tripled from 262,813 (2013) to 791,790 (2020).

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, providing an opportunity to review best practices in protecting personal information online and learn how to best ensure that you and your loved ones are safe online.

In 2020, the age group most victimized online was individuals over the age of 60, according to IC3 data.

To help combat fraud against older Americans and provide services to victims, the Office for Victims of Crime supports the National Elder Fraud Hotline. The hotline is a free resource that helps victims through the reporting process at the federal, state, and local levels.

Children and teenagers can be particularly vulnerable to online crimes. Just like adults, children can be tricked by anonymous online predators when they don’t recognize suspicious behavior or activity.

Developed with support from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Safety Pledge website provides free resources to help parents, educators, and caregivers learn more about the risks that children face online and how to respond safely.

OJJDP also supports 61 Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces nationwide to help law enforcement develop responses to online child victimization.

The anonymity and encryption technology offered by the dark web can attract illegal activity and challenge traditional law enforcement investigation techniques. To explore better ways for law enforcement to investigate dark web crimes, the National Institute of Justice supported a gathering of experts, researchers, and advocates, where event and finding details were presented in Taking on the Dark Web: Law Enforcement Experts ID Investigative Needs.

Additionally, the Law Enforcement Cyber Center, supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, assists investigators, police chiefs, officers, and prosecutors who are investigating and preventing crimes that involve technology. The center provides resources supporting cybercrime investigations, digital forensics, and information systems security.

Visit the following pages for additional information and resources from OJP and other federal sources:

Date Modified: October 8, 2021
Date Created: August 17, 2020