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Personal Privacy Advisors

History

Cybercrime has existed ever since the first personal computers began to be networked and connected to telephone lines, modems, and the ARPANET (the early version of the Internet). In 1988, the first malicious software program, which was later known as a worm, was released onto the Internet. It exploited vulnerabilities in network server programs and caused thousands of connected computers to fail. Computer viruses and other computer- and Internet-related illegal activity became more prevalent in the early 2000s with the creation of social media sites such as MySpace and Facebook, the increasing power of computing technology and wider availability of inexpensive computing devices, faster Internet connection speeds, and the growing popularity of the Internet and technology on the whole. Today, cybercrime is a major issue. Twenty-three percent of U.S. households were victimized by a cybercrime in 2018, according to a Gallup poll. In 2019, there were 467,361 complaints of suspected Internet crime, with reported losses in excess of $3.5 billion, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center 2019 Internet Crime Report. The top three crime types reported were phishing/vishing/smishing/pharming, non-payment/non-delivery, and extortion. As a result of the increasing occurrences of cybercrime, people have sought out experts known as personal privacy advisors, who can provide them with advice on data security and digital privacy issues and help them identify and fix any digital security issues on their computers, tablets, phones, and social media accounts.

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