How Do Police Investigate Cyber Bully Cases?

Have you ever wondered how police in real life trace emails and locate and identify cyber stalkers? Is it really like they show on those TV CSI cop shows? Unfortunately no, in real life there are many limitations on local police when it comes to locating and identifying cyber stalkers. On tv you'll see a high tech computer crimes lab full of expensive equipment and manned with dozens of officers. In reality a local police dept computer crimes unit may be as small as one officer and one computer.

Wen a victim of a cyber bully becomes concerned about their safety and well being they will usually turn to the local police dept. Once the local police take that compliant several things may happen. hey may choose not to investigate further thinking that it is not a serious enough threat to devote manpower and recourses to investigate further.

If they do deem it a serious threat they may assign your case to an investigator, perhaps in their computer crimes unit or maybe just an investigator that normally investigates harassment and stalking cases.If the crime crosses over state lines they may refer your case to a federal agency such as the FBI to investigate. depending on the nature of the threat and other factors.

But the typical response by any law enforcement is usually the same. They will investigate the incoming email threat by opening up the headers and obtaining the IP address from within the header. Then they will take that information and use a common tool like samspade.org or dnsstuff.com to run the IP address through a"whois" feature and discover what Internet Service Provider (ISP) is associated with IP Address or Internet Protocol Address.

At this stage of the investigation law enforcement has a huge advantage because they can take the documented threat or harassment in the form of an email and present it to a judge as probable cause to issue a search warrant. That warrant will be served upon the Custodian of Records of the ISP, They will be compelled to turn over detailed information about the billing, location and activity of that person or people associated with at IP Address.

The problem for law enforcement at this stage is proving who that actual person was physically at the keyboard at the time the alleged crime took place. The suspect can claim he was not there that day, that many people borrow the computer or that several people live at the address and they call share the computer. This is why it's so difficult for law enforcement to make arrests and prosecute these kids of cases without getting a confession from the suspect. Unfortunately it's not as high tech and quick as you see on TV crime shows where to police are able to use some type of computer program to instantly identify a person from an email or IP address.

Copyright (c) 2011 Opperman Investigations Inc

FBI Online Cyber Crime Victims Form

The FBI has a convenient online Cyber Crime form for victims and/or the 3rd party to the complaint that is an easy-to-use reporting mechanism. A partnership has been formed with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3 formerly known as the Internet Fraud Complaint Center IFCC) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) for the combined objective of identifying and bringing to justice those responsible for online internet fraud.

The FBI-IC3's stated Mission regarding Cyber Crime is "to serve as a vehicle to receive, develop, and refer criminal complaints regarding the rapidly expanding arena of cyber crime." The IC3 provides the victims of cyber crime with an online reporting form that will be used to alert authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations. IC3 also provides their law enforcement partners and regulatory agencies at the federal, state, local and international level the internet related crime with information gathered through complaint forms to this centralized referral system.

In addition to partnering with law enforcement and regulatory agencies, it will remain a priority objective of the IC3 to establish effective alliances with industry. These alliances will enable the IC3 to leverage both the intelligence and subject matter required in identifying and crafting an aggressive, proactive approach to combating cyber crime.

IC3 accepts online Internet crime complaints from either the person who believes they were defrauded or from a third party to the complainant can best be processed if accurate and complete information accompanies the complaint. Provide the following listed items and any additional information when filing a complaint at website: http://www.ic3.gov/complaint

· Your name

· Your mailing address

· Your telephone number

· The name, address, telephone number, and Web address, if available, of the individual or organization you believe defrauded you.

· Specific details on how, why, and when you believe you were defrauded.

A New Music Copyright Lawsuit Against YouTube

In the middle of November, Universal Music filed an extensive copyright lawsuit against YouTube, not long after Google moved to purchase it. So, what does this portend?

As you undoubtedly know, YouTube is a site that allows people to post videos of all sorts. Sometimes the videos are their own and sometimes they are copied from other locations. This second category has raised a number of issues in the cyber law field with most of the questions surrounding copyright. Specifically, many wonder how this situation is anything different than what happened with Napster and similar sites. With Universal's lawsuit, we are about to find out.

Copyright is often a misunderstood area of the law, particularly when it is applied to the internet. Copyright is simple the right of a party to control the distribution of the work in question. The party is usually the creator of the work, but they can sell it off to another party if they wish. Regardless, the party has the right to license out their work to other parties for distribution in exchange for compensation. When someone uses the piece without the consent of the party, they are infringing upon the copyright.

Unlike Napster, many media companies have entered negotiations with YouTube to try to resolve copyright issues up front. Although every deal is different, copyright infringement issues are usually resolved by paying royalties to the offended party. In this case, Universal and YouTube actually entered such negotiations. With the filing of the lawsuit, it obviously didn't work out. The reported problem was the fact an unreleased Jay-Z music video appeared on YouTube. Obviously, Universal felt its thunder had been stolen.

One must wonder what Google thinks of all of this. Although a brilliant search engine company, Google has a history of falling on its face when it comes to legal issues ranging from privacy protection to swiping executives from other companies, particularly Microsoft. With YouTube, many wondered if Google was purchasing one giant lawsuit. Apparently, this may have occurred to the powers that be at Google as rumors abound that hundreds of millions of dollars of the purchase price were set aside to cover lawsuits. Time to break out the check book!

Regardless, the dispute between Universal and YouTube/Google looks to be significant in the development of copyright law on the net. This is definitely something worth keeping an eye on.

Invisible - NOT CYBER - Bullying in the School: Part III - The School Bus and the Classroom

This is the third in a series of three articles related to Invisible Bullying. We refer to it as invisible because it is happening virtually within 25 feet or less from adult supervision and it is going completely unrecognized because the supervisors are often on a completely different "wavelength" from the students they are supervising. Like the adults in the Charlie Brown specials, they are invisible to the students and speak a different language.

We refer to this as Decontextualized Supervision, and although it can prevent seriously bodily harm and make sure people get outside in a natural disaster and maintain general law and order, it does nothing to assist the victims of bullying during the school day. We spoke in Part I of the bullying that occurs in plain sight in the school hallways. Teachers, before you punish a child who is continually late to class automatically, will you please look at that child and ask yourself if this person looks like a person intent on beating the system or one who someone intends to beat on. If you are not sure, err on the side of caution and begin with the assumption that the child is purposely taking the long way to avoid hallway bullies that he or she dreads having to pass each day- because they are really lurking out there- even if you don't see them.

In the cafeteria, what do you surmise when a kid shows you his new Social Studies Book with a piece of pizza smooshed in the middle? If there are kids that always go to help the librarian instead of going to lunch, does anyone ask the child why?

More children than you would think dread walking in the hallways and going to the cafeteria because of the constant abuse. Yet, for us adults, most of the time we glance into the cafeterias or down the hallway, and everything looks fine to us, except for perhaps a little too much noise. Which group- the kids or the adults have a mistaken impression? Which group of people is out of touch with the realities of the situation? Which group is working with no contextual backdrop? As a supervisor of students, what skills have you developed beyond making comments like, "Keep it down you people, or else!" "If I have to come down there you aren't going to like it!"and, "I want the both of you to knock it off or you will be seeing me for detention for the next week!" When you said that last one, was it really an even battle, or might someone be the constant perpetrator?

So, we have spoken about the hallways and the cafeteria as being dreaded places for many young people. Next we will talk about the school bus, and this of course, includes getting on and off the school bus at the beginning of each day- another big reason for latenesses to school- an effort to avoid the gauntlet!

The law asserts that the school is responsible for each student who is transported to school from the time they leave their house in the morning till they return. That, of course, is ridiculous because we have enough to worry about in the building and since administrators are not really like the assistant principal in Ferris Bueller's Day Off- running all over town chasing people like idiots, to expect the school to police someone's street for the thugs that dwell there is very unrealistic. That being said, once again the bullies are at work at the bus stop in the morning terrorizing the weakest kids. Is anyone surprised that most new Elementary & Secondary schools are being built with pick-up lanes and older buildings have changed the traffic patterns in the parking lot for the cars of parents who drop off and pick up their children each day? 15 years ago, kids either walked to school or rode the bus, with very few parent pick-ups Overprotective? Tell it to the parents of children undergoing this terror every day. Additionally, even the students who are not bothered have learned early on to keep their mouths shut lest they be next on some bully's "Hit list".

An additional problem is that, in a school district where the population is sparse, there is only one bus run and all the schools in the district start and end at the same time. This means that your kindergarten child is on the bus every day with high school students, hearing all of the jokes, the verbal and physical abuse, and maybe even providing the bullies with additional easy targets for money, pencils, pens, markers, as well as abuse.

Another problem that nobody grasps is that almost all school districts, in an effort to contract out for everything including teachers, have done away with their busses and hired an independent contractor. The job of bus driver now is taken by someone happy to work part time and with no idea about discipline codes of the school and the disciplinary process. We recall one situation where a bus driver blared a radio the entire ride to and from school with religious music. Another driver curses and swears at the kids who are experts at getting an untrained adult to "take the bait" and lose their temper. In a school bus, people are hit, kicked, spat upon, verbally, assaulted, groped, propositioned, denied seats, their books and belongings are tampered with, they are tripped, the abuse folks, is endless. Occasionally you can see a story of a parent who, fed up with the school's process, takes matters into her own hands and enters the bus to confront the bullies. Attention you professionals- this is real stuff- we aren't making it up, and it is torture every day for children that nobody in the school ever hears about, and the driver cannot be expected to see since his or her eyes are on the road. Occasionally, an untrained bus driver will try to set up some kind of specific seating, and often they operate, like the supervisors in the school, with incomplete knowledge of who the culprits really are or they completely ignore the bullies in the hopes that nothing big will happen that day. The truth is, nothing actually noticeable ever happens when a adult watches, yet a girl could still be having lewd remarks about oral sex whispered in her ear, or a kid could be getting touched in some inappropriate way or having someone tamper with their violin, and no adult can see it and no one dares talk about it. The students law of Omerta- is even more iron clad than the Mafia.

I bet you think this is all exaggerated- I mean, really, it can't be that bad can it? After all, I work in an upper middle class place that fancies itself to be like a private school. Please, we implore you school people, make friends with the students who operate on the dark side. They will enlighten you as to the goings on in their world that you don't see even if you are looking in the right direction. Well-to-do students can be as cruel and heartless and, in our experience, often even more so than their less fortunate counterparts- and the parents of these children are much quicker to threaten bringing in the "dream team" of lawyers as opposed to working with the school to improve their child's behavior.

Now we switch to the classroom where one would think that law and order and the prevention of bullying would be the easiest to accomplish because there is a confined area with a teacher watching. Here are some examples of how children can be bullied in plain sight right in the classroom. I take you back to 1965. We are in the band room of a suburban high school where the morning rehearsal is taking place. A very overweight Japanese boy was the tuba player. At least twice a week, the bullies, of which the writer was at least an encouragement to the bullies would have him kicked out of band practice for passing gas out loud during the rehearsal. When the loud gas-passing sound occurred, everyone in the section would get up and walk away yelling, " Ugh, Benny (his nickname) that's disgusting", "I'm not sitting near him", "he's a pig", etc. This would happen during a pause in the playing and the band director's attention was diverted. The band director, ever the willing dupe, went for the frame up and would angrily toss Benny out of the rehearsal. The problem was, Benny was not passing gas- one of his tormentors was making the gas passing sound, and when it was made, everyone in the section joined in the collective disgust at "Benny" passing gas. In an assembly, when there was a lull in a speech being given by the principal about patriotism, this writer, seated halfway back in the middle of a row, got up to use the lavatory. A "friend" yelled out, "This is boring, I'm Leaving!!! Everyone in the auditorium immediately looked at me and I stood there trying to tell nobody in particular that it wasn't me who said that. I got detention for a week and worse, of course, since it was still the sixties, even more when I got home.

That is one kind of dilemma. Here's the next one. A student punches another student in class or pushes his books off the desk for example. The victim, tired of the constant abuse that has been going on every day decides to confront the bully. The teacher turns around from writing on the board, sees the victim standing up in front of the bully in a confrontational pose and immediately sends the victim to the office for his/her aggressive behavior. Do you know your students? After the first few days, any experienced teacher already knows, either by sight, or through the grapevine, which student requires constant scrutiny. When the bully is sitting there looking innocent and a non bully is striking an aggressive pose, do you think that might be a good time- or perhaps after class, to delve into the story with greater intellectual curiosity? The bullies, friends, know the precise moment to strike. As a teacher, do you pay attention to who is going to the lavatory and the time the person always goes? You are right, it's an impossibility for the most part. Know that abuse is occurring in the lavatory constantly. Creating a process which disturbs the process of the bullies is a good thing, but a teacher must be aware of the context. False equivalency where both parties are told essentially to "sit down and shut up- both of you!" is hurtful to the one who was not doing anything in the first place, but it does bring order, if not justice, to the classroom. Call some Moms and invite them in to sit with their child throughout the class. When the grapevine learns of what you did, most people will stop their devious actions because the shame of one's Mother sitting in class next to him or her will be a sufficient deterrent.

How about the locker room? How about students paying another student money to snap a picture of someone in the locker room changing clothes and having it go viral? Tampering with one's clothing and belongings, stealing, physical abuse, verbal abuse is occurring all the time in the locker room and the teacher is generally sitting in his or her office or waiting for the students in the gym. Yes, we realize that the school district refuses to hire anyone past a half day because then they have to give the person benefits, but if there is any place that needs constant watching it is the locker room. Do you have any idea how many students never dress for gym in the high school, choosing instead to take an F and then take Physical Education in summer school where they are required to, for example, walk around the building each day or swim, or go bowling?

Finally, you have all heard the adage, usually said in jest that, "You just can't find good help anymore!" Well that adage is true in the world of substitute teachers. Most schools cannot find enough trained teachers to serve as substitute teachers. We have seen substitutes actually sleeping in class and others who smell as though they have never showered. Most commonly, however, the substitute teacher seldom, if ever is actually certified in the area of the person he or she is replacing. Now you have a situation like this... A student who strikes another student is seen by the substitute teacher who asks, "What is your name young man?" "Joe Smith!" answers the student.

Bullies love substitute teachers because to begin with, they don't know anybody's name. Add to this the fact that the new teachers we see today are different than the old timers who saved up every day so when it came time to retire, the retiring teacher could collect full pay for a year or more. Today's teacher misses school for the slightest reason without any regard for 30 years from now. The result- infinitely more days with substitute teachers coming in when they can be found.

The week after Thanksgiving is Christmas shopping week, for example- don't look for a full staff in that week! When substitutes can't be found the regular staff is asked to watch the class during their duty free period or whole classes are sent to the auditorium where adults who would rather be somewhere else are assigned the task of watching the students during a duty-free period. Check the floor of the auditorium after a couple of mass coverage classes... that will give you some idea about the passion that the supervisor is bringing to the task at hand.

In summary we make these assertions and offer these admonitions.

  1. Most of the bullying that occurs in schools occurs in plain sight and goes unperceived by adults because the adults cannot conceive of such a thing happening in such a place. They approach their responsibility with no grasp of context. They are good at keeping the noise down. No justice can be expected here for the victims. The greatest plans by mental health professional and counselors are doomed to failure without a grasp by the adults of the world in which a student operates.
  2. There is no actual safe place in the school from a bully. The busier the place the better. Bullies need to experience some discomfort and disruption of their process. Be creative. Get Mom in there to walk next to Junior all day for starters. Machiavelli would have referred to this as a "Signal Example"- the effect of which is to deter future bullies- it's the reason that the law considers punitive or exemplary damages- to send a message to future would-be wrongdoers.
  3. Take a close look at students who frequently miss school, are late for school or class, never dress for gym, or never go to the cafeteria because they want to help a teacher. Do all of these people really look like trouble makers trying to beat the system thus deserving of letter- of- the- law school discipline or do they give off a different message?
  4. Have a meeting in August with all bus drivers to explain to them how the disciplinary process works so there might be a shred of consistency between this disparate group of individuals, most of whom think school discipline would be no problem if the administrators would just "kick a little more butt." Nobody told them that this kind of punishment is generally against the law- and educators do not make the law- politicians do- educators just try to carry out the law.
  5. Have incentives for teachers who do not miss any school days. At least they know the names of the students. The bullies hate that!
  6. Take the time to develop a working relationship with students who are usually on the wrong side of the discipline code. Many of them are dying to talk to an adult about what is going on but no one has ever taken the time. The police ALWAYS have their informants who operate under cover. Have incentives for these individuals too. The effect will be to disrupt the plans of the Bully. You will know, for example, when someone has brought a weapon to school. In one district, we excelled at this. Kids were always coming in early to tell us things. They became very caring too and would alert you if a certain student looked "strange" that day and could be on drugs, or drunk, for example.

We guarantee that you will be amazed at what you, the adult, did NOT know about what was really going on- even if it was hiding in plain sight. Bullying is never going to go away. Schools are a microcosm of the society we live in. How civil is that society these days? A look at the embarrassing behavior of our elected officials should provide you with some clue as to how fast bullying will disappear. Creativity, perseverance, and awareness are crucial to making any changes in the status quo- get some parents and kids on your side as well.

California Cyber Bullying Laws to Protect Your Children and Teens

Since home computer systems have grown so popular, there have been more men, women, and children that become the targeted victims of cyber bullying. This is an extremely frustrating and sometimes frightening problem that can quickly be solved when a reverse email look-up is performed by an experienced private investigator. The California cyber bullying laws that have been enacted can also be of great help to people that are experiencing this type of harassment.

The Education Code Sections 32260 through 32262, it simply refers to the partnership formed between Law Enforcement and Schools. This partnership is comprised of the Attorney General and the Superintendent providing instruction to students of the Public School System. This is a partnership that is commonly known as the Interagency School Safety Demonstration Act of 1985. As a form of protection of all students this is one of the California cyber bullying laws that consists of the following:

Policies and programs shall be put in place that is required to carry out Article 5 provisions, starting with Section 32280. The administrators of safe school programs, all activities, procedures, and training that are conducted in accordance with this chapter.The cooperation of other state and federal agencies of other states when it comes to the matter of safety in schools.While attending classes on any of the campuses of the California School System, it is the right of each and every student to be ensured that the campus will be peaceful, secure, and safe. Without each of these elements, it is practically impossible for students to benefit from the specific educational programs they are a part of. This is precisely why this chapter of the California Cyber bullying laws was developed.

Legislature's intent is for the agencies that serve California's youth, school districts, law enforcement agencies, and county offices of education to all work together. They are encouraged to create and use various types of programs of in-service training, interagency strategies, and different kinds of activities that are geared towards reducing issues with bullying and other problems that often occur within the school system. California cyber bullying laws in this section refer to bullying that occur with the use of various types of electronic devices. This would include home computer systems, mobile phones, pagers, home telephones, and video recorders.

If one of your children has been experiencing the trauma that cyber bullying can cause, you are urged to review the valuable information contained in the Education Code Sections 32260 through 32262 of the California cyber bullying laws. Another helpful step to put a halt to this type of situation would be to have a reverse email look-up performed by a professional private investigator.

Copyright (c) 2011 Opperman Investigations Inc.

Cyber Law and Slander Online Considered

We are starting to see more and more Internet Laws being added to the books in many different agencies in the United States. There are cyber laws at the FBI, FCC, SEC, FTC and many other places cropping up. What is unfortunate indeed is that most of these laws are made to protect US Citizens and yet only enforced onto US Citizens. We have Identity Theft Laws, Child Porn, SPAM, Phishing and Hacking Laws and yet in reality most of the criminals who specialize here are not US Citizens and do not live in the US.

Perhaps as the Internet Started those sorts of criminals were from here, but not anymore, as the United States has been cleaning up its act. Now these criminals come from other countries and the Internet knows no bounds. They hide in far away countries and host their websites in far away cities, half way around the world and they prey on the US Citizens. Our Cyber Laws cannot protect the American People in this case.

Then there are those harassing slander laws, which seem to be selectively enforced as well. Even the government itself slanders citizens on the Internet accusing them of things they did not do or purporting their side of the case in self-aggrandizement prior to any court of law. It appears that in the future all these issues must be addressed other wise any cyber laws, which are made are never going to stop the crime being committed. Consider all this in 2006.

Intellectual Property Law - Trademarks and Branding Made Easy

Intangible assets such as trademarks, copyrights and patents have the same basic attributes of ownership as any tangible property.  Then why do they seem so confusing?  While the attributes of ownership for intangibles are the same as for those you touch, the nomenclature, i.e. the labels used to describe the rights in intangibles, are different from that which we learned with respect to hard assets. Learn the language of intangible assets and you will be on your way to a better understanding.

What terms are used instead of "sale" or "lease"? With real or personal property, one sells the car or the land, or rents or leases the house to a tenant. Intellectual property has the exact same rights and attributes, only the words are different. A total sale is called an "assignment" and a lease or rental of rights is a "license."  One tenant is called an "exclusive licensee" and co-users of the same IP, at the same time, are "non-exclusive licensees."

What is a trademark?  A trademark is a word, symbol, slogan or sound that is used to identify and distinguish your goods and services from those of your competitors.  The rights in a trademark are secured and ultimately maintained only by continuous use in commerce on certain goods and services.  Trademark rights are not established without use for particular goods or services.

What does it mean when a mark is "inherently distinctive?"  A word, phrase or symbol that is "inherently distinctive" is strong and generally easy to protect as a trademark.  It is a term that does not describe the qualities, characteristics or ingredients of your goods and services. It is protectable against third parties without proof of "secondary meaning" and serves as a strong sword against infringers and cyber squatters.  While not always easy to select, inherently distinctive marks bring stronger value and protection to your business. The word "diesel" is generic as applied to truck and engine parts, but it becomes distinctive when applied "arbitrarily" to clothing.  Diesel has nothing to do with clothing, except as a brand.

What is "secondary meaning" or acquired distinctiveness?  Terms that describe the qualities, characteristics or ingredients of your goods are "descriptive" and cannot be registered as a trademark. Nor can those terms be used as a sword against infringers, unless the owner successfully proves that the mark has acquired a "secondary meaning" in addition to its literal meaning.  The question is whether the mark can be shown to be known by the public as a product from a unique source?  Is there a public association of the term with your product or service? For example, the owner of CHARCOAL STEAK HOUSE lost in an effort to enforce its name since it was held descriptive and the owner was unable to present enough evidence of secondary meaning.

How does a trademark differ from my company name?  Formation of a company and the right to use that company name as a corporate entity has nothing to do with establishing trademark rights!  The distinctive portion of a corporate name can become a trademark when correctly used in connection with the sale of goods or services to the public.  However, until this occurs, a corporate name offers little protection against subsequent use in commerce by a competitor who establishes prior lawful use and/or registration with the U.S. Trademark Office for specific goods and services.  

How does a domain name differ from a trademark?  A domain is an address on the Internet.  It is the location of your website, and may or may not be used to offer particular goods and services to the public. Domain names are not a substitute for a brand.  Many domains cannot serve as trademarks, especially if they are only a descriptive term which describes the goods and services.  Trademark rights in domains can be registered if the term is distinctive and used to advertise and sell goods and services. An example of a descriptive domain with little or no trademark protection is http://www.hotels.com>. 

Business Law Savvy - Protect Your Company From 5 Common Legal Risks

Unfortunately in today's business world, it is only a matter of time before your company is sued by someone or investigated by some governmental agency. However, you can lesson the odds by understanding and identifying the most common legal problems that could come your way and protecting your company against them.

1. Criminal Investigation

State and federal law enforcement and governmental agencies proliferate with each passing day. Depending on your industry, you could be regulated by as many as ten agencies, not counting the normal and customary policing departments. The power of government agencies is blinding. Recently, a trend has emerged targeting more and more businesses, executives and owners for investigation and prosecution. It has become so prevalent that all companies should focus considerable effort toward insulating their owners, employees and operations from risk.

Adopting a policy that your company will cooperate in all government inquiries and investigations with the assistance and counsel of an experienced criminal law attorney is the best way to insulate you and your employees from waiving your rights or creating more risk. Educate yourself and your employees on your constitutional rights and what procedures to follow with the advice of a criminal law specialist or attorney familiar with this trend and danger.

2. Employee Lawsuit

Employment law is the new lottery for Plaintiffs' lawyers who have watched tort reform narrow their playing fields. For every perceived harm - real or imagined, there is a creative lawsuit waiting to be filed. Sexual harassment, age discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, racial discrimination, gender discrimination, disability discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation, and injuries, are only some of the fertile ground for disgruntled employees.

Clear and thorough employee rules and policies are the first area of defense against this kind of legal threat. Develop an employee manual and document employee files. Treat all employees with respect and with equality and consistency. Engage a business or employment lawyer to review your policies and rules.

3. Cyber Issues

With the move of all businesses toward more and more dependence on technology and the use of internet communications and resources, cyber legal issues grow exponentially every day in ways that are just beginning to be understood and anticipated.

Specific rules and policies regarding employee computer usage, privacy and access are critical in today's business. Adopt, revise, review or amend your policies and rules as soon as possible. Neglecting this area of legal threat is just asking for trouble.

4. Marital and Divorce Issues

If you are married or if any of your fellow owners or partners are married, significant risk exists in the divorce arena should any marriage fail.

Contractual protections in your entity documents or business agreements should address these risks so that you can continue conducting business regardless of someone's divorce claims and proceedings. Marital property agreements can also provide additional insulation from this threat.

5. Business Contract Lawsuits

Attorneys' fees and expenses can wreck your bottom line and distract you and your employees from your core business operations. Your goal should be to utilize contractual provisions to minimize the chance of being sued or having to sue third parties with whom you do business.

With the appropriate contractual clauses, you can avoid being drug into a courtroom by requiring arbitration, choose the state in which you will be sued or in which the arbitration will be conducted, limit damages, and require that the loser pay the costs of dispute resolution. Many more advantages can be built into contracts in order to give you control over the legal process.

All business owners and executives have the obligation and duty to their employees, shareholders, partners and families to insulate and protect their companies and operations from the legal threats that haunt businesses. By understanding the threats and risks, and by taking proactive measures to prevent lawsuits and legal disasters, you can control your own legal destiny and win the advantage in any future legal battles.

Children Being Effected by Cyber Bullying

Most of us know what it feels like to be the outcast; the disappointment of feeling left out or excluded. Being the last one picked for the team, or teased for being different. Well in today's young society, cyberbullying is becoming a problem for young people and making them feel even more ostracised and excluded. This negative trend affects nearly half of young people ages 10-24. Girls are the victims of this disgraceful behaviour nearly twice as often as boys are with sometimes tragic effects. The rise in teen suicide has been linked to cyberbullying now more than ever before.

Bullying on the Internet is the next step in the evolution of the schoolyard bully. He/she still strives to intimidate, threaten and demean his/her victims, only using the technology of the present to achieve his/her goals. Tools that are used are: text messaging, email and other social networks to promote smear campaigns against his/her intended victim, and will enlist the help of other mean girls and boys to join forces again the object of the smear. This could stem from an imagined slight, being excluded from a team sport; jealousy or animosity against a classmate or teammate. Whatever the basis for it is, these smear campaigns can be hurtful and even harmful to the victim.

The culprit is often difficult to identify, and as with other forms of bullying, there is a shame and embarrassment factor that keeps victims from informing authorities about the situation. Parents and school officials are often unaware that one of their young people are the victims of such behaviour; only that there are negative changes happening. They may observe failing grades, inattentiveness, mood changes, or a gradual isolation of the victim.

Once the parent or teacher is made aware of the situation, they should take immediate steps to put a stop to the situation. It is possible to block the offender from access to his/her victims in a methodical and effective manner. Report abuse to social networks and email carriers as any form of child harassment violates all user agreements. Steps can be taken to ban these aggressors from social networks, block access to the child's phone, text messaging and email. Cyberbullies are usually clever enough to have multiple accounts, so care must be taken to identify and block all user names and screen personas belonging to this form of behavior. It may be necessary to notify law enforcement should the cyberbullying become a physical threat to your young person. Do not risk your child's safety by taking this problem too lightly. This is a serious matter that must be dealt with sternly and with zero tolerance.

Testimonials - Two Rules To Follow For Your Site

How do you build credibility on the web? Well, there are a number of ways, but one of the best is to get credible recommendations from third parties. The best third parties are former customers and clients. I am, of course, talking about testimonials. In this article, we take a look at two rules you must follow when posting them on your site.

If you don't have testimonials on your site, there better be a good reason. They are incredibly important and can greatly improve your conversion rate. Consumers are so cynical now that most don't believe anything they read in the form of advertising. Testimonials, however, get the opposite reaction for two reasons - they are believed to be true and they come from a familiar source - other consumers.

The first rule you must follow with testimonials is a simple one. Every testimonial you post must be...real! You can't scrape them from some other site. You can't make them up out of thin air. This is not an issue of credibility. It is an issue of law. It is illegal to post fake testimonials and, if you are caught, the FTC and others will treat you very harshly. In short, don't do it.

The second rule is you need to obtain a release from the person for the testimonial. This is usually a one page document that gives your site permission to use the testimonial as you see fit. Your customers and clients have a right to control their image. If they change their mind later, you can run into big problems.

Let's consider an example. Bob is one of my best clients. He and I get along great and I provide him with a great service. He agrees to give me a testimonial and records a great video for me. I order $50,000 worth of marketing materials using his testimonial and providing copies of his video. I start sending it out. A week later he contacts me and doesn't want to be in the marketing. Without a testimonial release, I have $50,000 of marketing materials that are going to end up in the trash or my fireplace. A testimonial release can prevent this.

I am not suggesting these releases should be used to pull fast ones on your clients or customers. They should not. You should be up front when asking for a testimonial as well as describing exactly how it will be used. If you want to expand that use, you should speak with the person providing the testimony to make sure it is okay.

Having said all that, we all have had customers or clients that have gone askew for no particular reason. Obtaining a testimonial release prevents any problems from these individuals down the line. With testimonials, an ounce of prevention goes a long way.

Attorney General Declares War on "Cyber Criminals"

As criminal attorneys focused on white collar investigations and jury trials, we have seen a noticeable increase in the prosecution of computer related crimes. This is no surprise as United States Attorney Eric Holder has made the prosecution of "cyber crime" a priority for his administration. It is the Attorney General's responsibility to assist legislators in drafting laws that address crimes involving rapidly changing technologies. In addition, his office must develop investigative techniques to solve cyber crimes - crimes which are typically committed by more sophisticated and savvy individuals with no eye witnesses.

There has been a noticeable increase in recent years in prosecutions for computer crimes such as identity theft, unauthorized access to computer databases, wire fraud related to illegal use of the internet, child pornography, internet child enticement, and the like.

There seems to also have been more international cooperation with the Attorney General in the prosecution of alleged cyber criminals abroad. For several years, Nigerian check scams, eBay fraud and the like were rampant, but difficult for prosecutors to stop due to the fact they were being committed by faceless computers from thousands of miles away. With more focus on capturing those responsible for these international schemes, there have been more extraditions and prosecutions in the United States such as the prosecution of Emmanuel Ekhator who is accused of stealing over $32 million dollars from 80 United States law firms from over seas in a fraudulent counterfeit check scheme initiated over the internet.

With this zealous focus on cyber crimes, the technology used by cyber criminals evolves at a faster pace than the technology of law enforcement. It is believed that cyber criminals have developed technology in some cases that allow them to remotely access the computers of unknowing persons and commit crimes from their computers without the owners' knowledge or involvement. This is dangerous for those charged with computer crimes, and it must be determined if they are the actual perpetrator, or an innocent patsy whose computer was hijacked.

With our day to day lives being conducted on the internet through social media, email, and even online banking, cyber crime is not going anywhere, and we expect more innocent computer owners will find their computers being utilized by remote criminals. If you find yourself charged with a computer related crime, it is important for you to contact a knowledgeable criminal attorney who has experience in representing those accused of technological crime.

Types Of Computer Crimes

With the advancements in technology, criminals have found new ways and means of committing crimes. One such method is to use computers and other related devices with a criminal objective.

There are different types of computer crimes and multiple ways to categorize them. One can divide computer crimes based on who has committed or divide crimes based on the motivations or can divide these crimes based on how they are perpetrated.

Mention below are few important types of cyber crimes based on the role of computers in a crime.

1. Computers are incidental to other crimes: This category of crime does not require the use of computer for committing the crime. However, usage of computer while committing a crime increases the efficiency of the crime making it difficult to identify and detect. In this type of crimes, computers help the crime to occur faster and also permit processing of greater amounts of information within a shortest possible period of time. Some examples of such crimes include money laundering, unlawful banking transactions, processing and distribution of pornographic information and encrypting or erasing data files and criminal records.

2. Computers associated with prevalence of crimes: This category of crimes is committed simply due to the presence of computers. These types of crimes are occurring as a result of modern advancements of technology and widespread use of computers. Some examples include software piracy, copyright violation of computer programs, manufacturing counterfeit computer equipment and other peripherals such as modems and hard disks and selling of original computer equipment, peripherals and programs at far reduced prices in a black market.

"Make Money Online" Fraud: 10 Tips To Help You Play Your Cards Right - Spot Dirty Tricks Online

For many years I had a psychotherapy practice in a large British city. One client who came my way had worked since his teens as a fraudster and thief. He was trying hard to leave a profession that burdened him with a complicated, frightening life.

Over three years, the man I'll call Ron revealed many tricks of his trade to me - things he did to make people hand over their money. Since I've just had another encounter with online villains employing similar tactics, I've decided to share what I learned from him with you - alongside a few observations about this "profession."

Tricks of the Trade

1) A thief will tell you he's a thief. Somewhere during that first encounter with a trickster, he'll tell you he's a thief. Doing this is part of the excitement for him - a way to feel superior to his victim. He may say it straight or in code, but it's almost certainly there.

For instance, he may tell you that he is, or was, a hacker. Or he'll say that his "system" is fool-proof because it operates below the radar of the search-engines, or only steals information from big websites with lots of profits and traffic.

All this means that no-one's information is safe with him. If he steals from others, watch out: there's nothing to stop him doing it to you. He feels contempt for his "mark," not loyalty. Engaging with someone who makes this boast means you need to stay alert.

2) A fraudster will avoid identifying himself with any verifiable information. The trickster probes skillfully for information about your you and your financial and/or personal affairs without sharing anything verifiable about himself, his location, or his company. But you need ALL this information, and to have researched it with due diligence, before you buy any major purchase like a training course. Such tactics are the cyber-version of that old con-trick, the shell-game.

3) A fraudster won't let you talk or engage in a real conversation. At some level, you KNOW you're being conned. He's trying to fill all the space in the "conversation" so that you don't use your judgment. He may defend what he does as something that will help you and teach you - but such hard-sell tactics are almost always shady.

4) A thief wants you to act without thinking. He'll pressurize you about acting NOW, losing out, missing this one-time-only deal. These pitches are often very psychologically sophisticated - but no-one on the level rushes your decisions or tries to makes you put your doubts aside.

5) A thief appeals to your vulnerabilities, your dreams... and your vanity. We all like to be flattered and sometimes we're more open to flattery. Spotting these moments is one of the thief's core skills. That "work from home" link you hit last week, late at night, led to this come-on. It told him you're a "warm prospect."

He may try to entice you to become part of his elite. He may claim that the only people he targets are big companies, not from fellow "rebels" like you and him - the smart ones who know how to seize an opportunity when they see it.

When a thief speaks like this he wants us to collude with what he's up to so afterwards we'll only blame ourselves. The embarrassment and shame of being caught out, recognising that it was our own greed, fear or vanity that led us to take the bait, means we're less likely to report what happens if the trickster succeeds.

6) A thief wants your money. However he begins, a thief will bring the conversation round to what he can get from you as soon as he thinks you've bought his spiel. Whether he's "just" pumping you for information or is probing about your credit card balance, this is a sure-fire sign that you're dealing with a trickster.

So, What Can We Do?

7) Learn to listen closely. Pay close attention to those sales videos, and to any follow-up telephone calls you get if you've swallowed the pitch. If you listen closely, you'll hear the bullying, or the flattering, collusive tone, or the attempt to establish what you're worth to him. Or you'll hear straight out that he's a thief - because he just can't help telling you.

8) Verify, verify, verify. When straying into new territory on the net - away from the safety and security of the big merchants, dealing with people posing as individual traders, establish who you're dealing with right away, what they want, and why they're acting as they do, every step of the way. (Read those boring terms and conditions, too!)

9) Never invest more than you are prepared to lose. Just in case you get it wrong.

10) Report these incidents. Sadly, the difference between legitimate sales tactics and high-pressure fraud is diminishing as business goes global. There are no laws yet to protect someone in Coventry adequately from criminals and con-men (apparently) calling from California.

Most losses that result from tricksters hooking up with or hacking into the information of legitimate online businesses are very small. We chalk these up to "experience," grit our teeth and move on. But we shouldn't - these operations are already big businesses. Fraud is theft.

If someone online has cheated you, sold you a worthless product, pressured you on the phone, bullied or hurt you in any way, complain. Complain to the credit card companies, ClickBank and PayPal for a start, to the Better Business Bureau if the company (apparently!) is in the States, to your local police,* to the FBI. Blog about it, Twitter about it, shout about it. Nag Google and the other search engines, too - they have the resources to do something.

File That Complaint!

The rule of law makes transactions between parties possible, and sustains any civilized society. Cyber-fraud is impinging upon our freedom to act onilne. If we can't stand up against it, we'll soon find the Net strangled by regulation and restrictions.

Ron never found his way back from the edge. He couldn't give up his illusion - the idea that he was part of a brotherhood of the clever, living dangerously at the expense of the naive. This myth kept the truth of his isolation and fear at bay for a while; he left therapy when substance abuse overwhelmed his life and caused him to despair.

We're all human, sometimes vulnerable to temptation. We have fears, hopes and dreams, want our lives to be a little different. We all buy a bit of dreamland occasionally - but let's not let our dreams become a feast for those who want to prey on them.

* Here's a good source of advice from a joint venture by the UK government, leading merchants, law enforcement and money men: http://www.getsafeonline.org/.

© 2011 Alexandra Brunel, all rights reserved.

Cyber Law - Important Points You Should Always Keep In Mind

Having practice internet law for well over 10 years, I've come to realize I'm not getting any younger. Fortunately, the passage of time has also brought at least some wisdom when it comes to understanding where many sites go wrong from a legal perspective. In this article, let's take a look at a few of the common ones in the hope that you don't run afoul of them.

Images and Content

Oh, the mighty temptation. The web has made everything so easy, perhaps too easy in many circumstances. The fact that you can highlight something, copy it and then paste it onto your site does not mean you should. Most people know about copyright if only because they received a nasty letter for downloading their favorite music for free. Well, it is a nasty area and one you can really get into trouble with. If you use someone's image without permission, then the statutory damages under the law can be as high as $70,000 an image. Since nobody copies just one image, the numbers can grow quickly. There are plenty of free content sites out there, so don't make this mistake.

Email Agreements

Nothing drives me nuts more than email agreements. This is the digital version of the handshake agreement in the brick n' mortar world. Two parties negotiate out a deal by passing emails back and forth or instant messaging. They then go into business together. Something changes with the search engines, product or whatever and suddenly they have very differing views on how things should work. A dispute arises. Guess what? The terms you discussed via email or chatting don't mean anything. Instead, you end up in court with a 60 year old judge who can barely turn on his computer deciding how to distribute the content of your site. It usually ends in tears, so don't make this mistake. Get everything in a contract up front. If the other party doesn't want to put it in writing, that should tell you something!

Burning Bridges

I have to admit I have never seen a field where more people burn bridges than the online business industry. While it can sometimes become a legal issue, it is mostly a practical one. Are you nuts? Why do this? There is an old saying that you should be nice to the people you pass when climbing up the business ladder because you'll be seeing them again when you are on your way back down. A lot of people are learning this now given the horrors of the Great Recession. Just because you are on the web, you shouldn't go with a scorched earth policy. Leaving people with a bad impression can come back to haunt you in the future...a future where you might just need a break or a job.

The internet has created an entirely new medium for business. All and all, the digital revolution has been pretty amazing. You should partake of it. Just make sure you don't leave yourself open to legal or practical problems.

Cybercriminals - Cowardly Thugs Hiding Behind Computer Screens

Some criminals attempt to "justify" their thieving propensities by suggesting they don't take large valued merchandise, or they do it to "test" another's cyber system. The inference of course is that they are somehow harmless. Criminals typically seek to ruse their law enforcement detractors, or any other person who questions what they do. They rationalize their thefts are non-violent and confined to smaller amounts of dollar losses, for which the items are easily replaced. Their matter-of-fact justifications don't justify the unlawful taking of someone else's personal or business property. They're still criminals none the less and a breach of security means a contravention of the criminal laws.

For the net hoodlum operating in cyber space, their thinking plays an interesting con game, which they later rationalize and excuse as some "noble cause". Bottom-line though, they're criminals like their non-virtual counterparts. When caught, they invent all kinds of excuses and whine about their "victimization". One wonders, when they sit there all day in front of their computers, what part of their anatomy are they really playing with most of the time? Some of these thieves try to scheme us with creative criminality, like "ransomware", email schemes, credit card scams and other intrusive losses. The list of types of attacks is endless, as is the maliciousness behind the various illicit efforts for unmerited personal gain. Criminals no matter where they operate do so in a self-indulgent passion to misuse and abuse others for private purposes.

As always, one of our critical concerns is the injury, the loss and damages, caused to others as a result of internet criminality. Make no mistake, criminals choose to commit crimes of their own free will for the sake of getting something they didn't earn or deserve. Make no mistake criminals dislike the responsible nature in others. Electronic breaches of the law are not unlike similar malevolent premeditated street-level crimes, in terms the psycho-dynamics. Some cyber criminals pose a danger to our banks accounts, while others risk the collapse of our economic system. And still others endanger our national security. In the amative stimulation for power and control, criminals will use any means. Like bank robbers or assailants on the street, cyber villains should receive the same levels of punishment. And, their conviction and subsequent sentencing should be sure, swift and certain and for long periods of time.

Criminals freely choose their particular criminogenic instigations. Of which, Cyber-crime involves billions of dollar losses every year to a global community. According to one source, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), under the auspices of the FBI, in 2007, the agency received nearly a quarter million complaints regarding internet crimes. This likely has increased to more significant levels of late, and represents the tip of the proverbial cyber-criminal iceberg. No doubt a wealth of information flowing through the internet signifies targets of opportunities for criminals.

Naturally, what we often forget is that there is a difference between reported criminality and actual criminality, or otherwise known as the "dark figure of crime". There's a sizeable portion of criminal activity that goes unreported and therefore not investigated. Investigatively, law enforcement endeavors to respond efficiently as possible, given the resources available. And yet, the nature of virtual crime is complex, with such diverse challenges, as email and texting scams, business and banking intrusions, to commercial fraud, money laundering and market manipulations.

Electronic thievery, organized crime and terrorism, as well as other associated criminalities, present unique demands for law enforcement. However, valiant efforts continue, and the law enforcement, intelligence communities and private security forces remain undaunted in dedicated persistence. That's part of the key to an effective investigation, methodical tenacious due diligence in application of effective resources. To rigorously search for every possible clue, cluster and clamor of activity, the investigative process must implement creative and proactive tactics.

Investigators gather the facts and analyze the evidence, apply rationality and reason, as well as ensure the critical implementations of forensic applications. Competent expertise is essential in the utilization of logical deductions. If in doubt as to how to proceed, where to go or what to look for, then efforts utilize those who have the know-how in this particular realm. The hunt for the thugs and terrorists who hide behind a computer screen is never ending. Sinister, wicked and malevolent, with malice aforethought, the "evil" cybercriminals fester adversely affects us all. Countermeasures have to be consistently applied, updated and reinforced. Vigilance has to be tirelessly maintained. You never know when they might strike. An individual, a group or other criminal enterprises, stay relentless in illegitimate pursuits at the expense of others.

To this end, from an investigative standpoint, such activities are still basically crimes against people, places, and properties. So, in a sense, we're still dealing with the fundamentals of a criminal investigation. None the less, the criminal has taken his, her or their activities into an electronic neighborhood. Within this virtual world, the criminal can inflict horrendous damages to the selected objective.

To deal with such criminals, it is incumbent upon professional law enforcement agencies at all levels, as well as private commercial entities, to invest all available resources where possible, in a "cyber unit". Special expertise is required within the virtual world of electronic anonymity. Upon development of a "cyber squad", the next step involves the assignment of qualified staffing. The basics in organizational structure and design remain similar to other managerial frameworks.

That is, you need to plan, organize, budget, development and staff accordingly to fit the needs of the organizational environment. Expert support services should be lined up to assist the investigative team where ever necessary. For which, investigative personnel must either have the technical and tactical expertise, or strive to learn and acquire the essential fundamentals through appropriate educational training resources. Investigators must be determined to ferret out the criminal by enhancing their skills.

Within the scope of "white collar" criminality, organized crime, and particularly those criminals within an electronic landscape, investigating Cybercrime may not seem as glamorous as other investigative processes. Frequently, we forget the impact of commercial crimes (e.g. embezzlement, fraud, identity theft, internet schemes, etc) is ten to twenty times greater than the usual street crimes. For instance, murder, rape, and robbery investigations (i.e. Part I Index Crime of the U.C.R.), while vitally urgent to resolve, tend to be more sensationalized by the various media. More so, than say hacking into the local bank, or stealing someone's credit card information.

Typically, the new investigator will be searching for action, adventure and excitement. Television and the movies have done much to fuel illusions, misconceptions and less than obvious deceptions about certain types of criminal investigations. Comically, we know that a major crime has to be solved within the telecast of an hour's worth of viewing. In the real world however, we recognize it doesn't happen like that. If you think otherwise, good luck and try to forget television portrayals projecting creative crime fiction.

That's why the right personnel must be selected to fit within the scope of the unique challenges confronted by an ever expanding cyber world. Some investigations may take extraordinary amounts of time and resources to culminate solvability. Effective investigators must assert a high degree of patience and persistence. It might not be too untypical that such cases might require a couple of year's commitment.

From an investigative perspective, you'll want quality over quantity, facts instead of fiction and dedication to critical thinking skills. Dealing with a criminological problem necessitates the insistence upon avoiding fallacies of inference for the sake of subjective validation. Without a doubt, people do this every day. They allow emotions, feelings and reactivity to cloud the deduction reasoning aspects of problem-solving. Even though, we're affected by our emotional influences, an astute investigator learns to balance between the two. Nothing is foolproof except the fool who proves you wrong.

All too often, based on a superficial assessment of a crime problem, we falter to the slant of hasty generalizations about people, places and property. In short, we must bear in mind people commit crimes because that's what they want to do. To the extent possible, we try to steer clear of logical fallacies. While this is not likely in an absolute sense, we strive to test and evaluate our inclinations toward cognitive bias. This of course suggests applying rigorous mental aptitude outside the proverbial box of toxic thinking.

No one is immune from biased pursuits to support investigative actions. But, in the overall process, it's important to ensure a strong devotion to professional training and ongoing development of experience. During the course of an investigation, we want to look into every nook and cranny and leave no stone unturned. In support of relentless acts of discovery, one considers his or her perception of the facts versus the absence of facts. Three points are relevant. One is how do you know a certain crime has occurred? Another is how do you prove it based on what is known?

And, for a third possibility, is your theory of the crime valid? So, in short, how do you know and what do you mean serve to substantiate the necessity for evidentiary criteria. For the investigator, researcher or other practitioner, certain attributes are worth emphasizing. These include: self-discipline in thinking processes, lawful means to reveal the facts, bias control, efficient documentation, proficient capabilities and thorough utilization of forensic applications. Networking with others remains essential.

By use of various techniques and tactics, the more skillful investigator is creative, adaptive and inventive. That's because productive investigations do not fit a simplistic template of trouble-free functionality, or "profiling" like on TV. One must focus and direct the scope and extent to which the investigative process develops. You consider how to determine the nature of the criminality under inquiry, like statutory authority of the investigation, appropriate jurisdiction, and lawful provisions.

As such, you also consider the issues as applied to the specific incidence, such as identity theft, email threat, electronic commerce, fraudulent activity, offenses against electronic properties, and sexual harassment or cyber stalking. Critical concepts to preliminarily assembling an investigative process necessitate an assessment of expertise needed to address digital evidence criticality and "crime scene" procedures.

When dealing with digital evidence, proper levels of Cybercrime capabilities must be used, along with unique needs regarding seizure, analysis, storage, retrieval and transfer of evidentiary artifacts. Additionally, the investigator has to appreciate there must be thorough documentation, preservation and otherwise protect investigative processes for lawful review by competent authorities. Overall, we must satisfy the fundamentals, as suggested by the basics of who, what, where, when, why and how.

Within the framework of the inquiry, efforts are directed to ensure proper legality in proven methodology, forensic processes and specialized expertise for all digital evidence collection, analysis and security. Investigative processes strive for the ongoing safeguards of logical deduction. This applies equally to the efforts directed toward locating and identifying, if possible, all suspected criminal participants. But, it doesn't stop there; as such persistence also includes unmasking any and all collaborators.

Three key points in the overall perspective can be offered as reveal the perpetrators, restore and recover properties and services, and resolve the criminality of the incident. Expedient proactive well-planned efforts in apprehension, collection of evidence and prosecution of offenders helps reduce opportunities for misadventure. In addition, promotion of professional interaction among key investigative resources, such as people, places and properties, further enhance preventive countermeasures.

As to the latter issue, an investigator, whether corporate or public agency, ought to realize that criminality is selfishly motivated, highly personal, ego-centric and willfully premeditated. Criminals know exactly what they are doing. Criminal nature comes in all sizes, shapes and socio-economic backgrounds and pay grades. Criminal behavior, even in cyberspace, is a rational choice and for the sake of self-gratification for personal gain. Aside from many sociological theories of a deterministic nature, you are dealing with people who want to commit criminal activity for their particular proclivities.

With a self-centered focus and disdain of others, if given the opportunity in the work place, computer users can easily decide to become computer abusers. By doing so, they become a problem for the business, the organization or the government. From their lifestyle patterns, in the choices they have made, people who choose to commit crimes against their employers, the government, other people's employers or any entity in particular. They are acting out their brand of salaciously devious behavior.

Their individual perspective is one of risk taking in order to achieve immediate satiation for the anticipated gain. This action comes at the expense of others. Unlike those who choose not to commit e-crimes, the computer criminal does so without wanting to perform the legitimate commitment to do the work necessary to acquire the same objective by lawful means. For the e-criminal, "business" activity means getting away with something, faking a "cause", or conjuring all kinds of excuses. In contrast to those around him or her, working lawfully for commensurate compensation is not as exciting as taking it without having to wait for it. No matter the pretext, they're still criminals.

As mentioned earlier, criminals will use anyone to ensure their illegitimate successes. They can be anyone, from colleagues to vendors and so on. Criminality knows no boundaries or respects any institution. How often have your heard, "that person didn't seem the type". There is no perfect so called "profile" of the typical criminal. In fact, from a security standpoint, you should be concerned with monitoring everyone's activity. We can't overlook the essential protection necessary within any setting. Security of computer systems and networks is crucial if not critical and vital. A criminal today can operate secretly in cyberspace, a cowardly thug behind a computer screen.

What Law Enforcement Jobs Are You Looking For?

Factually speaking, there are several options for you once you have completed your law enforcement professional degree. There are several law enforcement jobs waiting for you-you have to just see which of them the best fit is for you. Now, there are several things that you should look at. You should look at which career profile suits your capabilities and interests the most. You have to look at what you stand to earn in each of these careers. You also have to consider your long-term goals, whether you would like to stay with the particular career for long or not. Here is a lowdown of the different law enforcement jobs that abound, from which you can choose what might be the best for you.

Special Agent of the FBI

The name of this post surely sounds more exciting than any other. When you are an FBI agent, you investigate crimes shrouded in a great deal of secrecy. You will need to be highly secretive about your job and there are times when things can get to be very risky. Tasks that will be assigned to you will include law enforcement in cases of organized crime, foreign counterintelligence, cyber crime, drug trafficking and so much more. FBI agents are highly regarded by other law enforcement officers and the government itself, and have to often carry with them nonpublic government information. One of the perks is that you will get to travel a lot.

Special Agent of the CIA

People who work as agents of the CIA are officially called as CIA Clandestine Services Core Collectors. The main job here is to gather classified information from around the world. The information is given to the CIA headquarters. There's a lot of risk involved here as well, and there's also a great deal of secrecy. You might be required to keep your identity secret. If you have watched Hollywood movies in which people keep their CIA identities secret even from their friends and family? Well, this is the job in which you have to do that.

Agent with the DEA

The DEA is the Drug Enforcement Administration. Here your primary task is to bring all people who flout drug trafficking rules to book. The US government is quite serious about drug-related crimes, and it could have gone no further in its war against these crimes without DEA agents. Hence, with these law enforcement jobs, people have a very important role to play. You will be working undercover most of the time and you will be collecting a lot of information that would help bring drug trafficking criminals to book. Since a lot of drug-related crime is run by criminal organizations, it might mean face-offs with them as well. There is a high degree of risk involved.

These were just three of the most exciting law enforcement jobs that are popular currently. Each of them is very highly paying and has dollops of mystery and intrigue. What you have to think is whether you are cut out for such jobs.

Dealing With Bullying

"Most organizations have a serial bully. It never ceases to amaze me how one person's divisive dysfunctional behavior can permeate the entire organization like a cancer." - Tim Field

When many people think about bullying, they generally think about children being mean or beating up on each other in a playground or at school. However, in the society we live in today, bullying is much more than what you might think, and it is also spreading throughout our society whether in schools, the workplace, or at home. In the paragraphs that follow, you are going to learn some specific information about bullying in terms of what it is, why people are bullied, who is receiving this type of treatment, and how this form of behavior can be prevented in schools, at work, or at home.

I'm including bullying in this book because oftentimes people who are struggling with their sexuality can harbor low self-esteem. Low self-esteem can make a person vulnerable and open to physical and/or emotional harm. Bullies pick up on this and take advantage of it. It's bad enough trying to cope with one issue, but to have it compounded by ignorant fools can bring an innocent victim to a breaking point. There are ways of coping and dealing with this very serious issue, so please read on.

WHAT IS BULLYING?

Quite honestly, bullying can take on a variety of different forms. In fact, some forms of bullying will incorporate a number of intimidation methods that include name-calling, physical threats, property destruction, defamation of character, psychological harassment, physical aggression against a person's body, and hostilities being leveled towards an individual for no specific reason. Although these are only some of the forms of bullying, in many cases they are the most damaging.

WHY ARE PEOPLE BULLIED?

In most cases, the people who are bullied are those who are innocent, nothing of a threat, easy to get along with, friends with a wide group of individuals, socially connected, well-kept, handsome, attractive, or what have you. Typically, if someone that is being a bully sees something that they envy or feel is a threat to their own person, they will typically take out their aggression and their abusive behavior on that particular individual. You'll find that in many cases the person being bullied will not understand why they have been chosen for this type of harassment in the first place.

WHY DO PEOPLE BULLY?

Although there have been a number of different case studies performed on the reasons why people are bullied, everything basically leads back to the individual carrying out that particular act. What studies have shown is that the individual will typically model what is being portrayed in their own home. In fact, many of the people that become bullies are being bullied themselves in some form or fashion. Most of the time, authority figures within the household will demonstrate a wide number of abusive behaviors. As a result, these behaviors get taught to almost everyone in the household.

Each individual that undergoes this type of abuse will typically try and take out their frustration and anger on someone else. Many of the people they choose to bully will have absolutely nothing to do with what have transpired in their household, and may simply remind them of something they dislike about the abusive authority figure, or something they lack themselves. Many of the people that end up being bullies are those that lack support and love from their parents or their household. In addition, you'll find a number of people that have turned out to be bullies have also been bullied themselves.

Much of this can be attributed to the lifestyle a person is living, whether at home or with friends they socialize with on a consistent basis. Other reasons for this type of behavior can be caused by what a person sees in school, in the media, in movies, and on television. Because of the social stresses that happen in everyday life, people can be confused by what they see, and feel that this is just the way it is. They end up modeling what it is they see, and someone else ends up suffering as a result.

HOW CAN A PERSON PREVENT BULLYING AT SCHOOL?

If a child is being bullied at school and the parent would like to do something about it, there are certain things that can be done to help prevent this type of behavior. Any parent will not want to send their child into an environment that can be abusive, violent, or explosive. So, in order to help prevent this type of behavior in a school where your child might attend, it'll be important to get involved with the policies and the policymakers at that location.

Parents need to ensure that their young children are going to a safe environment when they leave each day for school. This can be accomplished by identifying the policies that a particular school has in place. Most schools will have an anti-bullying policy. However, how that policy is enforced is another question. It'll be up to you as a parent to make sure that you understand what that policy is just in case your child comes home with an abrasion, a bloody nose, or their clothes have been ripped to shreds as a result of being bullied. By knowing what the policies are, you will be able to prevent bullying at the school in which your child attends.

HOW CAN A PERSON PREVENT BULLYING AT WORK?

Preventing bullying in the workplace can be done quite easily by following the steps below:

• Make sure you have identified the workplace bullying policy
• Seek the advice of a Human Resource Officer
• Keep a record of all occasions
• Talk to a counselor
• Use formal procedures such as law enforcement

HOW CAN A PERSON PREVENT BULLYING AT HOME?

If you are a parent trying to prevent bullying at home, it'll be important to learn as much as you can about the subject. You'll also need to provide an environment that doesn't condone this type of behavior. In addition, it'll be important to minimize situations where this type of behavior can be used. It'll also be important to educate your children as to what bullying is and why it is damaging for themselves as well as others. You want to let them know where this type of behavior leads, and how it could affect their lives as well as the lives of others around them.

Although there is no silver lining when it comes to bullying, there is satisfaction in knowing that it is completely avoidable. Children need to be taught that this type of behavior is unacceptable. Adults need to be taught that there is no place for bullying in the workplace. Schools need to be informed that this type of behavior is intolerable. As long as people believe they can get away with this type of behavior or harassment, they will continue to do the same thing over and over again. Once people become educated about the dangers involved, they will begin to change and find out there are other ways in which they can communicate.

CYBER BULLYING

Cyber Bullying has been in the news a lot of late. Many people are wondering how they can protect their children from cyber bullying. According to a survey carried out by the cyber bullying research centre, 20 percent of children aged 11-18 say they have been bullied online.

The consequences of cyber bullying can be awful, no matter what age you are. There have been many cases in the news where the victims of cyber bullying have committed suicide. Being the victim of a bullying campaign of any kind is a form of abuse and victims often feel lonely and isolated. It is important that you watch your kids for signs of cyber bullying. The earlier it is caught, the easier it is to deal with.

WHAT IS CYBER BULLYING?

While bullying itself has been around since the early stages of humanity, cyber bullying is a recent phenomenon that many people struggle to wrap their head around.

Bullying online can occur in many forms:

• Social Media Abuse: The most common form of bullying is for people to post nasty things to the person's social media account - whether it is Facebook, Twitter or other sites, the victim is often publicly humiliated by their peers. People feel safe behind their computer screens and the abuse hurled is often far more vicious than offline bullying.

• Impersonation: This is where the perpetrator pretends to be the victim online and posts as the victim. This allows the bully to say things the victim would never say.

SIGNS THAT YOUR CHILD IS BEING BULLIED:

Most teenagers don't talk to their parents so it is difficult to know what exactly is going on with your kids. As many of the recent high profile cases have shown, it is vitally important to find out if your child is being bullied online or offline. Here are some signs that your child may have been bullied online:

• Change in online habits: Is your child online all the time, or avoiding their phone and computer? A large increase or decrease in online activity can be a warning sign.

• Mood change: If your child is suddenly withdrawn or upset, particularly after texting or going online, then there is probably something going on.

• Account Shut Down: If your child shuts down a social media account out of the blue, then there may have been an issue with the account.

• Blocking Friends: If your child suddenly blocks email addresses or phone numbers, they may be the victim of bullying.

• Behavior: If your child acts out more than usual or suddenly becomes impatient or frustrated.

• Social media accounts: If you notice social media accounts in your child's name that do not appear to belong to your child.

WHAT PARENTS SHOULD DO ABOUT CYBER BULLYING:

• Talk to your child: Easier said than done with a teenager, but it must be done. Sit your child down and have a conversation. Do not corner them, but speak honestly and openly about what you suspect is going on. Ask the child for answers and try to work out a solution that you are both happy with. Ensure that you get the child's input or they will not feel empowered. Cyber bullying is a form of abuse and, depending how long it has been going on, the effect can be quite damaging. Ensure you talk about it without confrontation or blame, and make sure your child knows this is not their fault.

• Collect evidence: Once you are aware that cyber bullying has been going on, start to collect screen-grabs and printouts of the activities. This can be important if you have to get authorities involved later on. If you are not sure that cyber bullying is going on, you can use tools like key-loggers to monitor your child's activities online to be sure.

• Talk to the school: Many schools have protocols in place to deal with cyber bullying. Even if they don't, this is a good place to start to ensure that your child is not harassed when they are at school.

• Talk to the parents or guardian of the bullies: Confrontation is not the way to go here, so try to have a reasonable conversation, preferably showing evidence. If you find the parent or guardian unhelpful, politely excuse yourself.

• Talk to the authorities: If you cannot stop the bullying by talking to the school or parents, you will probably need to get the police involved. This will have to be left to your judgment and will be based on the severity of the bullying. Talking to the police is particularly important if there is a physical element to the threats or bullying itself.

• Keep talking to your kids: Continue the dialogue, listen to your kids and make an agreement about what is and isn't acceptable online. Make sure they know you are on their side at all times and they can talk to you about anything.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE BEING BULLIED:

If you are the victim of a bullying campaign, you may feel lonely and isolated. Nothing is further from the truth as there are many things you can do:

• Don't engage: There is absolutely no point in having a shouting match on the internet. If you engage with people who are looking to bully someone, you only make yourself more of a target.

• Let someone know: Talk to a trusted adult or friend. Sharing your problem will allow people who care about you to help you.

• Keep the messages: Store the messages in case you need them as evidence at a future time. In many countries, bullying and cyber-bullying is illegal. Even if you don't want to press charges now, it is important to give yourself the option at a later date.

Cyber bullying can be a very difficult thing to have to live with, particularly if you keep it to yourself. My most important piece of advice is to talk to someone about it. It's important to share our worries and problems with trusted family members, friends and people in authority who are in a position to help.

Ask yourself this question: What gives anybody the right to make my life a misery? And here's a question for bullies to ask themselves: What gives me the right to make another person's life a misery? The answer is: There is no answer, because this kind of thing shouldn't be allowed to happen in the first place. But in real life it does happen, and the above suggestions should empower people who are victims of bullying. Remember, people do care and are taking bullying more seriously because it is serious.

And finally, remember that someone who is willing to bully anyone else from the safety of a computer monitor is nothing but a coward. Do not let someone like that affect your emotional well being! Stand up for yourself! It's your basic human right. Take action and resolve the problem sooner rather than later.

PROTECTING YOURSELF ON SOCIAL MEDIA SITES

On the night of the 29th of October 1969, at the University of California, Charley Kline was sitting in front of the UCL's Sigma 7 host computer. By his side, Professor Leonard Kleinrock stood anxiously. At exactly 10.30pm, Kline reached out his hand towards the keyboard and struck the L key. A phone call was made to the Stanford Research Institute and a simple question was asked, "Do you see the L?" Stanford wasted no time in responding, "Yes, we see the L." The surge of joy felt by those present soon subsided when, a few seconds later, the system completely crashed. Although a bittersweet experience for those involved, the 29th of October 1969 has gone down in history as the day that the internet was born.

Over the following decades, key achievements such as the creation of MSG, the first all-inclusive email package by John Vittal in 1975 and the development of the domain name system in 1984 helped greatly in shaping what we recognize as the modern day World Wide Web.

When dial-up internet was first made widely available to the general public in 1990, this became the first generation to have access to the wonders of the internet. For the first time ever, from the comforts of our own homes, we could access a vast wealth of information that previous generations could never have even dreamed of.

Jump forward to the early 2000s and little known sites like Friendster, MySpace and Facebook appeared on the net. Over time, these sites would grow to have millions of members, and for the first time people would be sharing as much information as they were accessing. The age of social media was born.

If a stranger approached you on the street and asked you for some personal information, would you share it? Most people would answer 'no' to this question. But, without realizing it
millions of people every day share some of their most personal details with the whole world via the internet.

We all love receiving birthday wishes from our friends on Facebook and other social media sites, but the reality is that the majority of the people sending you their best wishes would not be aware that it even was your birthday if it wasn't for the fact that you have shared your birth date on your profile. It is always important to be aware of exactly how much information you are sharing at any given time.

Sure, you can go ahead and share your birth date. But is it really necessary to share the year of your birth? Is it necessary to share your cell phone number? Is it also necessary to share your full address? By sharing these simple things, you leave yourself vulnerable to the serious crime of identity fraud. Therefore, think before you share.

People broadcasting their current location and future travel plans via sites such as 4-Square and Facebook has become alarmingly popular. This is incredibly foolish for two important reasons. First, in the case that the broadcaster is a female, this gives a potential stalker the ability to know exactly where she will be and what time she will be there. Second, it gives burglars a great advantage over you. You might think that in the great scheme of things your profile is insignificant, but you never know who is scanning your profile for information at any given time. If you broadcast to the world that you are out of the house or planning a trip soon, you might as well be placing a billboard outside your home for every burglar to see stating it is empty. The same could equally be said for people who disclose information about their sexuality. It can leave the door open for hate mail or cyber bullying.

It's important to remember that what you post online has consequences in your offline life. The next time you have an important job interview, you will put all of your effort into looking your absolute best - from readying your finest suit to preening your hair to perfection. What will all of that effort be worth when, after your interview, your possible future employer searches your name on Google? Be honest and ask yourself: what will they find? Will they find a modest, respectable profile, or a profile full of pictures that could compromise your reputation?

You can have your fun, but don't allow anyone to tag photos of you that could be seen as reputation damaging. Facebook has a feature that allows you to forbid friends from tagging you in photos - it may be wise to activate this feature. This way, you can screen which photos of you are available to the public to make sure that they are the best possible pictures available.

Think before you type. We all get upset, and we all have fights with friends and acquaintances. Sometimes, after a big fight or after you have had your feelings greatly hurt, you might feel the need to get back at those who you feel have wronged you. It may seem that social media is your prime outlet, as you can spread a harmful rumor or spiteful messages in seconds. But, if you do, you will live with the fallout for the rest of your life.

Not only can tweeting or posting a malicious comment get you in even more trouble with the other party and their family and friends, you can also end up in serious legal proceedings for defamation of character depending on the seriousness of the rumor. The next time you have a fight, turn the other cheek and forget it; don't take it to the web. If you allow enough time to pass, these matters usually fade into insignificance.

Beware of shortened or dubious links, as curiosity did kill the cat! The next time you are online and you see a link in your news feed purporting to lead to a funny video or witty picture, think twice - it could lead to harmful malware. One famous example of malware comes from Twitter. You log onto your account and see you have received a new message from a friend. You open the message and the content is similar to this: "Omg I can't believe you got caught on video doing this!" There will be a link at the bottom of the message purporting to lead to an incriminating picture or video that seemingly features you. This is a classic malware trick, but many people still fall prey to this trap. If you do receive any odd messages from friends and you are not quite sure as to its credibility, why not call your friend and ask if they sent you anything?
Nowadays, it seems that no matter where you go you cannot escape social media and its effects. From people photographing their meals in restaurants to share on Instagram, tagging their current location on Facebook through their iPhone or posing in public for new profile pictures. Social media is here to stay and we have to get used to that. Keep in mind the points you have read above at all times when using social media and you will be safe.

COPING STRATEGIES

Below are a number of key strategies that you can use to help yourself, a friend or a family member. It only barely touches the subject, so I would encourage people to research the topic further through the internet, books and self-help groups. Remember, knowledge is power!

• Bullies thrive on the reaction they get from their victims. Although it is easier said than done, trying not to respond to any type of bullying will hopefully make the offender aware of how ignorant, foolish and dangerous his/her behavior is. By giving the bully the response they are looking for, it will only add fuel to the fire and could easily lead to an escalation of the problem.

• It is extremely difficult to ignore being physically bullied. Nobody has the right to abuse another person just because they feel like it. In actual fact, if a bully felt any emotion, they would realize how hurtful and damaging their behavior is. Believe it or not, they usually do know what it feels like because they are probably victims themselves. But this is no excuse whatsoever. In these circumstances, a person needs to get away from the situation and inform a higher authority.

• The reason why a bully or an abuser tells their victim not to inform a higher authority is because they are actually afraid of being exposed for what they really are. They make their victims feel guilty and ashamed when all the while the guilt and shame is on their own shoulders.

• Don't ever ignore a situation where bullying occurs. It needs to be stopped immediately or the situation will only get worse. There is always a higher authority that can put an end to a person's suffering. There is no shame in informing the authorities if you are being abused. You'd be amazed at how empowering it is to stand up for yourself! It's never easy, but in the long term it will add years to your life!

• Try to stay safe by standing near adults or groups of people. It's very difficult for an abuser to infiltrate a group of friends and try to single any one person out. Usually bullies only target people who are on their own. If you are not able to put yourself in this kind of situation, you must inform a higher authority. If you are not in a position where you can help yourself, you must tell others who are in a position to do so. Why should you be miserable just because some person thinks they have a right to abuse you? Nobody has that right.

• Unfortunately, people need to learn how to stand up to bullies. Tips like using humor or saying, "Stop!" directly and confidently are techniques that sometimes work and are at least worth a try. If these actions don't work, walking away is another option. There's no shame in this. Why should a person have to hang around and put up with this kind of treatment?

• Bullying is far from an individual matter. Bullying is a community matter. Think about this for a moment: We all live, work and play, generally speaking, within our own communities. Most of us go about our business and get on with our lives. So, as long as nobody is interfering with your life, the world is beautiful place, right? Wrong! You are only a moment away from being in the wrong place at the wrong time to becoming a victim yourself. If not you, it could easily be a family member or a friend. This is where the community spirit comes in. If communities get together and form committees and self-help groups geared at combating bullying, it will prevent immeasurable suffering. If people actually cared about the community they lived in, I've no doubt they would like it to be a just and peaceful one for everybody else.

• If you've learned anything, it's that the best coping strategy for bullying is to inform people in authority. There is always somebody who can help. Never feel alone. It's always hard to take that first step. But just taking that first difficult step can free you from a life of suffering. The more we stand up for ourselves, the less we give others the chance to take advantage of us.

Copyright Piaras O Cionnaoith 2013