Author: Felicia Donovan & Kristyn Bernier
Publisher: Que, 2008
Aimed at: All computer and mobile device users
Pros: A salutary wake-up call
Cons: An unsettling read
Reviewed by: Sue Gee
As an avid watcher of forensic science TV series I expected to enjoy reading this book, written by two "real life" cyber crime experts. In the event I found it much more unsettling than I expected. Although already aware of the concept of identify theft and of the perils of phishing, pharming, spam and scams there were other potential dangers that I'd blissfully ignored and it came as a wake up call to realise that if I was already a victim of cyber crime the chances were that I wouldn't even know about it.
A high proportion of the book is devoted to sex crimes and to personal victimisation with some horrific examples to reinforce the message. The focus isn't limited to computers but covers mobile phones and other devices, including gps and keystroke loggers, that criminals use to track an individual's whereabouts and daily routine, read private emails, and successfully steal other people's identities.
The book does contain good advice about how you can protect yourself but its main role is in raising awareness of the multitude of threats. And it is no good dismissing the dangers as being ones that are restricted to the USA. True the case histories quoted are American which is what you would expect given that the authors were both based in the New England police department but just as the Internet is global so is the cyber crime.