Trashing is an illegal activity that is part of computer crimes. Although it is an unknown fact by many, it is a criminal act related to theft, theft, and forgery of documents, through access to private information contained in the trash of the computer or computer equipment.
Nowadays the internet has become a practically indispensable tool for human beings. Communication, business, and even social life, often depends on the internet; the computer, the tablet, or the Smartphone are fundamental elements to be connected. Given the widespread use and enormous success of cyberspace in all areas of life, as well as the increasing number of users who surf the web every day, a large number of criminals have been attracted and want to make the most of this platform. ; So they have managed to expand their criminal acts to this dimension.
Know what it is and what are the most common computer crimes
Computer crime, also called cybercrime or cybercrime, is any criminal action performed on the internet or in the digital space. With the new technologies and services offered by the internet, cybercrime has advanced rapidly and today the following are known:
- Carding, a crime that threatens the security of credit cards. The cybercriminal once he has obtained the credentials, stealing database, performs fraudulent operations. Likewise, these credentials can also be provided by the victim herself, who acts on the network under deception.
- Phishing is another criminal activity, in which criminals supplant the identity of a company or agency to deceive its victims. Through emails, criminals present a web page with the legal appearance and the trusted person provides all the information requested there; then proceed to perform the scam or fraud
- Pharming, on the other hand, is nothing other than the impersonation of a legal page in the domain name (DNS), in order to redirect the victim to the false page; Once there, they proceed to take all the data that the person provides under deception.
- Spamming is the massive remission of messages from unknown users, with offers of any kind, coupons, false notices, and misleading and attractive advertising, to hook the seized people.
- Likewise, there is Vishing and SMishing, which are variants of phishing. In the case of Vishing, the trap occurs when the victim is induced to call a customer service number, which is false. On the other hand, in SMishing the deception is done through text messages.
- Finally, we have Trashing, a form of cybercrime that is causing serious damage to people and that usually has to do with the files that the victim discards in the trash of the computer. This new variant of theft or theft aims to obtain unauthorized, private information looking for recovered files, directories, documents, and even passwords that have been “deleted.” Based on the important information he has managed to steal, the cybercriminal may commit his frauds.
What is Trashing?
Trashing is a relatively new crime in the IT field, but it is no less important and worrisome. Basically it is about obtaining (stealing) documents and then collecting and using them in criminal acts such as fraud or espionage actions. The data stolen by the cybercriminal is found in the files that we have deleted or discarded and which are stored in the trash of the computer. Although these criminal actions usually take place against a company or agency, natural persons are not exempt from these attacks.
What the AEPD says
According to the Spanish Agency for Data Protection, trashing is a criminal technique in which private data is obtained and of great value to the offender, through the recovery of the files found in the trash of the equipment or the computer of His victims
The most common is that the information is obtained by reviewing the files present on the computer. In fact, trashing also searches for the recycle bin, also in the Internet browsing history or in the files that store cookies. With this personal information in their hands, criminals launch their cyberattacks, which can be in the form of extortion, theft of credit card passwords, blackmail, harassment or any other type of fraud.
However, this cybercrime can also be presented on the physical level, and it applies in cases where the criminal collects physical documents or hard drives from the garbage of his victims; so it would be a physical trashing. When this happens, criminals in order to get rid of the documents and records they have stolen, use a paper shredder, with which they erase all the evidence of their computer crimes.
They can also use paper deposits to remove stolen files; In these deposits, it is guaranteed that the material cannot be recovered since it will be destroyed by specialized companies for later recycling and use.
How to protect ourselves from cyber attacks
In order to prevent the theft of personal information on our computers, we must-have applications that generate strong passwords and use password managers. Also, always enter official sites and do not use third party links; Similarly, it is not advisable to provide data to pages of doubtful origin, since we could deliver cybercriminals in a tray, valuable information.
In the case of trashing, it is advisable to keep your computer or computer locked every time you leave your job. Also, if possible, you could empty the recycle bin whenever necessary; In this way, if the criminal manages to enter your computer, he would not find anything valuable to steal. In cases of physical trashing, having the best paper shredder is a measure that favors the safety and protection of everything that is discarded.