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The SmartPlanet Website as a Cybercrime Guide Essay

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Updated: Jun 24th, 2020


Cybercrime is one of the problems that pose challenge to the world’s ICT systems. In fact, companies recognize the need for effective cyber security systems. Moreover, computer forensic examiners are usually in constant search for digital evidence to establish acts of cybercrime. Interestingly, most cybercrime issues are because of negligence on the part of website owners who provide vital information freely to potential offenders. Types of cyber crime include phishing and hacking, among others. Techniques utilized to control cyber crime include encryption, among others. This paper will explore a potentially dangerous website, which has the capacity to lead teenagers into cybercrimes such as identity theft, and hacking, among others (Nicholson, 2011).

SMARTPLANET: How to steal an Identity in seven easy steps

This article was written by Christie Nicholson, a journalist who produces and hosts podcasts for several renowned science channels such as discovery, Babelgum and Scientific, among others. She has an overwhelming experience in technology and cybercrime based on her background as a journalist and her experience with scientific channels. Moreover, she has interacted severally with the academic and industrial giants in technology and science such as Stanford and MIT, among others (Nicholson, 2011).

Why the website falls in the category

The website, SMARTPLANET, provides information on latest technologies as well as scientific news. However, it should be noted that some of the articles on technology, which the websites provides to its audience, are both destructive as well as constructive depending on the kind of audience. For instance, the article by Christie Nicholson can easily sway teenagers to try identity theft in their quest to become computer wizards.

Firstly, the title of the article in the website is highly elusive. The title talks about how someone can steal identity in seven easy steps. The intuition of such an article to a potential thief is dangerous. When a potential thief sees such a heading, he/she will rejoice because it would make his/her work easier. Additionally, teenagers who yearn to become computer wizards would easily apply the techniques involved to steal from their friends, parents or lecturers, whom they interact with frequently. In essence, the title used for Nicholson’s article in the website is potentially harmful to unprotected viewers. This title puts the website in the category of potentially harmful sites.

Secondly, the content of the article in the website is mainly about identity theft. Identity theft is one of the many types of cybercrimes that can result in hacking and access to the victim’s personal effects such as bank accounts, among others. In fact, the article gives a vivid example of one such occasion in which Herbert Thompson gains access to Kim’s bank account without needing programming skills. In essence, the article makes a thief’s work easier. That is, even armatures can use the tricks to gain access to someone’s bank accounts. The content of the website encourages identity theft, which can in turn result in loss of belongings. Therefore, the website falls in the category of harmful sites.

Thirdly, Thompson lists the most essential elements that can be utilized in identity theft. For instance, he talks of ways of hacking email addresses. Specifically, Thompson teaches the audience on basic hacking mechanisms for emails. Additionally, he teaches the audience that university emails are the most trusted once for hacking since they provide true details of the owner. These intrinsic details provide an avenue for increased theft if a teenager bent on learning and testing hacking techniques accesses the article. In essence, the elements and techniques listed in the article only increase identity theft if viewing is unrestricted. Therefore, the website is a potentially harmful site (Nicholson, 2011).


As mentioned above, the article in the website begins by a potentially harmful heading. The heading leads audience to ways of stealing identity of others. This is harmful to the security of online identity. Instead, the website should have edited its heading to teach audience on ways of making it difficult for hackers to steal their identities. A possible heading would be “how to make your identity impossible to hack in seven easy steps”. Additionally, the heading is followed by a potentially destructing sub heading which states that stealing identity does not require experience in professional hacking. This makes it even easier for audience with no interest in hacking to poke and see how simple it is to steal people’s identity. Subsequently, the article acts as a double-edged sword, but this depends on the audience. Nonetheless, the headings are more destructive than constructive based on their method of articulation.

The portrait in the website like the picture of a wolf in a sheep’s clothing is quite interesting. The portrait epitomizes a hideous character or a sly character. These elements have the propensity to persuade wily characters to follow the steps outlined in the article to steal people’s identities. Thompson was doing an experiment on identity theft, which was successful. However, this information should have been provided to the public after editing it to extract parts that would encourage theft. In Thompson’s seven steps, he begins with Google search that provides information on Kim. Thompson therefore identifies Google as a tool for identity theft. Nonetheless, it should be noted that Google tries to hide personal information in the best possible way they can. However, a clever thief would utilize other search engines too, which would innately provide detailed personal information.

Concisely, the website talks about simple ways of cybercrime through identity theft. To achieve this Thompson teaches people how to hack emails and other online accounts such as bank and university accounts. Thompson also talks of password recovery feature, which is dominant in his technique of stealing identities. This feature is dependent on software engineering as prescribed by the companies, which offer such services like Yahoo, Gmail and email providers. He makes it so simple that even uninterested audience is tempted to try. In a world where cybercrime is increasingly challenging, such an article should be edited before it is posted for everyone to view. Otherwise, the article should be restricted to authorized personnel only.


Cybercrime is increasing at an alarming rate. Currently, the number of hackers in society is troubling even government agencies. The rise in crime is tantalizing. In this regard, news channels and website should take the responsibility of filtering what they post to minimize cybercrime. In fact, website owners should be forefront in tackling cybercrime since they are the first victims of such crimes. This website provides armatures with the technical knowhow of successfully committing identity theft. This is done in the precept of enlightening possible victims although the heading and other elements contained only fuels cybercrime. Therefore, the website is potentially harmful to the audience.

Works cited

Nicholson, Christie. . 2011. Web.

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