In the present scenario, accessing the world with a click is not a heavy task. The electronic world has given birth to numerous opportunities. However, with opportunities, there also come certain challenges. The saying goes true for the e-world too. Cyber crimes have followed the trajectory of the electronic world.
Computers, mobile phones, online banking facilities, and more have made our life easier and fastened processes. However, cyber crimes or frauds can do severe damage to a person in form of a security breach, especially financially. Although, awareness campaigns and educating people on cyber crimes, its impact, ways to prevent it, and more can help in lowering the consequences.
What is cyber crime?
Any crime committed with the aid of computer technology or the internet can be termed cyber crime. In other words, cyber crime is a computer-related crime. For instance, hacking a computer or a social media account, phishing, fake lottery games, and more. The internet is flooded with instances where the person lost their money by only sharing the OTP code over the phone call.
As per data maintained and published by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 21,796, 27,248, and 44,546 cyber crime cases were registered during the years 2017, 2018, and 2019 respectively.
To strengthen the mechanism to deal with cyber crimes in a comprehensive and coordinated manner, the Central Government has taken steps for spreading awareness about cyber crimes; issuance of alerts/advisories; capacity building/training of law enforcement personnel/prosecutors/judicial officers; improving cyber forensic facilities; etc.
The Central Government has also launched National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal, (www.cybercrime.gov.in) to enable citizens to report complaints related to all types of cyber crimes with a special focus on cyber crimes against women and children. Furthermore, the Law Enforcement Agencies take action as per legal provisions of law against cyber crime offenders.
The Government is also operating the Cyber Swachhta Kendra (Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre) which detects malicious programs and free tools for cleaning malicious code as well as tools such as M- Kavach for addressing threats related to mobile phones. Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) also coordinates with its counterpart agencies in foreign countries on cyber incidents originating outside the country.
In addition to this, the Information Technology Act, 2000, amended in 2008, deals with computer-related crimes and penalties. For instance, Section 66 of the Act deals with the hacking of a computer. According to it, whoever commits hacking shall be punished with imprisonment up to three years, or with fine which may extend up to two lakh rupees, or with both.
What should one do to remain vigilant?
Assistant Superintendent of Police, Moradabad, Shakti Avasthy on his social media account shared a series of awareness tweets citing cases of online or cyber frauds. One of the ways to remain vigilant and not fall prey to such frauds is to stay aware and participate in webinars, seminars, and other educational programs that educate on cyber fraud.
Fake news can cause severe damage. Before believing and forwarding a message, one must cross-check and verify a message or news which seems odd and can be suspected fake news. Organizations and authorities often issue clarifications in case of a rumor doing the round. For eg, PIB often issues clarification and busts fake news.
Visit Official sources
Online booking fraud of jungle safari, helicopter rides to religious shrines is a common way of trapping innocent people. To stay protected from such sites or instances, one should visit the official website of the organization or entity.