|Internet is dubbed as “first wonder of modern civilization”. As mankind progressed, internet played a significant role in all facets of human endeavor. As the use of internet became universal, so the frequency of cyber-crime increased exponentially. This article will provide readers a brief overview of what is cyber-crime and how to avoid becoming a victim of cyber-crimes.||Image Source – www.socialmedialaw.co.uk|
Firstly, we have to know what cyber-crime is all about. Cyber-crime includes all sorts of crimes that are committed through computer networks using Internet. Various types of cyber-crimes are as follows:
- Hacking and password trafficking.
- Phishing and identity theft.
- Internet fraud and spam mailing.
- Internet bomb threats and terrorism.
- Fake foreign employment sites.
- Theft of trade secrets.
- Connection interruption by uploading and sending worms, viruses and botnets.
- Selling forged software.
- Online impersonation of individuals or business firms.
- Creating and disseminating fake documents.
Internet related crimes should be reported to appropriate investigative or law enforcement authorities. It has been observed that crimes committed over the internet pretense special challenges for the law enforcement branch. So, there is a scarcity of large number of extraordinarily qualified cyber-detectives and criminologists. Moreover, we need to have a glance of how to get rid of cybercrime.
- Education – Hackers are not only the ones who can gain supremacy from information. By educating yourself about the types of scams that subsist on the internet and how to ward off them, you are putting yourself one step ahead of the cybercriminals. Always remember, phishing is when hackers attempt to reveal personal information by pretending to be a legal organization or person.
- Secure your computer – If you want to protect your PC, then in the very beginning, you must use strong passwords. Use different combinations of user ID and passwords, and make sure that the password must contain numbers, alphabets and special characters. Also activate your anti-virus and firewalls because firewalls act as the first line of defense to your computer. Firewall blocks forbidden category sites and prevent spywares from infiltrating your PC.
- Secure the wireless network – Wireless networks (Wi-Fi) can be vulnerable if not properly secured. Try to avoid conducting any kind of financial or corporate transactions on these networks.
- Protect your data – Encrypt your data for the most sensitive files such as tax returns or other financial documents and decrypt it when necessary. Keep regular back-ups of those data and store it in a different place.
- Click with caution and practice safe surfing – While checking your mailbox or chatting over instant messenger (IM), be sure that you do not click on any links sent by strangers. Use a search engine like Google or Yahoo, which will help you to get the correct web address. Do not open pages that may contain malware.
- Practice safe shopping – While shopping online, you must be careful and do a little exploration before entering the payment option. You also need to look at the address bar to see, if the website starts with “https” instead of “http”. “Https” ensures secure sites. When it comes to payment, always use a credit card instead of a debit card because if the site turns out to be fraudulent then your credit card issuer may reimburse your account for the charges, but with a debit card your money is gone.
- Secure your mobile devices – Download mobile applications from trusted sources as these digital devices are feeble to viruses and hackers.
Although these kind of protective measures do require some efforts, still there are lots of tools and resources to help people. By taking such precautions and best practices, one can thwart cyber-crime from growing.
Arnab Roy Chowdhury
PGDM (Batch: 2012 – 2014)
UnitedWorld School of Business