Earlier this month, UP (Uttar Pradesh) Police’s Special Task Force (STF) busted a pan-India online fraud racket which had allegedly duped thousands of people within the country as well as overseas by using their credit and debit card details to shop online. Last year, reportedly 3.2 million debit cards in India were compromised by hackers.
Mumbai Police, in a bid to raise awareness on cyber security released a video starring actor Ajay Devgn on micro-blogging site Twitter last week, urging people not to reveal any sensitive bank information.
The Mumbai Police’s move is not surprising given that Maharashtra along with Uttar Pradesh have the highest number of reported cyber crimes in the country. According to National Crime Records Bureau‘s (NCRB) 2016 report (for 2015), 11,592 cases of cyber crime were registered in India. Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of cyber crimes at 2,208, while Maharashtra followed closely with 2,195 cases. The actual number of cyber crime cases in India is likely be much higher as many of them go unreported.
As more and more people shift to transacting online, the threat of cyber crimes also increases exponentially. India has more than 300 million smartphones, and access to Internet is easier and cheaper than ever before. This has cyber criminals on the prowl waiting to con unsuspecting users.
It is through awareness and education about cyber security that we can ward off these looming threats.
Toi.com spoke to cyber security firm Lucideus’ vice president Rahul Tyagi on basic etiquettes to follow while being online.
Following are the cyber security expert’s pro tips-
* Enable two factor authentication wherever possible.
* Actively check your last login activity.
* Do not open unsolicited attachments, they can be phishing emails. Phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.
* Keep pass-phrases instead of passwords. There are various dictionaries available on the deep web which have a record of an axhaustive number of passwords which are easy to predict by simple information gathering.
* Do have an eye on headers of the email to see if the email is coming from any non-genuine domain.
* Keep a track on your last active login session and the device you used to login from
* Do not click on links which you are not sure of, these links can be LIKE page and so on.
* It is advisable not to use services such as ‘fake like’ or any other ‘like boosters’ ; mostly cyber criminals will take your credentials for the service and along with money they will misuse your account.
* Try and stay away from applications within social media platforms. Many criminals design games on social media and when you click on them, the hackers are able to see details which might compromise your account
* Always download applications from official Play Stores/App Stores
* Keep a track of the data applications are consuming. If an application is using data higher than it usually does, then it is a red flag for you
* Use VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) while doing online banking and other critical transactions. A VPN is a network technology that creates a secure network connection over a public network
* Use antivirus; there are tons of free ones available which do a decent job
* Make sure you enable encryption service if available on your phone, this will help your information to be protected from the hands of criminals in case you lose your phone.
* Before selling your phone make sure you do a military grade formatting and not just resetting, as hackers can still recover data if you use the simple factory reset. So make sure you use services like file shredder which will make it impossible to recover the data.