Cyber Crime in India and Safety Tips

Cyber Crime may be defined in a general way as an unlawful act wherein the computer is either a tool or a target or both.

Unauthorized access to computer systems or networks means any person who secures access or attempts to secure access to a protected system. Email bombing refers to sending a large amount of emails to the victim resulting in the victim’s email account (in case of an individual) or mail server (in case of a company or an email service provider) crashing. Data diddling - this kind of attack involves altering the raw data just before it is processed by a computer and then changing it back after the processing is completed. Salami attack - this attack is used for the commission of financial crimes. The key here is to make the alteration so insignificant that in a single case it would go completely unnoticed, e.g. a bank employee inserts a program into the bank’s servers, that deducts a small amount of money (say Rs.5 a month) from the account of every customer. No single account holder will probably notice this unauthorized debit, but the bank employee will make a sizable amount of money every month.

Be Safe by using just few Precautions:

  • Keep your computer updated with the latest security software: Just like it is necessary to lock your front door at home, it is to ensure your computer is secure by installing anti-virus, anti-spyware and a firewall, or a package including all three. Ensure that you regularly install new updates when they become available, otherwise hackers will exploit any existing flaws to break into your system. Take advantage of ‘auto-update’ features to ensure you receive the updates as soon as they are created.
  • Configure your computer settings so that it functions securely: Make sure that the security settings on your computer are set to the right level, particularly with regard to your internet browser and email software, as they will be able to warn you of potential risks when visiting dubious or suspicious websites.
  • Change your Password regularly: Passwords are a necessary security measure to perform various functions on the internet. If used and chosen improperly, they can make an internet user vulnerable to attacks. When required to select a password, make sure you choose a secure password.
  • Keep an eye out for suspicious e-mails: If the e-mail is from an unknown source, try to avoid opening it, and definitely avoid opening any attached files or links as they may contain harmful viruses or worms.
  • Keep your personal information protected: Many online services (purchasing goods, social networking services etc.) require you to enter at least some personal information on a website. Before doing so ensure that the website is in fact authentic – for instance a shopping or banking website requiring sensitive information should begin with ‘https://www’, with the extra ‘s’ standing for ‘secure.’ Also, read the privacy policies of websites, and understand how the website may use or share your personal information in the future. Always guard your e-mail address when possible, and do not unnecessarily post it on any online blogs, chatrooms, or newsgroups, or you may become susceptible to spammers and phishers.