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June 02, 2017

Essays for IBPS PO 2017 : Cyber Crime - How to Tackle it ?

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Cyber Crime - How to Tackle it ?

  • Introduction of cyber crime. 
  • Different types of cyber crime. 
  • Victims of social crime. 
  • Social media's role in spreading this crime.
  • Personal data used for mobile applications in smart phone can be hacked frequently. 
  • People have little knowledge to tackle this crime.
  • Necessary steps to secure one's own account.
  • Law against this crime is not strong enough.
The past two decades have witnessed an invasion by technology in almost all the spheres of human life. This has led to an increased dependency on technology. Thanks to information technology, the world is making paradigm shifts from the offline to the online domain. Everything from banking, stock exchange, healthcare, education can be controlled and monitored using technology. As there are two sides of a coin, the technology also has two sides to it i.e. its pros and cons. One of the Ina.* cons of the technology is cyber crime. 

Cyber crime is defined as a crime in which a computer is the object of the crimes such as, hacking, phishing, spamming or is used as a tool to commit an offense (child pornography, hate crimes). Cyber criminals may use computer technology to access personal information, business trade secrets or use the interne for malicious purposes such as online monitoring of another person's activities, unauthorised users who can access their personal and sensitive information.

A person who gains unauthorised access to the system is known as a hacker. Theft involves the download of copyrighted material by violating the copyrights. In the case of electronic fund transfer crime, a person illegally gains access to another person's bank details and this may lead to financial losses. E-mail bombing involves sending a large number of mails over the network in order to crash the server. A very common cyber crime act is sending the virus as an attachment via mails. This virus can be used to extract the data from the system and jeopardise it in some cases. 

National and international financial institutions, banks and security agencies fall victim to the cyber criminals. In many cases, they have to pay a lot of money to the criminals in order to prevent the misuse of their data. The social media is driving the world crazy. But, at the same time, it has become a breeding ground and platform for cyber crime. Thanks to the sharing culture of social media,  people tend to share a lot over the social media platforms. This information is used by cyber criminals to extract personal and sensitive information of others which can be misused later on. The imposters create fake social media accounts and post misleading information about the concerned person. This commonly happens with public figures and is done with an intention to malign and harm the image of the person. 

In this world dominated by technology, smai tphones have become imperative. The smartphones have given way to mobile applications. A large number of private and public sector banks, e-commerce websites, railways and airlines have launched their mobile applications. The ease of operations of smattphone applications prompts the users to install and operate them. With millions of users, these applications are a lucrative source of data. 

Many times, the users unknowingly grant certain permissions to the application, which allows it to access their personal information. This gives the application provider with personal information about the individual. So, the user need to be careful while installing mobile applications and be sure of the permissions granted to them. 

India is taking giant strides towards digitalisation with initiatives such as `Digital India'. This necessitates the people to learn to tackle with the different aspects of eviler crime. Although, people have become tech-savvy, their knowledge about cyber crime is limited. The cyber crime needs to be dealt at two levels-one will be at the individual level and the other will be at the service provider level. 

People need to be very careful about their acquaintances and the degree to which they divulge their personal information on social media. It is best to stay away and not accept invites, as well as requests, from unknown people. One should avoid sharing sensitive information such as passwords with anyone. The passwords need to be strong enough so that the hacker cannot crack them. In order to increase the strength of the password, one can make use of alpha-numeric values and special symbols. In fact, one needs to make sure that there is never a common password for all accounts. 

It is best to refrain from clicking on the pop-ups and unknown website links. One needs to make sure that all the transactions that are done online happen through a secured gateway. One must abstain from saving the bank account details on the websites. The mails which make claims about winning a prize money are malicious and must be ignored. A good quality anti-virus must be installed in the system. This anti-virus must be regularly updated. 

E-mail service providers as well as many other online platforms, have started multi-step verification process in order to secure the user's account. It is always better to spend some extra amount of time and go in for the verification in order to secure one's account. The service provider can encrypt the data in order to protect it. Encryption is a technique to convert plain text into cipher text. Cipher text is the coded text and it is only the recipient of the data who can decrypt it using a special private key. In this way, except for the recipient, nobody can access the information. A wall can he created between the users and possible intruders. This wall is kn- 'WI) ac Fire,,vall. The firewall allows the flow of information only to the which are registered and recognised by the host. Digital signatures can he used in case of banking and other such industries. These are created by cryptography and are safe to use. 

The biggest concern with regards to cyber crime is that it gets tough to uncover the identity of the criminal. A skilled law enforcing agency is required to deal with this crime. The Information Technology Act, 2000 passed by Indian Government deals with the domain of cyber crime. But this act has certain loopholes that need to be plugged in order to strengthen the cvber security. Besides, it is important for the government to create awareness among the people about the exponentially rising cyber crime and ways to deal with it. 

There will always be new and unexpected challenges to stay ahead of cyber criminals and cyber terrorists but we can win only through partnership and collaboration of both individuals and government, There is much we can do to ensure a safe, secure and trustworthy computing environment. It is crucial not only to our national sense of well-being, but also to our national security and economy. 

Difficult Words with Meanings :
  • Invasion takeover, conquering
  • Paradigm a theory or a group of ideas about how something should be done, made or thought about
  • Domain empire, territory
  • Hacking unauthorised access
  • Phishing fradulent practise of sending repeated emails to extract personal information
  • Malicious spiteful, evil-intentioned
  • Jeopardise endanger. imperil
  • Breeding ground a place or situation that helps or allows something to grow or develop 9. Imposters pretender or deceiver; 
  • Malign harmful, evil
  • Imperative necessary or vitally important
  • Prompts encourage to say something
  • Lucrative profitable
  • Strides one long decisive step
  • Divulge disclose, impart
  • Abstain restrain oneself from doing something
  • Encrypt concealed data in something by converting it into a code
  • Intruders encroachers
  • Cryptography the practice and study of hiding information
  • Loophole an error in the way a law, rule or contract is written that makes it possible for some people to legally avoid obeying it.
shared by Nisheeta Mirchandani
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