Tackling cybersecurity in Thiruvananthapuram

A total of 470 petitions were received alone in the month of March which shows the severity of the issue and the need to reconsider cyber safety.

Published: 27th April 2019 04:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th April 2019 04:32 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With hacking, fake identity and sextortion on the increase, cybersecurity is a serious concern.  According to the Cyber Cell Wing of the city police, social media platforms provide a pool of personal information about individuals which attract hackers. While poor content safety and unprotected data are said to be the reasons behind, police also say that hackers have become more efficient and have mastered the art of hacking using even a single link from anywhere in the world.  

The Cyber Cell petition data received in the month of March revealed a total of 99 hacking cases on Facebook, offensive posting, abuse and fake account cases, among which 38 petitioners were females. Other social media (Instagram, Twitter, ShareChat) petitions disclosed a total of 100 cases among which 12 are female petitioners. A total of 470 petitions were received alone in the month of March which shows the severity of the issue and the need to reconsider cyber safety.

According to the city police commissioner, every individual should follow cyber hygiene especially while active on multiple social media platforms. "Studies reveal 54 per cent of Indian teenagers using the internet and social networking sites are harassed. The most common online cases reported include cyber-bullying, predators targeting kids, online frauds and technical hacking into user accounts, accessing e-mail address books and posting fake pictures," said Kori Sanjaykumar Gurudin, the city police commissioner.

He said the increase in online abuse cases are mostly because the awareness regarding online safety is limited among victims as well as caregivers and service providers. Awareness generation is the ultimate solution referred by the city police. Creating a cyber hygiene policy can bring down the number of hacking and sextortion cases as per the cyber police officials. "Monitor the content that goes online from your private account. Keep changing the password and do not download fewer security apps on the mobile phone as you are giving them a direct entry to use all the data on your phone," said an official in-charge, Cyber Wing, city police.  Revenge hacking must also be seriously considered, said Cyber Wing officials.

Case Studies

A complaint from a lady was received alleging that someone has created a fake ShareChat account in the name “Kurumbi ammuzzzz” using the particulars of the complainant and shared her personal mobile phone number along with obscene contents. Cyber cell located the culprit using the information collected from ShareChat account. It was found out that he was a student of the complainant and the petition disposed of by IOP Women Cell.

An 18-year-old girl filed a complaint saying that she has been threatened and blackmailed on Instagram by a girl. When traced, it revealed that the person on the other side was a boy pretending to be a girl. The person was tracked down and police initiated legal action.A 22-year-old man registered a complaint against a woman on his Instagram friend list and claimed she blackmailed him with their video chats and pictures if he doesn't send her money. The man went through serious mental pressure and was taken to a counselling session. The girl was traced down and it was revealed that an entire sex racket was involved and was operating from abroad.

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