By GURNEET ARORA
Cybercrime constitutes any and all criminal activities carried out by means of computers or the Internet. While it has been around for quite some time, cybercrime continues to grow in scope and sophistication. As consumers increasingly allow technology into their personal lives, this technology stores and builds on troves of private data. Consider, for example, the information available in some popular everyday objects like personal health data, sleep schedules, and geolocations from wearable health trackers , shopping history, account information, and passive conversations picked up on voice-controlled devices , private conversations on social media accounts , browsing history, photos, website passwords, and account information on cellphones.
Your entire life, from the intimate to the mundane, is becoming increasingly digital, and your digital information may be uniquely accessible to a worldwide audience of potential perpetrators. The more this digitization becomes ubiquitous and standard, the more you may be prone to disregarding the inherent risks as society as a whole is lulled into complacency. In fact, a Pew Research study determined that many Internet users cannot correctly answer more than half the questions on a cybersecurity quiz.
Understanding cybercrime starts with understanding immediate criminal activity, includingobtaining bank account information, identity theft , online predation , unauthorized computer access , etc.
While children and the elderly are frequent targets because they are less likely to be actively monitoring their personal information, such as credit scores, let alone cybersecurity trends, anyone and everyone can be at risk. That’s because there is no single way cybercriminals operate. They may attack their victims using a variety of different methodologiesthat may be viruses and malware that alter computer behavior, phishing, which utilizes decoy emails and websites to trick users, cyberstalking, in which a harasser abuses social media to manipulate victims, network attacks, such as Denial of Service, designed to break an institution’s web presence and/or security.
Ultimately, cybercriminals may be after personal information, money, or even computer resources for a variety of reasons. If you think you may be encountering a cybercriminal, there are a few telltale signs. Cybercriminals maybe individuals seeking either money or revenge or who have ties to, and seek to fund, terrorist groups or who commit cybercrime to disrupt institutions they disagree with or someone who seek inappropriate information or activity from victims of one who belong to a rogue government regime.
From illegally sharing copyrighted songs to revealing top-secret government documents, cybercrime is a wide and constantly-evolving threat that serves no single purpose.
Cyber Laws in India
India does not have a dedicated cybersecurity law. The Information Technology Act 2000 (the IT Act) read with the rules and regulations framed thereunder deal with cybersecurity and the cybercrimes associated therewith. The IT Act not only provides legal recognition and protection for transactions carried out through electronic data interchange and other means of electronic communication, but it also contains provisions that are aimed at safeguarding electronic data, information or records, and preventing unauthorised or unlawful use of a computer system. Some of the cybersecurity crimes that are specifically envisaged and punishable under the IT Act are hacking, denial-of-service attacks, phishing, malware attacks, identity fraud and electronic theft.
In accordance with the Information Technology (The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team and Manner of Performing Functions and Duties) Rules 2013 (the CERT Rules), the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has been established as the nodal agency responsible for the collection, analysis and dissemination of information on cyber incidents and taking emergency measures to contain such incidents.
Other laws that contain cybersecurity-related provisions include the Indian Penal Code 1860 (IPC), which punishes offences, including those committed in cyberspace (such as defamation, cheating, criminal intimation and obscenity), and the Companies (Management and Administration) Rules 2014 (the CAM Rules) framed under the Companies Act 2013, which requires companies to ensure that electronic records and security systems are secure from unauthorised access and tampering.
In addition to the above, there are sector-specific regulations issued by regulators such as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India Act 1999 (IRDA), the Department of Telecommunication (DOT) and the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI), which mandate cybersecurity standards to be maintained by their regulated entities, such as banks, insurance companies, telecoms service providers and listed entities.
How to Protect Yourself Against Cybercrime
Cybercrime might be a massive problem, but there are ways to protect yourself online. Many are simple and immediately effective. New security measures are being developed all the time to keep pace with criminals, so it’s important to stay aware of current trends. An excellent foundation includes no.of precautions. To save yourself from cybercrime you may use strong and unique passwords, combining letters, numbers, and special characters. Don’t use easily-guessed words or numbers, such as a partner’s name or birthdate. You may have an up-to-date Internet security suite for real-time protection against viruses and malware. Keep your other programs updated, too: both security suites and commonly-used programs update constantly as they implement safeguards against new threats. You may control your social media by keeping personal information private. Cybercriminals may only need a few bits of personal information—such as the name of your pet—to clear security questions. Play it safe and share as little as possible. Maintain a strong home network. A VPN encrypts all information as it leaves your devices, meaning hackers will only be able to intercept nearly impossible to decipher traffic.Take note of major breaches in the news. If you’ve done business with an institution that has suffered a data breach, determine what information may have been stolen, and immediately change your password.Remember to keep your security as portable as you are. Whether at a local café or visiting another country, be sure to implement the same safeguards, such as a VPN, even if it requires extra work.Monitor the particularly vulnerable persons in your life, such as children and the elderly. Not only are they easier targets, but these groups are not likely to be checking their credit scores and other metrics that might raise red flags.
Recent studies published on the evolution of principal cyber threats in the security landscape. They present concerning scenarios, characterized by the constant growth of cybercrimes activities. Even though the level of awareness of cyber threats has increased, and law enforcement acts globally to combat them, illegal profits have reached amazing figures. The impact to society has become unsustainable, considering the global economic crisis. It’s necessary to work together to avoid the costs the global community suffers, which we can no longer sustain. The risk of business collapse is concrete, due to the high cost for enterprises in mitigating counter measures, and the damage caused by countless attacks. Nowadays customers have come to expect that organizations have a presence on the Internet, including a website and e-mail capabilities. Use of the Internet is a risk that most companies have to take. The problem is to minimize the risks associated by so doing. If there is no technology, hopeful the cybercrimes would not be found anywhere. As it has been discussed in the paper, the preventive measures should be taken to prevent the society as well as the organizations from the cybercrimes instead of avoiding the uses of the technology.