Trained tech teams are the way to go
Cyber criminals come armed with a vast knowledge of the digital space and latest technologies and mostly operate with national and international links. To tackle them, the police need to bring themselves on a similar footing. Setting up a cyber cell with a few regular policemen with a set of computers at their disposal will simply not cut it. In order to beat the highly qualified professional criminals, a lot of investment is required in amping up the technological prowess of the policing system. Only well-trained technical teams with an expert understanding of data theft, fraudulent transactions, and phishing can be successful in tracking down cyber criminals.
Suresh Verma, Chandigarh
Joint efforts needed
To curb cyber crime, joint efforts from citizens, police and the administration are required. Senior citizens have been using the internet for a while now, but are not the most tech savvy. To avoid falling victim, they need to be educated about the world of cybercrime and immediate family members must take the initiative and guide against sharing their bank details with anyone. Every individual, for that matter, must stay alert and never share their confidential bank information over the phone. The UT police and Chandigarh administration should plan for regular awareness drives on cybercrime and use social media, radio and other means to send out information. Joint efforts can resolve any problem at any level, and streamline efforts can help prevent cyber crime to a great extent as well.
Prabhjot Nagpal, Zirakpur
Get to know the internet well
Cyber crime has been on the rise in recent years, with approximately 5,000-6,000 complaints being registered with police each year. The best way to tackle the instances, as far as online frauds go, is to be cautious of the use of the internet. One should not share an OTP with anyone over phone calls. Unverified apps should not be downloaded onto mobile phones or computers, while one should also avoid clicking on random links. We must educate senior citizens about cybercrimes, frauds and digital banking as they fall under the most vulnerable group when it comes to cyber crime. Learning about the internet and its many dangers is the only way at ensuring one’s safety.
Khushi Bhatnagar, Panchkula
Guide senior citizens
Given the upward trend of cyber crime in tricity, educating people, especially senior citizens on the use of the internet has become extremely important as they are the first group that become easy targets to cyber crime. Further, the administration and media can play a great role in helping control cyber crime. By issuing the “dos and don’ts” on cyber crime, they can guide the citizens like no other. Individuals themselves should try to consult their friends and peers well versed with technology before clicking on random links or executing actions on receiving messages from unverified sources.
Colonel TBS Bedi (retd), Mohali
A more proactive approach needed
As we sail through a new technological era, internet usage becomes ubiquitous and so does the prevalence of cybercrime. Unfortunately, the alarming surge in cyber frauds have set the bell ringing and the need of the hour is a proactive approach on both individual and administrative levels. The approach to curb the cyber forgery menace needs to be revisited and redrawn more vigilantly. For a start, it is advisable to stay informed about the happenings and new information drawn up from the cyber field. At personal levels, a regular check on data backup, passwords and updating of antivirus can help. On an administrative level, proactive strategies need to implement such identity verification at all levels, conventions and agreements at national and international level to spread the reach of measures to stop such crimes, and effective training of cyber cells.
Komal Sharma, Chandigarh
Start from the basics
The Covid pandemic has led to increased dependency on online transactions and the residents’ digital presence has grown, as have the cases of cyber crime. Criminals indulging in the crimes typically rely heavily on the vulnerability of their victims. Be it the elderly or people without proper access to education about the digital world, the victims too often fall into a similar mould. The work needs to start by ensuring that these very sections are safeguarded from basic frauds, before we can move on to the more complex crimes.
Geeta Hira, Manimajra
Strong password is the best bet
To steer clear of cyber trouble, one must never share personal information, passwords or credit and debit card details. Using a strong password, avoiding to search customer care numbers online and not falling into bait of unknown links promising attractive offers or sharing OTPs can be major ways to foil cyber attacks. Everyone needs to be aware to not be befooled by cyber criminals. Cloning, swapping ATM cards, publishing attacks and visa frauds are on the rise and one needs to be vigilant about the same. All institutions must educate and raise awareness about cyber crimes to combat this menace.
Garv Bhupesh, Panchkula
Timely intervention can go a long way
In an age of ever-changing technology, the pitfalls of having a digital presence have also grown manifold. The rising cases of fake loan apps and investment scams in the tricity are a cause of worry as the citizens, unequipped to deal with such organised crimes, are being duped of their hard-earned money. It is paramount that the local administration scales up the efforts in making sure the public has a mechanism to turn to in the hour of need. A helpline to not just report crime, but seek clarification related to questions pertaining to cyberspace can go a long way in helping those unversed with technology make the right decisions. Police also need to ensure that the arrest numbers in such cases go up as presently, far too many cyber criminals are being let off the hook. Timely intervention from the authorities concerned and digital prudence by the denizens can pave the way to a safer space on the internet.
Surbhi Negi, via email
Amend the IT Act
Both national security and privacy of an individual are at risk due to the increasing rates of cyber crimes. Spreading awareness about inappropriate links, apps and websites through social media could be a helping hand to curb these crimes. Well, since the rural area is also in the web spectrum, radio could also be considered as the best medium to provide information regarding web frauds and cyber crimes to every section of the society. Along with awareness, an amendment in IT Act 2000 is also required. The responsibility of data privacy should be mandated to the social media platforms, along with the regulation by the ministry of electronics and information technology (MEITY) to enable strict action against the actors.
Shubham Samria, Chandigarh
Need to introduce cybercrime safety in schools’ curriculum
Cyber crimes are on a rise, turning people into helpless victims whose privacy is being infringed. They are losing money to fraudsters. There is a need to introduce cybercrime as a part of the curriculum in schools and colleges. The administration should mandatorily train its employees to counter cyber crimes. Further, trained guides can be sent to private companies and marketplaces for raising awareness. A mass campaign is required to sensitise people. Police stations and beat staff should regularly organise awareness drives in their respective areas to help residents. Every police station should have trained cops to combat cybercrime. As the majority of customers still don’t how to save themselves from these cyber frauds, banks and financial institutions should have a special desk to tackle their complaints.
Sunny Dhaliwal, Chandigarh
Ensure smart and vigilant use of technology
Cyber crime is no longer just limited to financial cheating, but has expanded its presence in our social system. The methods being employed by cyber criminals to dupe the general public are beyond comprehension. Therefore, it is advisable that one must use gadgets smartly. Never open unnecessary websites or links sent by strangers. One should also be open to seeking the help from not cyber experts but their peers whenever necessary. In a nutshell, an effort to make oneself more aware will definitely be helpful to avoid any untoward incident.
Surinder Paul Wadhwa, via email
Three-tier system needed to combat the menace
Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Keeping this in view, a three-tier system has to evolved to protect people from cyber criminals.The Government of India with the support of intelligence agencies should keep tabs on all questionable apps on social media; take immediate action to stop their nefarious activities; train law enforcement personnel, prosecutors, judicial officers; improve cyber forensics; approach Google to delete instant loan and other doubtful apps. At next level, states should strengthen their intelligence wings and keep an eye on the activities of cyber criminals in their jurisdiction. At ground level, senior citizens should consult their children in case of financial transactions,use anti-virus protection, strong passwords, VPN to prevent any adversity.
Kidar Nath Sharma, Chandigarh
Intelligence agencies need to act swiftly
Rapid development of computers and related technologies have been a major factor in rising cyber crimes. The cyber world has no boundaries, hence, losses involved worldwide are increasing tremendously. In our region, especially tricity, and in the country as whole, foreign hand— say recently detected Chinese firms— running shell companies with locals for money laundering has been an eye opener. Our state and central intelligence agencies need to act swiftly to nab criminals who simply cannot evade responsibility and accountability as innocent elderly and literate too have been duped by fraudsters.The IT Act 2000 and latest amendments have failed to contain the crime. Before the situation worsens, the authorities must take care to end the act as once for all to save citizens.
Kundan Lal Sharma, Mohali
Our safety is in our own hands
The latest cyber crime racket involving Chinese nationals targeting the tricity population saw money getting transferred through hawala channels connected with bank-accounts of shell companies. But the key connecting these criminals to the people was social media including Meta and WhatsApp. Such criminals have long misused social media to dupe people as they lay a trap by offering hefty loans without any paper-work or a written agreement, tempting schemes and other services on the platforms. With it being difficult for authorities to monitor all of social media, caution on the individuals’ part, becomes all the more important. One can avoid falling prey to such frauds by simply exhibiting a sense of caution and not trusting unverified sources easily. Simply put, in this case, out safety is in our own hands.
Usha Verma, Chandigarh
Set up a digital portal to seek help
There is a wide gap between precept and practice. Fraudsters have been cheating people online for a long time and it is high time that the administration have a dedicated cyber crime portal where people can access information, seek help and clear their doubts about the usage of the internet. Once launched, the public should be encouraged to access the portal and stay aware of the latest trends in terms of the type of frauds being carried out. Advisories sent directly into the public’s inbox, which is also where some of the malware is being sent to target them, can also help keep them up to date with the latest.
Sumesh Kumar Badhwar, via email
Authorities need to take responsibility
Cyber crime in the Information Age are to some extent caused due to the rapid development in technology that has left some sections of society struggling to keep up. Our agencies need to act swiftly to nab the criminals involved in online attacks. The administration simply can not evade responsibility and accountability as innocent elderly and literate too have been duped by cybercriminals who often come into contact with the victim through social media and succeed in the executing large-scale but easily avoidable crimes .The Information Technology Act, 2000, and latest amendments have seemingly failed to contain the acts of fraudsters and the situation is worsening. The authorities must step up and ensure that the internet remains a safe space for all.
Kundan Lal Sharma, Mohali
Seriousness lacking while investigating cybercrime
The lack of seriousness in investigating cybercrime cases only encourages the criminals to go about their business with ease. The fact that a vast majority of the cybercrime remains unsolved is highly unfortunate and unless the police and administration can find a way to change that, the case will continue unabated. Senior police functionaries, UT administration and the judiciary must look into making sure that such cases get the same attention as the more conventional crimes.
Sanjay Chopra, Mohali
Provide police with state-of-the-art technology
To combat the growing problem of cyber crime, investigating agencies and police should begin by assessing areas of urgent need. Cryptocurrency account hijacking, data theft, or cyber terrorism are all areas where criminal activity appears to be on the rise. Prioritising what’s most important can help agencies develop a plan and determine what tools they need to address those concerns. Agencies should then take inventory of the technologies they currently use and look for ways to maximise their effectiveness. To combat the scams, agencies must also act quickly and that requires top technological support. Having access to the same allows officials to precisely identify the criminals and flow of money, which is essential in cracking the cases of fraud. By providing the police and other agencies, we can ensure that a step is taken in the right direction.
Ishita Nara, via email
Set up assistance centres in every sector
The administration should launch a single-window system in every sector to help the elderly citizens or those in need of assistance in accessing online services. Cyber cell and police officials, meanwhile, should also be trained to have a more approachable outlook so reporting any crime of the nature becomes easier and help can be provided to those falling prey to the fraud.
Avinash Goyal, Chandigarh