With the development of the internet in terms of speed, ease of access the digital signature of an individual online has increased. Money has changed form from analog currency notes to digital money. Nowadays the internet, computers, Smartphones, and other communication technology devices have become an integral part of our life. We spend a lot of time on smart devices, internet, communication mediums like Google, emails, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and they have become an integral part and parcel of our everyday life. Online shopping apps and sites like Amazon, Flipkart, eBay, OLX, Quikr, etc have changed the way we shop.
Individuals, companies, or institutions should be aware of Cyber Crime threats and security essentials to safeguard against Cyber offenses that are committed by using computers or mobiles. Cybercriminals, scammers, and fraudsters use mobile platforms, social networking sites, emails, chat rooms, pirated software, websites, to attack victims. They have devised innovative means and are evolving Cyber Crime rapidly to abuse and cheat people of their money. Some of the most popular categories are social media related financial frauds, ransomware, hacking, cryptocurrency crime, online trafficking, online gambling, etc. The worst affected are women and children as they are vulnerable to various types of Cyber Crime.
Various Cyber Crime Categories And Subcategories
Cyber Crime and cyber attacks are becoming complex and sophisticated, increasingly targeted on stealing personal information such as phone numbers, addresses, photographs, bank details. Personal information can be used by cybercriminals against the person in different ways like creating a fake profile, cyberbullying, etc. Some of the popular categories and their Modus Operandi are enumerated below
1) Online & Social Media Crimes
- Cyberbullying /Stalking/ Sexting is one of the most common cyber threats being faced by children, young people and women. It means using the internet on mobile to intentionally bully someone by sending rude hurt messages comments and images/ videos. Cyberbullying uses text messages, emails, social media platforms, web pages, chat rooms, etc to bully others.
- Phishing Email. Emails that look genuine and from a trusted email ID, but actually are not. A fraudulent email message designed to be from a legitimate person or organization which tricks the recipient to share personal information, such as passwords, bank account numbers. Email headers contain a significant amount of information—like digital postmarks—that identify how the message got from the sender to the recipient.
- Impersonating Profiles
- Impersonating Emails.
- Online Job/ Matrimonial Fraud Cybercriminals pose to be a prospective employee/employer or bride/groom for deceptive activities.
- Profile Hacking Cybercriminal can use social networking platforms to become an individual by creating a fake account on social media and use it to share negative things and inappropriate content to harm an individual’s image or other illegal purposes. Pictures, email – ids, date of birth, and other details are easily available online. Such criminals can use these details to create an individual’s fake account and use social media to send rude or hate messages.
2) Online Financial Fraud
- Financial transfer. It involves withdrawing/ transferring money from a person’s account to another account by a cybercriminal using internet-based platforms. It can happen when a person’s credentials and/or bank account details or credit card details are stolen by a cyber-criminal. People receive an email/SMS from a fake account/number which appears to be from your bank/credit card service provider when you click on the link provided, it takes you to a page where your sensitive information like bank account details, Card Verification Value(CVV), expiry date, etc are compromised. They can also share a QR code/link for transferring money into your account when you click on it the amount gets deducted from yours. Internet banking fraud in the year 2019 alone amounted total loss of 71.48crores.
- Business Frauds/ Email Takeover
- Debit /Credit Card Fraud/ SIM swap fraud
- E-Wallet Related Fraud
- Fraud Call/ Vishing
- Cybercriminals use social engineering to gain the confidence of the person and get information depending on what they want to do. Cybercriminals may try to interact with them and mine for information and commit some harm to them.
- Internet Banking Related Fraud
Sending malicious applications via direct messaging/ emails or websites in order to get access to your smartphone, laptop, tablet. Once installed they gain access to your personal data. Never install pirated software on your mobile or computer it is not only illegal but may also compromise the security of your device.
- Unauthorised Access/ Data Breach
- Websites Related/ Defacement.
5) Cryptocurrency Crime
- Cryptocurrency-Related Fraud
6) Online Trafficking
7) Online Gambling
Cyber Crime: Preventive measures
1) Against Cyber Bullying
Don’t accept friend requests from unknown people on social media platforms. Cyberbully can even create an account to be friends. As a Thumb Rule only add people online if you know them offline. Don’t share your personal information like date of birth, address, phone number, on social media, or other online platforms. Restrict access to your profile to friends only.
2) Online frauds
To safeguard and protect yourself against online transaction fraud strictly follow the following:-
- Don’t share your card/ bank details like card number, pin, CVV, expiry date, pin, OTP, bank account password with anyone. By sharing these details you’ll compromise your account, which can lead to an illegal online financial transaction.
- Make it a habit to regularly update the online password of your bank account, the pin of your debit /credit card.
- Make it a habit to type bank website yourself never click on a link of a bank website appearing on email text message for popup this may be a fake link and may take you to a fake site.
- Avoid making an online transaction using public Wi-Fi or a computer in a cybercafe. Computers in the cyber cafe may not have updated antivirus or may be infected with Malware which may compromise your bank details and other sensitive information.
- As a habit review monthly statements of your bank account and credit card to check transactions by someone else.
- The bank should be informed immediately to lock your lost credit/debit card.
- If an unauthorized transaction has taken place you must lodge a formal complaint with your nearest police station.
3) Networking Profile
The most important steps to safeguard your own social networking accounts are:-
- Use a complex password and change it periodically.
- Use the two-factor authentication to log in to your account provided by the service providers. This means you will have to type your password and one-time password OTP received on mobile to log in to your account.
- Never share your password or social media account details with anyone, it might compromise your account.
- You must change the privacy settings of your social media account to ensure that your updates posts are visible to your friends and followers only.
- Avoid accepting friend requests from unknown people.
- Never share your personal details and click remember password popup while using your friends’ computer or in a cybercafe.
- Use a strong password to access phone and account.
- If your social media account is hacked or compromised send an alert email message to all your contacts immediately, ask your social media service provider to temporarily block your account. Try to retrieve your password and change your password immediately.
- Social media service providers should be informed immediately to block the account if your duplicate account has been created.
- If someone is bullying you and posting inappropriate comments or images to damage your image inform and report the matter to the nearest police station.
- Never install unwanted software and apps from unknown sources.
- Never click on links or files received from unknown persons on social media this may lead to infecting your computer with Malware.
Always install original mobile or computer software, it is prudent to keep your computer software and antivirus up to date.
How To Report A Complaint
Type the URL https://www.cybercrime.gov.in in the Web browser
Remember what you post online remains there. So it is important to be careful and not to share your phone number and other personal details in comments or posts on social media platforms. Never install unwanted software, apps like dating app, online games, etc from unknown sources. You should be very careful while chatting in chat rooms never share personal details in chat rooms and limit your identity.
Never react aggressively and reply to post from friends or a stranger, it may encourage the bully to keep posting such messages. If the messages are from a friend, you can request them not to do it again. Advice children to report such a post to their parents or elders immediately so they can support them. You should never share mean comments or hurt messages or embarrassing pictures videos online. Report such matters to the local police station & lodge a complaint against such fraudster.