Fear Of The World Wide Web

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cyber threats

In this day and age, where technology takes centre stage in nearly all aspects of our lives, being safe online is just as important as being physically safe from potential criminals. Nihal Jain takes a look into what kind of threats one can face as a netizen and how to go about safeguarding yourself from the same

Cyber bullying can work in the same way as bullying in the playground; the victim feels frightened and alone, while the bully tries to hide from being caught. Comments, images and videos about a person can be posted online causing the victim to feel frightened and upset. It is even possible for cyber bullies to hack into the victim’s personal accounts and harass them from within their own user profile. Often cyber bullies feel braver because they can’t be seen, but it can be the most traceable form of bullying because there’s evidence that it’s happened. But because bullies think they can cover up their identity online sometimes people who wouldn’t normally bully might do so over the net.

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CYBER STALKING

Harassment on the internet can be just as frightening as other forms of stalking. Women and girls are usually victims of this kind of behaviour. They might, for example, be harassed by an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend who is upset about the end of their relationship. It can also begin when a purely online friendship turns sour. It can even begin entirely at random, by one online stranger towards another. Comments, images and videos about a person can be posted online causing the victim to feel frightened and upset.

IDENTITY THEFT
The more information you make available online, the greater the risk of identity theft. It can be very tempting to reply to an email or open an attachment or post information about yourself on social networking sites. Personal information includes your email address, phone number, postal address, any banking information, or photos of yourself.

ONLINE GROOMING
The internet is a highly interactive tool which can allow people to communicate with each other very easily, through internet chat programs and social networking sites and even mobile apps and games. Paedophiles have been known to use this method to contact young people by disguising themselves as another young person. This can lead to gaining the trust of an individual and their friends. These false relationships based on lies can often pave way for exposure to upsetting images and online content and in some cases arranging a meeting in person. Online grooming is the term used to describe inappropriate behavior towards a young person, putting them at risk to a sexual offence. Even if nothing dangerous does happen, knowing you may have had contact with somebody like this can be extremely upsetting.

STAYING SAFE ONLINE
• KEEP YOUR PRIMARY EMAIL ADDRESS PRIVATE.
Use your primary email address ONLY for people you know and trust.
• Get a free email account and use that for all your other online activity. Make sure you select a gender-neutral username that is nothing like anything you’ve had before. There are many, many free email providers, such as Hotmail, Juno, Yahoo! and Hushmail. We suggest that you do a search using your favorite search engine and choose the email provider that best suits your own needs.

• DON’ T GIVE OUT INFORMATION SIMPLY BECAUSE IT IS REQUESTED.
Countless web sites ask you to give them your full name, date of birth, address, phone number, email address, etc, when you might just want to search their catalogs or read messages on a discussion forum. Give as little information as possible, and if they insist on information that doesn’t seem justified, leave to go elsewhere. Some people give false information at such sites, especially if they don’t plan to return in the future. Be especially cautious of “profiles” and “directory listings” for instant messaging programs or web sites.

• DON’ T ALLOW OTHERS TO DRAW YOU INTO CONFLICT.
That may mean that you don’t defend yourself from personal attacks. It’s safer to ignore them and keep yourself above the fray. When you respond to a harasser in any way, you’re letting him know that he has succeeded. No matter how hard it is to do, do not interact with a harasser. When he realizes that he isn’t getting a reaction from you, in most cases he’ll move on to  find an easier target.


CYBER SECURITY NEED OF THE HOUR

Giving us an insight into the profession of Cyber Security is Tapan Mehta, Director of Cognizance
ducation Pvt.Ltd, as well as a Cyber Crime Investigator, Cyber Security Expert & Computer Forensic Specialist

Tapan Mehta

HOW RELEVANT IS THE ISSUE OF CYBER SECURITY IN CONTEMPORARY TIMES?
Everything right from online banking, share trading, e-purchases, e-filings, e-governance, e-commerce necessitates that both the customers/clients/users and the providers of these services, either through their portal, websites or apps, should have a sound and fool proof cyber security practices and procedures in place. Everything is moving online and hence cyber criminals are also moving online because they know
that is where the money and data now flows. It’s easier to hit the button of the mouse with anonymity then to pull the trigger of a gun in public. Since in many cases, sensitive personal information or data is gathered, handled, stored, transmitted by these entities, checking data flow, data storage, managing payment gateways, and guarding data from unauthorized access is of paramount importance. To not only safeguard their interest and ensure best practices in their business, but also in turn safeguard the vital data of their customers/clients/users, thus in turn securing and addressing their privacy issues. Effective and robust cyber security requires Information Security Management System (ISMS) built on
three pillars, namely, People, Processes and Technology.

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON TYPES OF VULNERABILITIES THAT COMPUTER SYSTEMS ARE PRONE TO?
• Backdoors
• Denial-of-service attack
• Direct-access attacks
• Spoofing
• Tamper i ng
• Repudiation
• Information disclosure
• Privilege escalation
• Exploits
• Social engineering
• Trojan and malware attacks

ARE THERE COURSES FOR TRAINING IN CYBER SECURITY? WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS NECESSARY TO APPLY FOR THE SAME?
Yes there are courses available in the Cyber Security. Our institute also offers courses in the said field. The student should have know how of basic computer working with a knowledge of few basic programming languages. Engineering student pursuing MCA or BCA or a student having a diploma or equivalent academic qualification in the field of IT can apply for such courses.

COULD YOU GIVE US A BRIEF EXPLANATION ON THE CONCEPT OF ETHICAL HACKING?
With increasing use of the internet and concerns about its security, especially when it comes to things like consumer information or private details, there is considerable need for computer experts to work in the ethical hacking field. Organizations today recognize the strong need for information security; hence an ethical hacker or security expert is usually employed by companies to penetrate into networks and/or computer systems, using the same methods as a hacker, for the purpose of finding and fixing network and computer security vulnerabilities.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THE YOUTH OF TODAY WHO ASPIRE TO BUILD A CAREER IN CYBER SECURITY?
Ethical Intentions with passion to learn new things is the basic need. Cyber Security is a very vast industry, which has multiple domains in it. A candidate has to learn the basic and find his interest and then can expertise himself in any of the domains.


FOR A SECURE DIGITAL AGE

Siddarth Bharwani, Director of Jetking Infortrain Ltd., is a third generation entrepreneur and a techie at heart. He gives us the lowdown on cyber attacks and how cyber security is necessary for our generation today.

Siddarth Bharwani1

HOW RELEVANT IS THE ISSUE OF CYBER SECURITY IN CONTEMPORARY TIMES?
Even though we tend to only hear about the high profile attacks in the news, Cyber-attacks have become increasingly common and more sophisticated. A report recently found that India ranks among the top 10 ransom attacks in the world. Cyber-security is no longer a luxury for firms to have on board. It is a given. All the IT giants are setting up Data centers across India to scale up their capacity and with
initiatives like “Digital India” gathering strength, a lot of important information is going to be available
online. It is all the more vital to keep this information safe.

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON TYPES OF VULNERABILITIES THAT COMPUTER SYSTEMS ARE PRONE TO?
Hackers use all sorts of tricks to sneak in. They can hack, con employees over the phone or email, use impersonation to walk in, the list is endless. The most common attacks are Trojan viruses responsible for multiple threats such as data theft, money theft or even installing ransomware. Remote Access Tool (RAT), although it was introduced for remote administration,  they have become a favourite for malicious activity. Denial of Service (DoS) is the most common form of attack. Hackers usually use bots to overload a site’s servers and cause disruption in the service.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT AREAS OF STUDY ONE CAN SPECIALIZE IN UNDER CYBER SECURITY?
The major areas which one can specialize in include: Information Security/Risk Analysts, Ethical hackers or Penetration tester, and Computer forensics analysts or investigators.

ARE THERE COURSES FOR TRAINING IN CYBER SECURITY? WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS NECESSARY TO APPLY FOR THE SAME?
Yes, Coursera offers an online course. In general, there is no minimum certification required to be an ethical hacker. However, it is advisable to attain these since a certified qualification ensures that the
candidate has a sweeping knowledge of all the potential threats and is up to date with all the necessary trends he needs to know. Having a strong understanding of coding, networks, operating systems and hardware is fundamental because these are often manipulated by hackers to carry out an attack. There is a thin line distinguishing ethical hacking from illegal hacking. It is doubtful that basement hackers would ever be equipped or take the trouble to go through cyber laws governing the internet. Additionally, a qualification also adds weight to one’s resume and makes it easier to land a job.

 

Volume 5 Issue 3