Cyber crimes are nowadays on the rise - with more and more people getting harassed or cheated online. With online communication becoming easier and the scope to meet people increasing, this is a very real scare that you are aware of. To help you or someone you know safe, and prevent cyber crime, The Telegraph Edugraph brings you some insider advice and insights from Mr Hrithik Lall, Chief Technical Officer of IEMLabs.
A crime should be stopped before it becomes a "Crime", so that we can follow some basic but important rules through which youngsters, who are the main victims of cyber crimes such as sextortion and others, can prevent themselves from falling into this trap.
Where cyber crime is concerned, predators target individuals through online games, dating apps, and social media profiles. They will chat in the gaming chat corner, or will ping you on social media profiles. But before you respond, always go through their accounts. Whether an account is fake or real can be identified easily by their daily activities. Recognise them and avoid or block the ones you think are not authentic.
If someone calls you with any proposal and wants your images just stop every mode of communication with them. Most youngsters are not mentally mature enough to handle a conversation on the Internet with a stranger and moreover they can indiscriminately share things online too.
Crimecrime like sextortion is when someone threatens to share embarrassing photos or videos of you unless you give them money. It often starts with a friendly offer but then it quickly changes. People can be targeted on social media and messaging platforms, and they may receive a message followed by a video call. The person on the other end will start undressing, and the call may be recorded. This recording can be used to threaten and extort money from the victim. Many women are trapped by traffickers and forced into prostitution or cybersex in this way.
This whole process should be stopped. A stranger who is demanding a phone call or video call or images online, should be identified and you should just stop every form of contact with them.
Some precautions to always keep in mind when interacting online:
- Inappropriate links and messages delivered via social media should not be clicked on or responded to.
- If you ever receive a video call from an unknown number, don't answer it. Instead, simply block the user.
- Try to avoid downloading applications which are .APK and .DMZ files. Only download apps from the Play Store or the App Store.
Some essential tips:
- You should choose strong and complex passwords for all your social media and email accounts
- Use two-factor authentication to make them even more secure.
- You should also cover the cameras on your devices with tape or stickers, and only connect with people you know on social media.
There are many other predators who begin the conversation slowly and softly, but if they ever want any image or videos from you, just avoid that. If you are being disturbed for not keeping their requests, just block them. Don't pay any ransom to anyone, save the details of those people, stop every type of communication possible and moreover - Keep Calm.
So, keep yourself aware enough, avoid phone calls and chatting with strangers online, and don’t fall into any unknown proposals. Just keep in mind that only you can prevent yourself from falling into these trap.
About the author: Mr Hrithik Lall, Chief Technical Officer of IEMLabs, is focussed at creating a niche in Cyber Security Research. Hrithik is an IT Engineer, who completed his schooling from Calcutta Public School and college from Institute of Engineering & Management, Kolkata.
Hrithik is a Cisco Certified Network Associate - CCNA, a Certified Ethical Hacker - CEH V10, a Certified Network Penetration Tester – CNPT and an EC Council Certified Security Analyst - ECSA V10 Certified Security Researcher. Besides, he is an EC Council Certified Instructor and BSI Certified ISO 27001 Lead Auditor.