Last year the world witnessed disruptions to everyday life, and the disruptions also impacted the crimes committed. NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) reports a drop in the rate of traditional crimes – robbery, theft, assault, and the decline comes with an increase in cyber-crime.
Increased Cyber Crime
Covid-19 forced the world onto the internet. Everything from grocery shopping to school education moved to virtual platforms. The rate of cybercrime per lakh of population increased from 3.3% in 2019 to 3.7% in 2020.
With 50,035 recorded instances of cybercrime in 2020, there is a jump of 11.8% compared to the preceding year. NCRB data revealed that 60% of cybercrimes reported in 2020 were for fraud, followed by 6.6% cases of sexual exploitation and extortion rate at 4.9%.
Uttar Pradesh reported the highest number of cybercrimes, followed closely by Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, and Assam. However, in terms of the rate of crime, Karnataka is the highest, followed by Telangana. Telangana also has the highest instances of “fake news on social media.”
Nearly Rs14 crore were siphoned off from the accounts of the victims. Only 10% of the defrauded money was returned.
Protect Yourself from Cyber Attacks
One of the significant security threats is Social Engineering. Cybercriminals try to trick individuals into attaining their private details such as passcodes, bank account details, OTP, access to a computer system, etc.
Never divulge your personal information
When people ask for your passwords, dates of birth, and OTP to anyone who claims to be from the bank or other institutions, banks do not ask for OTP, UPI ID, or login password, whether for updating KYC or for Offering Reward Points.
Use strong passwords
When creating digital accounts, it is essential to have complex passwords. Use special characters, numerical, small, and capital letters together. Use different passwords for different digital accounts. Two-step authentication is imperative, and enable it on every platform that allows it.
Beware of Phishing
Fake emails are sent by hackers posing as authentic organizations to ask for sensitive information. Before acting on emails, check and double-check to make sure of the authenticity of the email.
Check the email address for any give-aways. Grammatical and spelling mistakes are common in phishing emails lookout for them.
Do not download any attachments from the email before verifying the authenticity of the email. Websites do not ask you to reset passwords unless you have requested it. Do not click on links that direct you to password reset that you have not asked for.
Do not believe all the emails about discounts and offers
One of the most common ways of cybercrime is convincing people there are heavy discounts on shopping platforms. The emails often carry malicious software or links to fake websites with enticing deals, and the websites store cards and bank account details for future use.
Be smart when using public Wi-Fi connections
Public Wi-Fis are available for free for a broad userbase. These are usually unsecured. Never access online accounts while on public networks.
Never log into online banking and other financial statements while accessing the public internet. Do not charge mobile phones at USB charging points. They can introduce malware into the device.
Only give necessary permissions
When apps ask for permissions, only allow the required permissions. Do not allow anything that is not necessary for the app to function.