Are you really safe in Cyber Space?
In order to answer this question, we need to probe into a few important facts and dwell on its repercussions over the public in general.
According to Business Standard, Indian Government is the second highest seeker of Internet User’s Private Info from Google.Legal experts say, the increase in requests by the Indian government can be attributed to the inability of the existing cyber laws to handle such situation.
The popularity of social media sites have continued to grow rapidly among Indians in the past few years. Everyone wants to increase their friend-lists on Facebook; have more followers on Instagram; make professional contacts on LinkedIn; share their views and thoughts on Twitter. We have become dependent on social media for news updates and Entertainment, for example- YouTube. The response towards Social Media and Internet for the purpose of engagement with not necessarily only personal contacts, but also with making friends across the borders has been phenomenal. It is as convenient as clicking a virtual button of “Login”.
As good as it is to be in the know-how of technological developments and innovations which make life seem more fun and colourful, it is also important not to be ignorant of the other side of the coin. As the demand and popularity of these social media sites increases, so do the security risks which are associated with them. The main concern regarding these popular sites is that they are the first target of a hacker.
The nature of information on the internet:
The internet allows data to be produced, collected, combined, shared, stored, and analyzed and is constantly changing and re-defining personal data. For example, seemingly harmless data such IP address, key words used in searches, websites visited, can be accessed and its combination can be analyzed to identify individuals and learn personal information about an individual. Cyber crimes like Internet Fraud, Identity Theft, etc can have a huge impact on people’s lives as it is their personal information that is being misused.
Are we protected from these Cyber Crimes? What are the cyber laws passed in India?
Currently, India's most comprehensive legal provisions that speak to privacy on the internet can be found in the Information Technology Act (ITA) 2000. The ITA contains a number of provisions that can, in some cases, safeguard online privacy, or in other cases, dilute online privacy. Provisions that clearly protect user privacy include: penalizing child pornography, penalizing, hacking and fraud and defining data protection standards for body corporate. The ITA is helpful in the Commerce business, filling online forms but it is silent on taxation and payment of Stamp Duty on Electronic Documents. There are other laws such as The Personal Data (Protection) Bill which hasn’t been passed yet. The current Indian Cyber laws are proving itself to be redundant at tackling issues regarding protection of Personal information and extraction of the same from social media websites.
What steps should we take to ensure that we stay Cyber Safe?
· Use Strong Passwords.
· Use secure “” connection while accessing social media websites.
· Keep our Antivirus software up to date and scan regularly.
- Update the security and privacy settings offered by social networking services to ensure the strongest settings possible. View security info on the following sites:
· Avoid suspicious links and emails.
· Share only with people we know and trust.