We all live in a world that has expanded manifold. This space has ironically bought us closer than ever. Cyberspace created a world of our choice. We pick our friends and indulge in activities of our choice. It allows creating a niche of ourselves or, at least this is what we think.
We often read about how people fall prey to cybercrimes. After every news report, we discuss and get back to work without realizing that anyone can get trapped.
The crimes and criminals sometimes look so inviting that we reach out to them!
The latest in this series is one even I received today.
A simple message of “Amazon giving free gifts on Women’s day” saw so many women passing those messages to friends and family. The link takes to a dubious site named https://phonevip.xyz/. It claims that you can get a smartphone by completing the given survey or other tasks.
A few days ago came to know about another link passed among young children. The link asked to give names of the user and his/her “crush”. It was a cute little game of FLAMES played by all of us during our adolescent years.
We might find it harmless and fun but it was actually collecting data of young adults who are into their teens and are still struggling to understand and handle emotions and feelings. Now imagine a situation where a person with a criminal mindset gets a phone number, the name of a child along the “crush”, he or she has.
Looking at the age and our social culture where “crush”, “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” get a reaction of “haww” and lack of open communication is prevalent in families this simple data can be used to make the teen fall to blackmailing.
As adults, we are creating the big world of cyber for our coming generations and thus it is our duty to, make children aware of the potential threats and how to avoid them.
Points to remember
The internet is full of websites that are either fake, fraudulent, or a scam.
Always check the URL of the site where you land by clicking any link. The address bar contains a lot of vital information about where you are and how secure you are there.
The Favicon – Websites can put whatever icon they want in the tab.
Domain Name – This is part of the URL and it’s trustworthy, as long as you know what you’re looking for (more on that in a second).
The subdomain can contain a name that might not look reliable and contain a dubious name.
HTTP sites are mostly non-secured.
Look for HTTPS although it does not guarantee security!
Look for padlock, which sometimes appears green or black or white according to the browser. Click on the lock and get the “subject” details. The Subject is the website or organization that the certificate is representing. Depending on the type of certificate (DV, OV, or EV) you will see different amounts of information on the subject.
Look for bad English! Yes it might sound funny but good websites have graphics that look sharp, the spelling and grammar are on point and the entire experience feels streamlined and polished.
Look at the Contact Us section. Whether or not a website is fake or not can be found on its “Contact Us” section. How much information is there? Is an address supplied? What about a phone number? Does that line actually connect to the company? All these will make your doubts clear.
Are there more ads than content? Websites with many external links rather than their own content need to be checked thoroughly.
Look for trust seals. Trust seals are commonly placed on homepages, login pages, and checkout pages. They’re immediately recognizable and they remind visitors that they are secure on this page.
There are many more points which one should keep in mind before venturing into the cyberworld for safe learning, business, and work. Awareness is the only way to ward off the challenges posed in this world!
If you are a parent, teacher, counsellor or a responsible netizens you need guidance for the same. Keep yourself updated. You can also enrol for workshop conducted by ISAC , India’s leading non-profit advancing professional ethics, national cyber security and awareness.
For now, these are few handy tips that will make you more updated and safe from avoidable cybercrimes.
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KalaManthan is an art platform which is dedicated to literary enthusiasts and has been working both online and offline to give them a place to share their views in form of poetry, stories and now blogs as well. The views are sole of the writer and not necessarily represent the platform’s views and opinions at all times.
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