top of page
  • Sanskriti Sinha

ONLINE SAFETY: A MAJOR CONCERN OF THE ELECTRONIC ERA

“If security were all that mattered, computers would never be turned on, let alone hooked into a network with literally millions of potential intruders.”

― Dan Farmer


As the pandemic goes on, more and more of our daily procedures are conducted online. Ranging from entertainment to communication, and above all our education. The more comfortable we become with the internet and its regular requests for sharing our sensitive information, the more we let our guards down and jeopardize our safety. The internet and its technology have developed astronomically over the years, which has advantageously increased its accessibility. However, this has left its users more vulnerable as much of their information is available on the internet to be stolen remotely by nefarious cybercriminals. There is almost always the ostensibly microscopic risk of being traced by an unknown third party. To shield oneself from the dangers of the internet, one should always maintain online safety by being aware of the internet's risks and protecting oneself from them.


A study by the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) stated, "Human error was a major contributing cause in 95% of all breaches." In other words, 'human errors' such as the use of weak passwords, failing to download security updates, or disclosing private information to a scam email, has been the primary cause of cybersecurity breaches. Furthermore, The New Indian Express reported that India was the second-most targeted country in the Asia-Pacific region as far as cyber crimes are concerned. The same article also mentioned that one of the most prominent cyberattacks was ransomware - sending deceitful links through emails or messages that could lock the user out of their device.


One of the most common forms of cyber attack is "phishing". Phishing is a hacking method that heinous black-hat hackers use to gain knowledge of one's login information or financial credentials. To prevent such an unfortunate occurrence, The Times Of India advises that one should always be on the lookout for three characteristics of phishing. One indication is a seemingly safe link to login into one's account, watch some sort of video or do something else which could interest them. This treacherous link might seem legitimate but is lamentably a deceptive clone. It might have a few different letters or start with "HTTP" instead of "HTTPS"; meaning it is not secure as the 's' stands for secure. The clicking of this link could potentially result in the revelation of confidential information, allow the installation of malware -a software which is programmed to harm, disturb or gain unauthorized access to a computer system- or even be part of a ransomware attack. Another indicator is a supposed 'friend' who is, unfortunately, a hacking impersonator. If you feel that your supposed friend’s request is strange, call them and check before doing anything. Thirdly, a signal may be some sort of fabricated urgency. For example, the message might ask you to act quickly as an attempt to force you to disregard your safety and immediately click the link.


Besides the aforementioned, there are numerous ways in which one could get hacked which is why here are a few tips for specific situations one should follow to ensure their safety. Firstly, one should be especially cautious when downloading something from the internet. It is best to research whether the site you are downloading from is safe or not. Furthermore, one should scan the file for any viruses and avoid files that end with the extension "EXE", "SCR", "PDF", "VBS", "RTF", "DOC" or "XLS" as these are commonly used in malware-related spam. Another beneficial idea would be to cover one's device's camera. This will eradicate the chance of being spied on through one's web camera. In addition to that, one should be incredibly careful when engaging in any sort of social interaction on the internet. One should always avoid divulging any personal information to anyone as it may be perilous. One should also check whether the site they are using is secure by checking the security symbol near the URL bar in their browser.

It is fundamental to realize that regardless of how familiar one might be with the internet and its nooks and crannies, being cyber attacked is always a possibility. One must keep in mind, anonymity, and privacy is truly the key to online safety.




Bibliography:

  1. The New Indian Express.

  2. The Hacker News.

  3. Debashis Sarkar. The Times of India

  4. YouTube. "Hackers & Cyber Attacks: Crash Course Computer Science #32."

  5. YouTube. "Cybersecurity: Crash Course Computer Science #31."

  6. Us.norton.com.

  7. Real Simple. "4 Things You Must Do Every Time You Download Something From the."

68 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


Post: Blog2 Post
bottom of page