NAVIGATING A WORLD OF CRIME AND TECHNOLOGY

In the present day of computers, electronically-enabled hand-held devices have entered the lives of a large number of people across the world, and certainly in India. Even walking on the roads now requires more care because people are not looking at where they are headed but at their mobiles, iPad and more. This is almost an epidemic.

Such a widespread use of devices requires certain functional literacy. One needs to know of firewalls, proxy servers and intrusion detection systems. One may find oneself confronted with references like ‘white hat’, ‘black hat’ and ‘grey hat’. If one does not know about ‘phreaking’ or ‘authentication’ or ‘auditing’, one may get into trouble. One needs to understand the difference been ‘cracking’ and ‘hacking’. Indeed, it may be risky not to knowABOUT VIRUSES, spyware, adware and worms.

The list is almost endless. Of course, language-teaching in school and colleges does not cover all this. The older generations have difficulties realising that ‘cookies’ do not necessarily come in jars and a ‘mouse’ is not necessarily something which digs into the wall.

This has created a parallel new profession of crime. Identity-theft is common and it is attempted in various garbs. Many users of Hotmail know how often they are invited to update theirACCOUNT or are threatened with losing their account if they do not give their passwords.

Stalking, stealing information, child pornography has entered many homes if not lives. Indeed it’s not possible to avoid electronic devices as there is a concerted push  one almost said assumed virtuosity seen in digitisation. We live in an era where even to file anINCOME TAX RETURN, it’s obligatory to go online. Being online is not just a facility anymore, but a mandatory requirement.

Organisation after organisation has switched over their operations to computers. You may risk forgetting your toothbrush but not your laptop. The distasteful aspect of cybercrime has seen over tones. Morphing is one of them. One can almost be open to seeing one’s image in the nude on the screen even though one may not have stripped before a camera.

The threats are large, real and ever present. Cyber crime has the potential of riddling lives, asINDICATED above, through computers, laptops, cellphones, PDAs, game consoles. The spread of these devices so far, is beyond the preparedness of the user to face the threats in general, let alone combating them effectively.

In such an environment an important component of organisational functioning is cyber security and a policy and an infrastructure to handle it. Further, cybercrime threatens only individual lives but organisational confidentiality and business propositions.

Propagation of obscene content not to forget threats and harassment is bad enough. When topped up with spams,PHISHING and commercial invasion in the domain of the prevailing organizational information then one has to come to grips with the realities of computer as a tool.

Frauds andFINANCIAL crime not to overlook cyber terrorism, cyber extortion, cyber warfare, illegal trafficking-of all varieties-mix with concern of cyber security to create almost a universal need for routine and special protection.

The important thing is to remember that like all security issues security in this domain will remain basically remain a personal responsibility. With other external elements like help desk, sources of education, encryption, and organisational policy remains an enabling condition. This makes advocacy of cyber security concerns a prime organisational and social concern.

It is in the nature of the proposition that the security threats multiply almost every day and even the terminology of the cyber security keeps changing. Like in all security matters prevention is better than cure.

Password has to be protected’, where possible, personalFIREWALLS need to be created’ no additional information needs to be shared. Backup of important data needs to be created. Truly speaking, a mix of databases is what the current situation basically requires.

 

We have added one more element to many ironies of life. The cyber space is here as a reality, with every one realising that it is as open to freaks and foibles as to any other endeavour.

Source: http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/oped/navigating-a-world-of-crime-and-technology.html

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