We live in a digital world where cyber security and cyber crimes are buzzwords. Everyone using the cyberspace should consider cyber security as a vital part of a well- ordered and well- preserved digital world. Let’s first look into what cyber security actually means.
1. Cyber Security : Cyber security also known as “Information Technology Security” or “Computer Security” means safeguarding information, equipment, devices, computer, computer resources, communication devices and information stored therein from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification or revelation; according to IT Act, 2000. Cyber security can also be defined as a set of principles and practices that keeps us safe from hackers, cyber criminals and other agents of fraud. It primarily focuses on people, processes and technologies which aid in reduction of vulnerability, online threats, deterrence, online frauds and attacks.
Cyber security is directly related to Cyber crimes. How ? More the number of Cyber crimes taking place lesser will be the cyber security. This can also be asserted as : “As the number of cyber security breaches increases, cyber security of the users keeps on decreasing.” Consequently when cyber attacks increases, apprehension of various organizations and companies grows, especially those dealing with the sensitive information. Now let’s have a deeper look at what cyber crime/cyber security breaches actually means : 2. Cyber crime : Cyber crimes are also referred as computer-oriented crimes as they involve computer and network over the cyberspace. Any criminal activity done using computer (or other similar devices like tablet, mobile phones etc.) and internet is entitled as a cyber crime. In other words, cyber crime is an unlawful act where the computer devices and internet is used either as a tool or target or both.
Need of cyber security : Today in the epoch of technology, all aspects of a life including professional, personal, finance & educational are gravitating towards digitalization. Because of this heavy dependency on computers (and other similar computing devices) and networks, we store and transmit profuse data on regular basis. A portion of this data can be private and sensitive which has to be kept in such a way that it’s privacy, confidentiality and integrity shouldn’t get altered. But many users fail to maintain this privacy while following the path of digitalization. A lot of users forget to take the notice of an important aspect of cyberspace known as cyber security, which makes them more vulnerable than ever to malicious attacks, invasions of privacy, fraud and other unpleasantries.
Cybersecurity is the protection of internet-connected systems, including hardware, software, and data, from attack, damage, or unauthorized access. It is becoming increasingly important as the reliance on technology continues to grow and more sensitive information is stored and transmitted online. Here are some of the key reasons why cyber security is critical:
- Protecting personal information: Cybersecurity is essential for protecting personal information, such as financial and health records, from theft or misuse. In the event of a breach, sensitive information can be used for identity theft or fraud, causing significant harm to individuals and businesses.
- Safeguarding national security: Cybersecurity is also crucial for national security, as many critical infrastructure systems, such as power grids and transportation systems, are connected to the internet. A successful cyber attack on these systems could have severe consequences, including loss of life, widespread power outages, and disruptions to essential services.
- Maintaining business continuity: Businesses of all sizes rely on technology to operate, and a successful cyber attack can result in significant financial losses and disruptions to operations. Cybersecurity measures help to minimize the risk of a breach and ensure that businesses can continue to operate in the event of an attack.
- Protecting intellectual property: In many industries, intellectual property is a valuable asset, and cyber attacks can result in the theft of trade secrets, confidential information, and research and development results. Cybersecurity measures help to protect this information and prevent the unauthorized use or sale of sensitive data.
- Preventing cybercrime: Cybercrime is a growing problem, and cyber criminals are constantly finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in technology systems. Cybersecurity measures help to prevent these attacks and protect against the spread of malware, phishing scams, and other types of cybercrime.
In conclusion, cyber security is essential for protecting sensitive information, ensuring business continuity, and preventing cybercrime. It is a critical issue that requires ongoing attention and investment, as technology continues to evolve and the threat landscape evolves. Organizations and individuals must take proactive measures to ensure the security of their systems and data, including regular software updates, secure passwords, and the use of antivirus software.
How Cyber Security looks like ? Large number of cyber security attacks like Denial of Services (DoS), Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Attack, phishing attacks, malware attacks, password attacks, SQL injection attacks, banking and digital payment frauds, social media crimes etc. are taking place in this era of digitalization. This escalating list of cyber security threats/attacks themselves affirm the significance of cyber security. But fortunately there some are practices which users can embrace to safeguard themselves in the online world. Following are the practices which should be kept in mind to reduce the likelihood of having a cyber crime at your hand.
- Two-Factor Authentication – Two-factor authentication (2FA) can save you from hackers and it is a best way to protect your online accounts. It adds an extra layer of security to the authentication process as it adds a second step in your usual log-in process. Hence, it becomes difficult for the attacker to gain access to a person’s device or online accounts because knowing the victim’s password alone is not enough to pass the authentication check.
- Safely use Bluetooth and GPS – Hackers can penetrate in your system by using GPS or Bluetooth of your device. They can be used by hackers to get access of your device and exploit it. If your GPS is on, hackers can track your exact location, so turn it off when not in use.
- Avoid Suspicious Emails and Texts – If you aren’t able to recognize the email address or the phone number of the sender, don’t open it, don’t reply. It may be an attempt to a phishing scam or identity theft attack. If you open any suspicious link in your device it can lead to a ransomware attack or data theft. So avoid opening such suspicious links.
- Use a good quality Antivirus Software – Antivirus safeguards your device against malware and cyber criminals. It searches for pre-identified threats and if any suspicious behavior if found, antivirus flags it.
- Don’t Lose Track of your Devices – Easiest way for the hackers to get into your device is to physically grab it and access/tamper your data. To avoid this always keep an eye on your devices and protect them using strong passwords. Also if you lost it, don’t forget to report immediately. If you’ve lost your device accidentally block it here as soon as possible : https://ceir.gov.in/Home/index.jsp
- Keep Yourself Updated – Keeps yourself updated about what is going on in the field of cyber security and what type of cyber crimes are taking place because there are new cyber crimes taking place every other day. The more you keep yourself updated about cyber crimes and more you know about the advancements in the field of cyber security, the better you can protect yourself in cyberspace.
Are you a victim of any Cyber Crime ? If you’ve ever faced any cyber crime you can immediately report it to https://cybercrime.gov.in/. Here you can report cyber crime against children and women both anonymously and with your identity. You can also report other crimes.
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