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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

‘Websites need to take steps to ensure safety of customers’

Mohamed Thaver, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, June 14, 2013
First Published: 09:44 IST(14/6/2013) | Last Updated: 09:50 IST(14/6/2013)
In the interest of Internet users, online auction websites need to get additional safeguards to keep mischief mongers at bay, claim cyber experts and investigators.

Cyber expert Vijay Mukhi said that the several persons use online auction portals and social networking sites for carrying out ‘e-harassment’. “Such people visit the sites, put up someone’s name and number and quote a really low price for a product. The victim is then flooded with constant calls from prospective buyers,” said Mukhi.

“There should be a system under which the mobile number that has been put up is verified by sending a text message. Once the number is registered, every time the number is displayed with an advertisement, a message asking if the advertiser wants the ad to be uploaded should be sent out. Only after a confirmation from the advertiser should the ad be put up.”

Cyber expert Vicky Shah said that the online portals should create profiles of their customers only after verifying the details. The feedback of people who have dealt with the customer in the past should also be displayed.

Shah said that an online portal that is not diligent in ensuring the safety of its customers could be booked under various sections of the Information Technology Act.

An officer from the cybercrime investigation wing of the Mumbai police said that they had received several such complaints in the past. “In such cases, the victim cannot do much. The websites should take proper precautions to avoid the misuse of the forum.”
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