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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014
'Unless we get a cyber court, taking criminals to task is a distant dream'
Puja Changoiwala, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, April 08, 2013
First Published: 02:56 IST(8/4/2013)
Last Updated: 02:59 IST(8/4/2013)

Mukhi has written more than 80 books on technology and cyber safety.

The number of cybercrimes reported has witnessed a gradual and substantial increase over the past few years.
From one perspective, the spurt in cybercrimes each year is related to social media, where criminals usually commit the offence to direct their vengeance. 

Secondly, credit card and online banking frauds have been on the increase as cybercriminals have discovered that a lot of money that can be made through unscrupulous means via the Internet. 

Thirdly, because cybercrimes are consistently in the news, people feel more emboldened to report them. However, even today, only 10% of the them are reported as businesses, financial institutions and even individuals do not want adverse publicity that accompanies reporting a cybercrime.

Do you think the Mumbai police have a well-equipped investigation apparatus to probe such crimes?
Every year, there is a worldwide hacking event called 'Black Hat.' Of the attendees, 40% are police officers and officials from law and enforcement agencies. However, from India, we have no representation. So, we have yet to learn to educate our police.

Besides, as per our government's norm, no official can remain in a particular post for more than three years. This creates a problem because after training officials, all the knowledge is lost when they are transferred. There should be permanent postings for the cyber wing and other specialised branches. Another problem is that our judicial system is slow and unless we have a cyber court, bringing criminals to justice will be a distant dream.

What can people do to ensure they do not become victims of cybercrime?
People can avoid falling prey to most cybercrimes by simply being cautious. Most credit card and online banking frauds happen because people give away their usernames and passwords by replying to fraudulent emails.

People believe they will get easy money and hence click on such fraudulent links. When it comes to social media, the crimes will keep persisting because today's generation has found it to be an outlet to express their emotions.


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