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No such thing as anonymity: Experts

mumbai Updated: Apr 29, 2010 02:09 IST
Shailendra Mohan
Shailendra Mohan
Hindustan Times
Net Monastery Network Security Private Limited

A false sense of security about remaining anonymous and not being identified could be the reason why youngsters go on to commit cyber crimes, experts say.

They say that this perceived anonymity causes youngsters to think they will never get caught for offences that they commit.

“One can be a bad child in cyber space,” cyber expert, Vijay Mukhi, said adding that it is easier to commit crime in the cyber world because there are many people waiting to entice youngsters. Mukhi said falling into bad company is not difficult in cyber world. “The perceived anonymity makes youngsters think that they will never be identified but they don’t know is that not only will they be traced, but also what they are doing is actually an offence,” Mukhi said.

Co-chairman of IT security Committee of Indian Merchants Chambers, Nitin Khanapurkar, said the problem exists due to lack of awareness.

“It’s not just youngsters, but adults also who need to be made aware of the consequences in such cases,” Khanapurkar said. “Many times such things happen because children do not know that their act is an offence.”

Khanapurkar added that issues related Internet use should be discussed at forums like parent-teacher meetings. He said in many cases, there is no malicious intent and these are often acts of mischief.

Experts also feel the kind of pranks being played is changing with technology.

“Earlier it used to be prank phone calls which have now manifested into such mischief [on the Internet],” said Shomiron Dasgupta, founder of Net Monastery Network Security Private Limited. He added that cyber crime is committed across ages.

Dasgupta, however, said that there are bigger crimes being committed in cyber world and incidents like creating fake social networking profiles should not be termed a crime.

“There is a serious need of awareness,” he said.