Be that technical Smart, henceforth hackers become fool | Adamas University

Cyber Crime

Be that technical Smart, henceforth hackers become fool

Contributor : Abhishek Roy, Ph.D, Associate Prof,  Adamas University

Don’t trust anybody instantly!

There is always a high probability of us being a victim to hackers. Our valuable information is always getting exposed to the world of hackers and can be stolen at any point of time. Why aren’t we thinking much about it? Why are the people not concerned about their valuable information that might get stolen? How are these hackers getting access to our bank accounts, important information and other data? There are so many questions that may arise but Alas! No one is bothered about these petty things unless it happens to oneself or to the near and dear ones. If ever such a question had come to your mind, then have you ever tried to find a solution to such problems? To be honest, in the real world, no data is protected. Everything is vulnerable. Not a single solution is enough to protect a piece of information but on the contrary there is also no rocket science behind this, and by taking small safety measures we can easily protect our data, information, or money.

To avoid problems that may result in the loss of important data, we have to think in a different manner other than the traditional process of web browsing.  What do we do while working on the internet?  The general steps that every individual follows while surfing: (i) Firstly, we open a web browser and open a search engine to search for a topic we are looking for. (ii) In the search bar, the topic that is required is written and accordingly the search engine provides us with the top viewed/ rated results according to the typed text (keyword) (iii)We click on these listed links without giving a second thought and proceed further. The problem begins from here. To avoid such problems that might help us in getting exposed to hackers, few steps need to be kept in mind and followed. Firstly, choose a well-known browser, go to its settings and make some changes (i) tracking should be turned off (“do not track”), (ii) pop up needs to be blocked, (iii) clear the cache on a regular basis, (iv) deletion of the history should be done on a regular time interval, (v) properly set the JavaScript option, (vi) clear the saved passwords, (vii) disable the payment method option in auto fill  and many more. Now let’s move towards search engines. While searching any keyword or any information always try to search in at least two search engines and compare the results. If the results found are trustable then only click on the particular result or link. After clicking the search result, whatever link(URL) opens in the browser, check it  properly, and if possible search for the domain details in the website ‘who.is’ from where you will get more information about the domain, such as the age(Validity) of the domain, and other information about the domain. After going through ‘who.is’ you will get some idea about the website.

Never trust instantly. Suppose you are searching for some company’s customer care number, and you Google it, you will get some phone number displaying along with that company’s name you have been searching for. Don’t assume that the particular number you have got from the search result is of that particular company you have been looking for. It might be a ‘Honeypot’. A Honeypot is a wild used term that refers to a pot that has been created by hackers and looks realistic and similar to the original resource but as you enter into it, it grabs all your valuable data and information therefore leaving you in huge trouble. Now, the question arises, how do we get to know about this honey-pot and how can we avoid falling into the trap? One can avoid it by searching for the original website of that company and can get the phone number from their “Contact Us “ page or similar kind of page of that website. Or else one can search for the number in any search engine and check the results to verify; also you can check the number in “True caller” or similar kind of apps for more information gathering about the number to verify the number before making a call. These small steps can make a huge difference and protect you from falling into any kind of trap.

Nowadays internet usage has taken its way of transformation of browsing from web browser to mobile apps. We have to be very conscious while installing any application. Whenever any app is installed, it should be from ‘Play Store’ in case of Android user and “App Store” for the iOS user and accordingly others from their respective sources. Just selecting the proper source is not enough, you have to check what permission the apps are asking from you, as for example suppose you want to use a photo edit application, but while installing the particular application, it asks for “your phone contact list”  – Have you ever thought of it? Is it really necessary to give access of the contact list? Also, you need to check the publisher of the application, and go through the review sections, give your valuable time while installing an application. The time you had spent while installing to check, it won’t disappoint you. And one valuable warning “never ever install an app from any unknown sources” or from any application, links received via mail, messenger, WhatsApp or any other sources.

In terms of the monetary transaction very consciously use the ATM Card/ Debit Card/ Credit Card/ Net Banking or mobile wallet. For cards if possible cover the “CSV” number with a piece of paper using glue, if needed remove the paper and after use again paste it. For “RFID” enabled cards, if possible always cover it with “RFID” Blocker. Just remember one thing very carefully: hackers can withdraw money from your card without having PIN or OTP. So keep the cards information safe and secure with you. Swindlers or scammers can be found everywhere in the net. One needs to be very careful in every transaction while using the internet. Never ever donate arbitrarily to anyone. Before making any transaction, check all the proper documentation and valid payment gateway. Always remember one thing that the scammers are always trying to find a loophole and if they get a chance, they will try to do forgery upon the individual.

Images and videos are randomly received through WhatsApp, Messenger, Phishing emails, or similar kinds of applications. These videos or images may contain malware therefore shouldn’t be opened if received from any unknown sources.

Another commonly known incident that is going on nowadays is through phone calls. Stranger calls are often received that tells that by mistake he had transferred money into your account, and hence refund the same or similar kind of stories is shared. Most of these kind of scenarios are created by scammers, but if you want to crosscheck, please check it via net-banking, phone-banking or directly go to the bank and check the balance, don’t open any app or do not scan any QR Code to check the transactions. Crosscheck through any one of the methods after disconnecting his call.

Though most of us are familiar with these scams still we are not able to prevent it. It is still occurring with our neighbors and our relatives, because we are not getting involved in spreading awareness. If we want to stop these scammers, we have to increase the awareness towards our society.

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