Mahila Mitra launched in Vizag

Mahila Mitra launched in VizagDGP Gautam Sawang interacting with Minister for Home and Disaster Management M Sucharita at the launch of Mahila Mitra in Visakhapatnam on Thursday.

With the evolution of technology, women end up facing umpteen challenges in the form of cybercrimes, Minister for Home and Disaster Management M...

Visakhapatnam: With the evolution of technology, women end up facing umpteen challenges in the form of cybercrimes, Minister for Home and Disaster Management M Sucharita said on Thursday.

Launching the Mahila Mitra, the state-wide initiative of Andhra Pradesh police at Andhra University Convention Centre, Sucharita said, "Emerging technologies often make one wonder whether it is a boon or a bane. With the launch of Mahila Mitra and Cyber Mitra, solution is just a phone call away. Within a short span, Cyber Mitra, launched in Amaravati last month, drew wide attention," the Minister emphasised.

She added that the State government accords top priority to women's safety and the launch of Mahila Mitra and Cyber Mitra was a step towards that direction.

Speaking at the event, DGP Gautam Sawang said that absolute confidentiality of the victims will be maintained and the endeavour aims at providing safety to women and girls against perpetrators and bring down crime rate.

The objective of Mahila Mitra, an initiative termed as social reform movement, is to address issues pertaining to women through an army of volunteers from communities along with women police constables and bring in cultural and behavior change among people and create risk-free zones for girls.

Minister for Women Development and Child Welfare T Vanita said women take strides and make a mark in the path they have chosen to explore. However, she observes that challenges too are equally mounting for women in the fields they step into.

Paderu MLA K Bhagya Lakshmi said, "With working parents not able to spend much time with their children, the distance between them increasing and youngsters are getting nearer to mobile phones." Elaborating on modernism, she spoke on when to draw a line and called for change in culture and the way one dresses up.

Giving a digital presentation and citing examples, founder of eSF Labs Ltd Anisetti Anil explained the way cyber criminals were able to gain access to a wealth of personal information of victims through internet.

He gave a picture of how people get caught in a web of cyber bullying, stalking, defamation, identity theft, morphing, revenge porn and a whole bunch of online scams and offered tips to keep themselves guarded against perpetrators.

Speakers at the launch also suggested facilitating an SOS button at ATM centres so that those who do not have access to mobile phones can utilise the option. Committees against sexual harassment will be formed to address issues faced by professionals at workplaces.

Tips for women

Apart from giving limited access to viewers by changing privacy settings, experts advised women to be cautious while posting their images on social media. With many apps such as 'deep nude' coming in handy, they stated that hackers can misuse the photos posted on such platforms and exploit vulnerable victims. "For hackers, the data we store turns out to be their weapon for a cyberattack. With spy cams and AI home devices, privacy threat looms large," they cautioned.

The need to keep changing passwords, activating windows defender, blocking the web cam with a sticker when not in use, switching off the data when not required, giving fake screen names and keeping the photos only for friends' viewing were some of the tips shared at the programme. Those who feel reluctant to step into a police station may dial, 100, 112 or 181 or WhatsApp 9121211100 and lodge a complaint.

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