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Visakhapatnam: Cops take digital route to help masses fight cyber thugs

Cops conducting an awareness drive as a part of the e-Rakshabandhan programme
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Cops conducting an awareness drive as a part of the e-Rakshabandhan programme  

Highlights

  • In an effort to curb cybercrimes especially in times of the coronavirus pandemic, the Andhra Pradesh police along with Crime Investigation Department (CID) and Cyber Crime Prevention against Women and Children are conducting a month-long online awareness drive as a part of the ‘e-Rakshabandhan’
  • A live programme will be held on YouTube at 11 am on Aug 31
  • The idea is to make people be wary of possible cybercrime threats and encourage them to stay alert while making online transactions, says Visakha Rural SP B Krishna Rao
  • To create awareness among children, students, women and professionals

Visakhapatnam: At a time when people are shifting towards contactless payment to avoid cash transactions, there is a higher possibility of falling prey to cybercrimes.

More often than not, messages such as 'you won a lottery. Please share your bank account details to transfer the amount'; 'you are a lucky winner of the contest we conducted. Click on the following link to grab the prize money' pop up on our mobile phones.

The police say that many get carried away viewing such messages and tend to share bank account details and in some cases, even the PIN number of the debit or credit card only to see their bank accounts being emptied of funds later.

In an effort to curb cybercrimes, especially in times of the coronavirus pandemic, the Andhra Pradesh police along with Crime Investigation Department (CID) and Cyber Crime Prevention against Women and Children host a month-long online awareness drive as a part of the 'e-Rakshabandhan' that goes live streaming on YouTube at 11 am till August 31.

The endeavour aims at reaching out to the general public through a series of webinars, debates, workshops and contests. "The idea is to make people be wary of possible cybercrime threats and encourage them to stay alert while making online transactions.

With the existing modus operandi followed by cyber offenders, investigating a cybercrime is generally complicated. Most of the offenders operate from different States which make it all the more difficult to crack the case," explains B Krishna Rao, Superintendent of Police, Visakha rural district.

Elaborating further, the SP says that prevention is the key. "Investigating a cybercrime is often a time-consuming and laborious exercise. Through our digital classes, we wanted to reach out to people and educate them on how to protect their data and prevent from falling into the trap of the fraudsters," the SP says.

Packing several topics such as responding to cyber bullying and issues surrounding online safety, effects of online games, unsafe downloads, online frauds, phishing emails, identity thefts, frauds on matrimonial sites and use of social media, the month-long awareness programme caters to children, students, women and professionals.

"The session gives an understanding of how to safeguard our data. No matter what, it is not safe to share our bank account details, CVV number and debit and credit card details with any person over phone or mail. Even on social media, people should be cautious and refrain from posting any sensitive photographs which might lead to identity theft," adds Krishna Rao.

Not saving the bank account details on e-commerce sites, making online payment from an account that has a minimum deposit amount and approaching the bank immediately as soon as one detects any unusual transaction are some of the steps the police recommend to curb cybercrime.

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