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21 Oct 2019, Edition - 1560, Monday

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Coimbatore

Coimbatore keeps pace with global trend of rising cyber crime

Umaima Shafiq

Coimbatore is keeping pace with the global trend of rising cyber crimes. As acknowledgement, Alex, owner of a seven-year-old private detective agency in the city, claims he handles nearly 300 to 400 cases annually, outside his quota of ‘regular’ crime ones.

Alex discounts the claim that technology has aggravated cyber crime. “It has just changed its dimension, you see. Despite the Indian Penal Code ( IPC)’s 100-year existence, crimes continue. So we can only detect, punish the offenders and control the rise. We cannot eradicate them totally. The only difference is criminal incidents reach us faster now with social media like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram and others.

“I think cyber crimes are often a misuse or overuse of technology. I deal with my cases carefully. Often the complainant could be the perpetrator. The issues are usually couples fighting, blackmail, cyber stalking and other cyber harassment,” he told The Covai Post.

He asserts he never takes up complicated cases and often counsels his clients to compromise and resolve fights.

Prof A Soundarajjan, of the department of electrical and electronic engineering in PSG Tech, has been running a cyber detection and prevention programme, CAPS, with his students for four years.

They hold two to three workshops on campus every semester. “We train the students who then train juniors and society members to use online resources wisely. Most cyber crimes are identity thefts. People lose their privacy if they share personal details like email IDs, phone numbers and government IDs on the internet and social media. Also the current rage to constantly share photos, selfies and location status can make you target for cyber criminals,” cautions Soundarajjan.

Mobile numbers can be quickly hacked and downloading apps from unauthorised websites are another ‘big no no’, he warns.

“Avoid violent online gaming apps that could induce depression and suicide among impressionable users,” he says.

The CAPS group has also conducted workshops for policemen in Coimbatore and outstation up to Dharmapuri. Students have even designed some cyber tracking apps but have not patented it yet.

The Covai Post was unable to get inputs from cyber police in Coimbatore, but reports suggest that they work in tandem with detectives, hackers and cyber experts.

All business and personal data unless properly encrypted could become vulnerable to cyber criminals. This is particularly possible when cell phone user numbers are swelling at an astounding pace. Also constant improvement of phone functions like camera, photo sharing, RAM, increased storage in gigabytes and clarity has often made even the laptop and other desktop devices redundant.

Good internet services, coverage and wireless networks in Coimbatore ensure that cyber criminals can be constantly in touch with their targets. Caution, early detection and immediate reporting of cyber misuse are the best remedy for controlling them, say experts.

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