‘Cyber security must be preventive’

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Hargobinder Singh Dhaliwal, an IPS officer of the 1997 batch, is best known for solving the Sidhu Moosewala murder case in 2022. HGS Dhaliwal, as he is popularly known, is the head of the Special Cell of the Delhi Anti-Terrorism Squad. He also heads the cyber cell.

In an exclusive interview with Anjali Bhatia, Dhaliwal shared his views on how citizens can cooperate with the police to combat cyber fraud.

Q. Cyber ​​crimes are on the rise. How do you think citizens can fight the threat?

A: I think a person needs to take precautions to protect themselves from Internet fraud, and it’s not that difficult. Only if one is aware of their (fraudulent) modus operandi, one can secure himself by not sharing OTP, not giving sensitive information, etc. But if one falls for their design, there are several steps one can take to minimize or reverse the loss. Speed ​​and presence of mind are everything. First of all, notify the credit reporting agencies as soon as possible. See the article : Former FBI Cybersecurity Expert Joins Booz Allen. Then report the crime to the relevant authority and notify your bank of the fraudulent transaction so that they can take punitive action. Additionally, be careful when sharing your information with organizations that collect information about you, such as your healthcare provider, insurance company, banks and credit card companies, and change your account passwords every few weeks using long strings. You can report an incident to the Federal Trade Commission to get a customized incident recovery plan. For online financial crimes, you can report to 1930 for immediate blocking of unauthorized transactions/amounts. Alternatively, you can file your complaint online at www.cybercrime.gov.in

Q. What exactly should someone do if they are a victim of cybercrime?

A. Spam emails, fake “freebie” offers, clickbait, online quizzes, and more use these tactics to lure you into clicking on dangerous links or giving away your personal information. Always be wary of offers that sound too good to be true or ask for too much information. Never give your Aadhaar number. There are many opportunities to share your personal information online and on social media these days. Be careful what you share, especially when it comes to your identifying information. Tablets and mobile phones face new risks, such as dangerous apps and links sent via text messages. On the same subject : FBI thwarts cyberthreat against Boston Children’s Hospital by hackers sponsored by Iranian government. Be careful where you click and don’t respond to messages from strangers when shopping online, entering credit card or financial information, or visiting websites for online banking or other sensitive transactions. Check the site address. The address should always start with “https” instead of “http” and there should be a lock icon in the URL field. This indicates that the website is secure. Use a safe search tool like McAfee Web Advisor to avoid risky sites. Keep all your software up-to-date so you have the latest security patches.

Q. How effective is cyber security and how vulnerable is a person or organization to data theft and various other online scams?

A. Cybersecurity shouldn’t just be an after-action response. It should be preventive and must be upgraded from time to time. There is a need for technical intervention. On the same subject : Moving towards a proactive cybersecurity approach in Malaysia. Companies must also conduct tests to identify where system and network vulnerabilities exist. The better an organization knows about and protects the risks and vulnerabilities of its type of data, the better it can respond to data theft attempts.

Q. Do you work with private companies to minimize vulnerability and data theft incidents?

ANSWER: We are better together than apart. I think that’s been a trend in the cyber security community for the last five years. You’re seeing a lot of suppliers come together to share information and collaborate more now. Companies must be fully aware of the data they hold. They need to be aware and understand the types of personal data they collect about their customers, employees, suppliers, website users, etc., and they need to ensure that it is kept safe with multiple levels of security. Perhaps collaboration between the public and private sectors is the only way forward and is key to ensuring that companies remain secure and transparently share information.

Q. Many people have lost lakhs of rupees by falling into the trap of online fraudsters. How do you look at this? How effective has the Delhi Police been in nabbing these fraudsters?

A. Our success rate in catching such elusive criminals involved in cyber crime is quite high. As a cyber security officer, I monitor data breaches and the black market of stolen data. The destination of the stolen data depends on who is behind the data breach and why they stole the particular type of data. For example, when data thieves are motivated to humiliate an individual or organization, they release relevant data into the public domain. We identify the motive and then focus on the suspects.

Q: How do fraudsters/cyberthieves use stolen data?

A: Customers use stolen data in several ways. The credit card number and security code can be used to create a cloned card to conduct fraudulent transactions. Social security numbers, home addresses, full names, dates of birth, and other personal information can be used to impersonate a person. This is called identity theft. For example, a customer may apply for a loan or credit card in the victim’s name and file a false tax return.

A: The big question is how a person protects himself. Sometimes people lose their life savings in one minute.

A. With hacks, scams, cybercriminals, malware and more, the internet can feel like a dangerous place these days. And devices ranging from smartphones and tablets to internet-connected devices put us at even greater risk. But by taking a few security measures, we can significantly reduce our exposure to all these threats. Creating strong, unique passwords for all your important accounts is the best way to truly protect your personal and financial information. This is especially true in an era of widespread corporate hacking, where a single data breach can expose thousands of user passwords. If you reuse your password, a hacker could take the data that was leaked in the attack.

Your logins are secure, your connections are secure. When you’re at home or at work, you probably use a password-protected router that encrypts your data. But when you’re on the road, you end up using free public Wi-Fi. The problem with public Wi-Fi is that it’s often insecure. This means that it is easy for a hacker to access your device or information. Even if your network is secure, you should use a firewall. Using a firewall ensures that all devices connected to your network are protected, including Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as smart thermostats and webcams. Many of today’s online threats are based on phishing or social engineering.

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