The advent of internet has bought the world closer and made it possible for you to interact with your social circles right from your mobile device or PC. Moreover, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter etc. have made it easier than ever to keep the people who matter to you updated about the happening in your life. It is no wonder then, that almost everyone has a presence on these platforms. But while this is the positive side of the online social world, there is also another more negative side to all of this.
A recent survey by Cyber security firm Norton by Symantec conducted in 2017 shows that online harassment is increasing in India, with 80% of the surveyed users admitting to having encountered some form of it. Online harassment can manifest in many forms. We’ve listed some of the most common ways in which you can be harassed online and also some ways in which you can protect yourself against these risks:
If you’re on Social Media, chances are that you have personal information – like your photographs, details of your educational background, your relationships – floating around. This gives online fraudsters the opportunity to take this information and use it to commit frauds or unlawful acts. For example, fraudsters obtains private details like your Aadhaar card number or personal information like email ID and then uses it to carry out fraudulent or illegal activities, landing you in trouble. Sounds scary? It is.
Have you ever taken a look at the Message Requests you get in your ‘Other Folder’ on Facebook? If yes, and especially if you’re a woman, you would have definitely received disturbing messages from strangers. This is just a very basic level of cyber stalking, and has been known to escalate very easily. Not just strangers, but there are an increasing number of cases of cyber stalking by acquaintances, friends and family as well. Not only can this be very frustrating and annoying, but can also lead to a situation where it becomes menacing and terrifying. And it can easily happen to anyone.
Most of us consider our Social Profiles the place from where we can express our opinions. But what happens when someone takes something you posted, takes it out of context and misrepresents your point of view? It sounds harmless, but it can land you in serious legal trouble. For example, if you create a podcast/blogs and someone hacks into it, takes control of it and puts out content that is defamatory, infringes on any intellectual property or results in invasion of an individual’s rights of privacy then you can land in legal trouble.
So how do you protect yourself?
Some basic practices you can follow to prevent such situations are:
- Set strong passwords and don’t share them with anyone
- Check the privacy settings of your social profile and make sure that you’ve enabled the setting that prevents unconnected people from viewing your details or downloading your images
- Never share sensitive details like your phone number, address or email address on your social profile, and if you do, make sure that they are hidden from the public
- Don’t engage with strangers, no matter how familiar they seem
- Censor yourself while posting via your social profiles
- Accept requests only from known users
While these measures will keep you protected to some extent, anti-social elements that want to cause harm will always find a way to do so. In case you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation online, you should report the incident or the user who is causing trouble for you. You can also lodge a complaint with the Cyber Cell in case things get out of hand. Our cyber insurance for individuals
will ensure that the financial setbacks that you could incur due to such an event get minimized. Take a look at what does cyber insurance covers and make an informed decision.