A new villain is just around the block these days- CYBER CRIME! Seemingly innocuous, but very much present in today’s times, cyber crime is a harsh reality we all have to face head on. The statistics on the increase in cyber crime in India are alarming. According to the January 2015 report of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, the number of cyber crimes in India would have touched a figure of 3,00,000 last year. Hacking, data theft, cyber bullying and even cyber extortion have been on a constant rise.
In this regard, for the second consecutive year, the Mumbai Police recently organized a cyber safety week, in December 2015. The week-long events included workshops and seminars across the city, which were conducted at housing societies, schools, colleges, as well as various organizations. Topics such as data theft and security, intellectual property rights, digital piracy, cyber terrorism, banking and financial fraud, and social networking threats were discussed. Additionally, they had prepared a 10-minute video clip, which will soon be circulated on WhatsApp, to increase public awareness.
Along with this, Mumbai Police has also recently joined Twitter, and is coming out with a series of interesting tweets. They already have 18.2K followers on Twitter.
We at CSR, welcome this move as it adds on to our own efforts at dealing with issues of cyber crime. One of our key projects, #SocialSurfing, initiated with the support of Facebook, aims to reach out to 35 colleges across India to develop a culture of safe and sensitive online environment. The programme intends to channelize the energy of the youth towards driving in social change through social media. Counter speech is one of the main elements of these workshops and the idea of #SocialSurfing is that the best response to bad speech is better speech. Under this programme each college is encouraged to run a campaign on any issue that they want to highlight and it is supported by the media team at CSR.
A recent tweet by Mumbai Police says “An online stranger can be a potential real life danger”. We couldn’t have said it better. With an increase in technology and blurring of geographical boundaries, the world is closer than ever before. However, with all the advantages, also comes the evil of cyber crime, which must be dealt with in order to avoid serious damage to society.
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