30 April 2017 | Last updated 10:54 PM

Delivering Change Foundation
Delivering Maharashtra
Maharashtra Speaks
Saam TV
Yin For Change

More Pune
Mumbai News
Rest of Maha
Play safe
Juili Eklahare | Monday, 9 January 2017 AT 07:53 PM IST
Send by email    Printer-friendly version

With the increasing incidence of cyber crime, Harold D’costa, CEO, Intelligent Quotient Security Systems, tells you how not to fall prey to online frauds and thefts,  especially when the country is moving towards a cashless economy.

With India aiming for a cashless economy, there has been a significant surge in online banking and shopping transactions.  Which makes cyber security the need of the hour to curb offences like debit and credit fraud, hacking and identity theft, especially when reports suggest that India is amongst the world’s top 15 cyber crime hotspots. Talking about the Pune scenario, Dr Harold D’costa, chief executive officer of Intelligent Quotient Security Systems and senior consultant and trainer for Law Enforcement Agencies, says that 393 cyber crime offences were registered in the city last year, which is 90 per cent higher than 2015.

“Cyber crime is conducted by individuals working alone or in organised groups intent on extracting money, data or causing disruption. And these can happen in different forms like acquisition of debit/ credit card data and intellectual property or impairing the operations of a website or service,” D’costa said at a session on cyber security conducted in the city on January 7.

He tells us that most Indians don’t use the licensed version of a software. So that compromises the software and leads to malware which affects the network and system.

“Some of these malwares are viruses, which help gain access to steal files from a targeted computer system. Also, while doing online transactions, use the domain.in instead of .com, which will be Indian, because it is very important to know where the server is placed and which is the jurisdiction. So in case there is a court dispute over a cyber crime committed in India, it can be fought in India and one does not have to travel far,” D’costa informed.


Don’t you often get those pop-ups when you’re checking your mail, saying that you have won one million pounds or something? That is called a spyware, which if clicked on, enters your system and a person sitting 10 miles away knows what you’re doing on your computer.

D’costa even shared with us a case. “A woman fighting a divorce case came to me saying that every time she presented evidence against her husband in court, her husband would present counter evidence and seemed to know what she was doing on her laptop. Upon asking where she got the laptop from, I learnt she got it from her husband. After a small forensic reality check, we found out that it had been infected with spyware by her husband.”

D’costa went on to warn us that never take a laptop or mobile from a relative or friend, and always do a reality check on it. Also don’t buy it online, but from a shop where it comes sealed in a pack.
Cyber crime on social networking sites is also on the rise, where youngsters are mostly victims. D’costa warned us against the danger of putting up original profile pictures and how if one who knows your number can generate a chat from it to their number.

So changing your password every few months, making sure your computer is protected with anti-virus and all necessary security patches and updates, and not sharing login information with anyone becomes mandatory.

Cloning of cards has also become a major cyber crime. “Your ATM card must have a chip on it. If not, then it is not secured and can get cloned. The 32 lakh cards that were hacked last year were without chips. When you use the card, the details are stored in the system, which go to a third party which uses the information. Also, when withdrawing money from ATM, do not come out for 10 seconds, no matter how long the queue is. Because even after you have removed your card, it is still active for the first few seconds and the next person can access your information,” he said.

Demonetisation has led to the use of e-wallets, which may involve risks. “Make sure the system you’re using has an anti-virus. Also, use e-wallets which do not store card and CVV number, because that increases the chances of accessing your pin number,”  he said.

The author can be followed on Twitter @juilieklahare


Add Your Comment
Your Name
30 April 2017
Content limited to 1000 characters,1000 characters remaining.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.