Beware! E-mafia is at work on social media

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Beware of being active on cyber space as stalkers are on the prowl. Social networking may be the best way to catch up with lost contacts or conveying your thoughts to the world in a jiffy, but unless you are careful about the privacy settings in these sites, there are very high chances of falling an easy prey to cyber stalkers.

Cyber security experts in the country aver that they handle close to 100 such cases a month. “And only a minuscule proportion of victims actually seek help from us,” they aver.

Cyber stalking and stalking through telecommunication technology is harassment, which is on the rise owing to its ease and the anonymity it offers to criminals such as pedophiles and pranksters.
A recent British study found four types of cyber stalking such as harassing, threatening, intimidating and impersonating profiles.

With Indians spending about 30 hours a week surfing the net, and a significant proportion of that time on social networking sites, they are becoming an easy prey for cyber criminals, feel experts.

“Real life threat is replicated on virtual space and sites such as Facebook which have features such as recursive search make it easy for criminals to track anyone at their will,” says cyber security expert Mr J. Prasanna

Cybercriminals are like pickpocketers who hang around places where there is huge crowd, says Mr Jagannath Patnaik, Director of Kasperksy Lab, a cyber security firm.

“Even when you delete what you have posted, there are always remnants of your activity in the digital space which most people are not aware of,” he warns.

Cases such as a spurned lover defaming his lady love by posting abusive mails and indecent morphed pictures or a pedophile befriending a 10-year-old to do some indecent activity and later threatening the parents for a ransom are dime a dozen.

There is a big e-mafia looking out for easy victims on the internet space and Indians are now becoming the targets, says Mr Prasanna.

“It is important for people to be completely aware of their privacy settings and be conscious about what they are posting in the public space as there is always someone who may have a remote dislike for you,” he warns.

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