Damage caused by Malware, Safety Measures, Cyber Crime And Cyber Law – Cyber Safety #8

Hello guys, in this final part of Cyber Safety Serie we are going to know about damages caused by malware, it’s safety measures, cybercrime, how to report cybercrime and cyber law, so let’s begin.

DAMAGE CAUSED BY MALWARE

The magnitude of the harm relies upon the objectives of the infection and sometimes the aftereffects of its action are impalpable for the clients of a compromised machine.

  • Results in frequent freezing or crashing of the system: Malware can adversely affect the system. It may slow down the working of the computer system or may delete data stored in files and folders.

For example, in 1988 in the USA, the Morris Worm attacked over 6000 machines,which led to complete paralysis of about 10% of all the computers on the network.

  • Hardware failure: A virus can sometimes cause harm to the system hardware as well. For example, in 1999 the CIH virus, also known as Chernobyl, deleted the data in the Flash BIOS, making it impossible to even boot the computer.
  • Loss of data: A malware can delete different users’ documents and can damage different files crucial for the working of an operating system.
  • Slowing down the network speed: A malware can slow down a computer network by flooding the network with data it cannot support.
  • Alters the configuration of the system: In Windows operating system, the registry keeps track of a system’s hardware and software. Altering the registry information can adversely affect the working of the system and its performance. A malware program is capable of altering the Windows registry.
  • Monitor user surfing habits: A malware secretly monitors the user’s computing. These programs can collect various types of personal information, such as tracking the internet surfing habits and visited web pages of the user.
  • Steals sensitive information by altering security settings: If the operating system is not updated regularly, malware can take advantage of this and can alter security settings of the user’s operating system. This allows unauthorized access to system resources.

SAFETY MEASURES

Malware attacks not only lead to data confidentiality loss but also affect the way in which our computer System functions Modified files and processes, frequent functionality disruptions, modified speed, etc are some of the other harmful effects of malware attacks. Thus, It becomes essential that we ensure our safety in the cyber-world.

  • Security Programs: Installing reliable anti-virus software is a must. The anti-virus should be regularly updated. It should also be programmed to regularly scan and quarantine the system.

Installation of firewalls and restricting access to unwanted sites through appropriate settings in the browsers should also, be done as a mandatory act.

  • Secure Internet access: Be vigilant when accessing or uploading information on the Internet. Only secure sites should be used for financial transactions and no personal information should be shared or saved (even accidentally) on any website Installation and download from unauthorized sources should be avoided.
  • Regular security updates: Keep your applications and operating system updated at all times. Special attention should be paid to security updates and security bulletins for each software or application being used.
  • Avoid Spams: Emails from unwanted and unwarranted sources should be deleted without reading or downloading any attachments in such malls that should never be downloaded or installed onto the system.
  • Backups: Taking backups regularly is a good practice. This not only protects us against data loss but also helps to restore the integrity of the data. Make sure that the data is encrypted by using encryption software to protect from unauthorized access.
  • Scanning All Portable devices: Scan all portable storage devices before use as these are the most common sources of infection in computers.
  • Disable cookies, if possible: For the safety of our personal information, we must disable cookies on our browser.
  • Netiquettes: Cyber world is an ever-Increasing mesh, where thousands of users and machines are added to the network each day In such a world, it becomes imperative that it’s users follow certain guidelines ensuring a seamless flow of information.

Indulging or promoting cyber-crimes including cyberbullying, cyberstalking, flaming, etc. should be avoided.

The cyber-world is a fairly safe place, but it can become extremely dangerous when we tend to connect with the unknown.

CYBERCRIME

Cybercrime refers to any online illegal activity facilitated by the use of electronic communication devices like mobile phones, computers or through networks like the Internet. Some cybercrimes tend to harm the system resources (by installing virus) while others are used to extract confidential information from the user.

The most common types of cybercrimes are:

  • Cyberstalking: It is a crime in which the attacker harasses a victim by using electronic communication, such an email, instant messaging or messages posted to a website or a discussion group for reason net revenge, or control. A stalker mary is an online stranger or a person whom the target knows.
  • Cyberbullying: It is an act of harming or harassing using information technology in a deliberate manner. This includes insulting remarks and threatening messages sent by email spreading rumors about the person either by email or social networking sites, posting embarrassing photos and videos to hurt the person, derogatory remarks against Gender, race, religion, or nationality.
  • Cyber Espionage: It is the practice of using information technology to obtain secret information without permission from its owners or holders. Cyber Espionage is most often used to gain strategic, economic political or military advantage, and is conducted using cracking techniques and malware.
  • Cyberwarfare: lt involves using of information technology by nation-states to penetrate another nation’s networks to cause damage or disruption. Through cyber warfare, countries can completely freeze the vital resources like public transport, banking system, internet, and communication technology of another country. This can bring the economy of the targeted country at complete standstill Cyberwarfare has emerged as a prominent threat to the sovereignty of countries.
  • Cyberterrorism: Cyberterrorism is the act of conducting terrorism through the use of computers and the internet in order to cause fear and panic Cyber Terrorism involves large scale disruption of computers, telecommunication networks, or information system so as to compel the government or its people to fulfill some social, religious, or political objectives. Some cyberterrorists spread computer viruses while others threaten people electronically It may result in violence against person or property. Attacks on a military installation, power plants, air traffic control, banks, etc are some examples of cyber terrorism.
  • Cyber Extortion: It is a crime that involves an attack coupled with a demand for money to stop further attacks. Cyber Extortion may involve a Dos (Denial of Service) attack or installation of Ransomware to access and block the system resources of the victim
  • Sexting: It means sending or forwarding exposed, sexual material to others without taking other’s consent.

This type of material can be used to defame others or to cause harassment. The Internet is being used highly by abusers to reach and abuse children sexually, worldwide. Its overuse has made children victims of cybercrime.

REPORTING A CYBERCRIME

In case of any cybercrime, you should immediately report the matter to either parents or school authorities. Parents can visit the nearby police station and can lodge a complaint.
The Information Technology Act has global jurisdiction. It means that you can lodge a complaint against the crime from any state or city
To know more about cyberlaw or to register a complaint, you can visit the following link

http://www.cybercrimehelpline.com/

CYBER LAW

Cyberlaw or Internet law is a term that encapsulates the legal issues related to the use of the Internet. With the increase in the number of crimes related to the Internet (frauds, tax evasion and phishing etc.) urgent need was felt to introduce an act of law against such crimes. With this view in mind, the
Indian Government introduced the Information Technology Act 2000 also known as ITA-2000 or IT Act on October 17, 2000.
The Act was used for electronic governance and for controlling cybercrimes. The prime purpose of this act was to provide legal recognition to transactions carried out by means electronic communication, referred to as ‘Electronic commerce’ and to facilitate the filing of electronic records with the government.

Hope this whole cyber safety series was helpful to you, let me know which series you want me to start next.

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