In today’s world, with the onset of World Wide Web (www), internet, cyber law & cyber security has become crucial for governance and for the business says William D King. Cyber law or information technology act of India is one of the most important legislations that affect every aspect of cyber crime, cyber security and e-governance in India. While it is entirely impossible to define cyber law & cyber security completely, especially since this means different things for different people; let us try to present the basic idea behind these terms
This term can be attributed to any activity conducted on internet (www) which also includes activities like working on company’s intranet system as well as using devices like Blackberry’s etc. There are several acts pertaining to both state level as well as central government that govern activities conducted over web; some of them are Information Technology Act 2000 (IT Act), 2000, Information Technology (Amendment) Act 2008 (IT Act), 2008 and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 1967.
- This is the term used to cover all activities related to protection of electronic data and computer systems from: illegal access, modification or impairment in any manner. Some of the most important legislations that pertain to cyber security are Indian Evidence Act 1872, Cyber Law and Information Technology Act 2000 (IT Act), 2000, Information Technology (Amendment) Act 2012 and Privacy Protection Laws.
- India has witnessed one of the steepest growth in terms of both email users as well as internet penetration since 2001 when it became a part of world wide web; this sudden rise in user base with advent of BlackBerry, Wi-Fi access and Facebook has also made India an attractive target for cyber criminals.
- This is the age of the internet; every second person in Indian cities like Bangalore or Mumbai or Delhi can be seen glued to his/her laptop, tablet PC or mobile phone all day long explains William D King. While it may seem like a boon for IT companies in particular and also other industries since it boosts productivity; when we actually scratch deep into this phenomenon called ‘digital boom’ (which is much beyond just social networking websites), then it becomes evident that there are several dark sides too.
- Since past few years, there have been numerous cases where information related to individuals. Including their contact details, email ids etc as well as corporate data like client lists, emails, transaction details etc. Have fallen in the hands of cyber criminals who operate in international waters. The main reason behind this is that most Indian website owners do not want. To spend money on buying SSL (secure sockets layer) certificates for their websites; since, these are expensive and offer no immediate benefits.
- There are several other measures like data backup, antivirus software installation, firewalls creation etc. That every corporate or individual need to adopt in order to ensure that website/s (owned whether by them or others). Along with important documents stored in their computer systems remains safe against hackers. Some basic safety measures include: installing security patches released by OS vendor for your system. Using strong passwords instead of ‘password’, disabling USB ports when you do not use them. And most importantly not clicking on every link and attachment you receive in your mails.
- It is pertinent to mention here that most cyber crimes in India today. Are related to financial frauds involving online banking or insurance policies; while it is difficult for even government agencies like CBI, CID etc. To track down these criminals since their servers are located in foreign countries. Individuals can do little other than reporting such incidences on web portals set up by the same agency. In addition, new IT Act 2008 empowers Indian Law Enforcement Agencies with some extra teeth while investigating cyber crimes.
- Government has also taken several steps recently aimed at better coordination between law enforcing agencies. Along with common public for combating growing cyber crime menace.
At the end of it, Indian government needs to ensure that a common man realizes. The importance of cyber security measures says William D King. Many still think that ‘cyber security’ is just about changing their mail password or updating anti-virus software; they are actually mistaken since ‘online security’ is not only about safeguarding your own data. But also respecting privacy rights of others by not passing on their personal details. To strangers or snooping into other’s personal mails/social networking sites!