Devbrat Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: In the epoch where mobile and digital applications control our lives, the exponential growth of cyber-crime via social networking platforms, has become a matter of concern in Odisha. Reports suggest that the sitting ducks are mostly children, women, elderly, with a major chunk being technologically challenged.

While experts believe that there is an urgent need for cyber stations to address the cutting-edge complex issues concerning cyberspace, the State government has come up with an innovative approach to deal with the cyber-security challenges.

There are numerous types of cyber-crimes like child porn, breach of computer security, fraud/theft, copyright violations, identity theft, narcotics investigations, burglary, administrative investigations, stalking and many more. And those using unsafe apps also face the risk of being exposed to or involved in dangerous and sexually explicit content that could make them victims of cyber-crimes.

Jan 6-11 Cyber Security Awareness Week In Odisha

In order to put a check on the rising cyber threat, the government will hold Cyber Safety and Security Awareness Week across Odisha from January 6-11, 2020. The objective of the awareness is to create sustainable awareness among the masses through MHA under Information Security Education & Awareness Team ISEA and Cyber Dost programme.

M Jagdish Babu, ISEA Project Manager said, “Those who are accessing or using the internet, in the cyber world, all are vulnerable especially women, children and senior citizens. We have to very careful while working with social media applications.

In the mentioned week (Jan 6-11), experts will create awareness in various schools, colleges and organisations on cyber threat. A workshop was also conducted by cyber experts in IIIT Bhubaneswar to show demo on how to deal with hackers.

“All smart-phone users should communicate only with trusted people. I urge them not to share personal information or give updates on events on social media. All these things will invite trouble for them,” warned Prof Debasish Jena, Dean, Corporate Affairs, IIIT.

When it comes to cyberspace, challenges are growing. Not that only individuals are targeted, the official website of KALIA scheme of Odisha government also became a target of hackers few days back. This apart, many college websites are vulnerable and open to cyber attacks, sources said.

IT Secretary Manoj Mishra said, “We are looking at all gateways which have the potential to hack a user. There are some government websites and corporations not connected with State data centre which makes them vulnerable. So we are discussing with all of them so that they can avoid a possible attack.”

Recently, Crime Branch ADG Santosh Upadhyay had said that nearly 250 inspector rank officers were given training on various aspects of cyber-crime and investigation of such cases. This apart, the State cyber cell has plans to train 1,000 constables and sub-inspector rank officers so that they can assist senior officials in probe.

“Many people have lodged complaints with me after being targeted by hackers. Cyber training is essential as it will help us find the root cause and simplify the investigation process,” said Police Inspector Gitanjali Jena.