Home Dehradun Greater awareness must to avoid becoming victims of cyber crime: Dhami

Greater awareness must to avoid becoming victims of cyber crime: Dhami


Hindi version of “Cyber Encounters”, authored by DGP Ashok Kumar, launched

By Arun Pratap Singh

Dehradun, 7 May: Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami today sought cooperation of all including the people to curb rapidly growing cyber crime in the country and Uttarakhand. He was speaking on the occasion of the launch of the Hindi Edition of the book, ‘Cyber Encounters’, authored by Director General of Police Ashok Kumar and co-authored by retired scientist of DRDO, OP Manocha. The book launch ceremony was held at the auditorium of St Joseph’s Academy, here, today. The Hindi edition of the book has been published by leading publishers Prabhat Prakashan, while the English version, launched a few days earlier in New Delhi, has been published by Penguin Random House, India.

Speaking as the Chief Guest on the occasion, Dhami said the book has been written on a very important subject. He appreciated the efforts of both the writers as well as the publisher Prabhat Prakashan towards making the people aware of the challenges related to cybercrimes.

Dhami was very generous in his praise for DGP Ashok Kumar, not forgetting to remind the audience that Kumar had been honoured by UNO as well as is a recipient of the National Police Medal. He said that Ashok Kumar and OP Manocha have written this book deeply analysing cybercrimes based on true incidents and expressed confidence that the book would enlighten the readers not only on how hard the Police have to work in solving cybercrime, but also on how to avoid falling victims to cybercrimes. On the one hand, an attempt has been made to make people aware by mentioning true incidents, on the other, it is also entertaining. Each page of the book will work to inspire people to protect themselves.

Admitting that he has only taken a cursory look at the book, the CM mentioned the speeches of former DGP Anil Raturi and the Vice Chancellor of Doon University Prof Surekha Dangwal, who had spoken about the challenges of evolving technologies. On this occasion, the Chief Minister also mentioned the relevance of the book in modern times. He noted that cybercrime is the biggest challenge in the present asserted and that it is a never ending tussle between the police and the cybercriminals. He called upon people to be not only aware about the dangers and challenges of cybercrimes but also to make others aware, so that they can avoid being cheated by cyber criminals.

He asserted that, not only the police but the cyber criminals also try to use new techniques to avoid being caught. Awareness is the key to avoiding becoming victims.

The CM also cited his own experience of ten years ago, when he had received a call from an unknown number, claiming it was from his bank and sought details of his ATM card. It all happened so fast that he shared the details. However, he realised his mistake and called up the bank to freeze his account. The CM also asserted that increasing cybercrime was also an indication of how India had grown rapidly in digital technology after Narendra Modi became the PM. Now, India leads in digital transactions and has the second highest number of those using internet and smartphones in the world.

Author Ashok Kumar reminded the audience that the internet was launched in the nineties and, within some years, India had become one of the largest users of digital technology. He added that the Corona period led to a big boost in the use of digital technology when even education had gone online, and the corporate sector was also pushing for work from home. Kumar said that due to the rapidly changing technology, life has become online and, due to Covid-19, the use of technology has also increased in every segment. As banking, finance, education and everything else had gone into virtual mode, the cybercriminals also felt encouraged to indulge in crimes. The challenge for the Police is that the cybercriminals don’t leave any physical footprint and often commit crimes sitting hundreds or thousands of kilometres away in places such as Jamtara (Jharkhand) and Mewat (Haryana). Often the digital footprints left by them like mobile numbers or digital IDs also turn out to be fake. The DGP noted that the graph of cybercrime is increasing very fast as compared to common crimes. Unlike crimes committed in a physical form, cyber criminals can commit several in the course of a single day. He noted that, in the year 2022 alone, about 16,399 complaints had been received in Uttarakhand related to cyber fraud, while across the country more than 10 lakh complaints had been received. Kumar also shared with the audience some tips on how to avoid becoming victims of cybercrime.

Former DGP Anil Kumar Raturi also highlighted the relevance of such a book. He said that India had become the second largest user of the internet and smartphones in the world in recent years and the largest user of digital transactions. It is natural therefore that the criminals will also take the digital route to crime.  He said India has 70 crores internet users and over 120 crores smartphones. He noted that the book highlights true crime cases and makes a very interesting and enlightening read.

Vice-Chancellor of Doon University, Prof Surekha Dangwal emphasised that, in the present era, the most valuable asset for any person is data and, therefore, it is necessary to be very careful in protecting it. She also noted that the younger generation speaks a lot about ethical hacking and takes pride in it, but there is actually nothing ethical about hacking. It is like saying ethical theft. She said that most of the cyber criminals as well as victims are people aged between 15 and 30 years. She stressed that society and the police have to work together by being alert in order to avoid falling victim to cyber crime. She also stressed on the need for using the services of the digitally smart younger generation for control cybercrime.

Co-author OP Manocha said he was grateful to DGP Ashok Kumar for having given him the opportunity to work on the book. He stressed that, like most other crimes, cybercrime is also driven by “Greed, Fear and Curiosity”. The cyber criminals use these traits of humans to cheat them through cyber crimes.

Piyush Kumar of Prabhat Prakashan delivered the welcome address while Alaknanda Ashok proposed the vote of thanks at the ceremony. Among those present on this occasion were Additional Chief Secretary Radha Raturi, Shakti Manocha, former Chief Secretary NS Napalchyal, former DG Aloke B Lal, Principal of Welham Boys’ School Sangeeta Kain, many serving and retired senior police officers, defence personnel and other dignitaries.

Kavindra Singh Mehta (RJ Kaavya) Founder of OHO Radio was the Master of Ceremonies.