Guwahati: A survey conducted by the Assam police revealed that a majority of people in Assam have faced some form of cyber-attack on social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.
The study, which was undertaken as part of the “Cyber Safety Month” showed that 63 per cent of respondents from the state have received spam messages on their mail. Another 25 per cent said they received hate messages on social media, while 26 per cent stated to have received pictures or videos that contained nudity.
The survey also recorded that respondents have a higher level of understanding of cybercrime. About 70 per cent showed awareness about crimes committed with intent of stealing the data from computer hardware as well as crimes such as online harassment. Around 78 per cent of the respondents mentioned that they are alert about hacking while 68 per cent know about online impersonation and 64 per cent responded that they know how fake news is spread online.
Focusing on the role of police in countering cyber-crimes, the survey revealed that about 62 per cent of the respondents stated that are aware crimes on the internet get reported at police stations and 58 per cent of respondents also knew that Assam Police have dedicated cyber police stations and police personnel to deal with cybercrimes.
However, reporting of such crimes fared pretty low in the survey. Only 16 per cent of the respondents stated that they have reported to the police when exposed to cybercrime. Another 32 per cent of them preferred reporting to the website, while 22 per cent mentioned doing nothing at all when face by such crimes.
On practices to safeguard themselves from cybercrimes, 58 per cent were aware to not save username and password and enable two-step verification option. Also, 71 per cent of respondents know that they are not supposed to click on a pop-up window that appears on the internet.
About 73 per cent of the respondents were also aware that it was not safe to use public Wi-Fi connections which are not password protected. Close to 74 per cent of the respondents were aware not to download mobile applications from sources other than the Apple store or the Google Play store.
The “Cyber Safety” campaign was jointly conducted by the Assam Police and cyber-security think tank Cyber Peace Foundation (CPF). Assam Police and CPF reached out to over 5000 students and individuals to create awareness about the various forms of cyber threats.
A series of webinars were also organised to raise awareness on important cyber safety issues such as misinformation, financial frauds, responsible online behaviour and cybercrime redressal, where young superintendents of police (SP) from the department interacted directly with the audience.
Assam Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal launched the campaign on the occasion of Assam Police Day on October 1.
As per the press statement released by Assam police, the “Cyber Safety Month” campaign got over 1.9 million impressions online across platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and YouTube.