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Updated: April 18, 2014 15:20 IST

Law tightens grip on cybercrimes in Kozhikode

Biju Govind
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From 2,311 in 2012, the number comes down to 1,594 in 2013

Slapping cases on offenders seems to be a strong deterrent to cybercrimes in the city. This is evident from the remarkable fall in the number of cyber crime cases registered at police stations here over the previous year.

A total of 1,594 cases were registered last year whereas the figure was a whopping 2,311 in 2012. Cybercrimes made a quantum jump from 2008 when police began registering cases against lawbreakers.

Last year’s figure was the lowest since 2009. A majority of them pertained to mobile phone theft or loss.

Phone abuse

This has also come down in the past year. What is significant is the decline in the complaints regarding phone abuse — from 844 (2012) to 285 (2013)

Quoting figures, A.V. George, Commissioner of Police, Kozhikode city, attributed the decrease in crimes to investigators studiously following up cases.

“Most of the crimes attracted fines and imprisonment up to two years. A few offences were punishable up to seven years in prison,” he said.

Cybercrimes had showed an upward trend in the wake of growing Internet penetration and interlinking of social media platforms on smart phones in the last few years. But awareness on new laws had helped prevent crimes to a great extent.

There were cases relating to misuse of social networking sites such as Facebook, micro-blogging spaces like Twitter, and the new services such as WhatsApp and Telegram. These sites are not only used by the tech-savvy new generation but also by older generations also, for communication and social interactions. Unfortunately, records revealed that the youth were mainly involved in these crimes.

Social networking sites

At times, complaints appear to be mischievous but they do come within the ambit of the Information Technology Act. More than 40 cases were registered pertaining to social networking sites. Cases had been registered based on email abuse and email threat, hacking and other web-related misuse.

Online scams

Online cheating and scams have also come under the scrutiny of law enforcers. Cyberstalking, cyber defamation, and creation of fake identities are other crimes reported at police stations.

Previously, there were many cases of abuse of photographs, spoofing and phishing, pornography, virus dissemination, data digging, salami attacks where attackers use online database to gather information of customers’ bank and credit card details, ATM fraud, and sale of illegal articles through Internet.

The police have cautioned Internet users against financial crimes and online money laundering schemes. Use of original operating systems and antivirus software have been suggested. It is better not to pair smart phones through Bluetooth at public places.

Users of smart phones could download applications for security scanner, system manager, privacy guard, and data backup.

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