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Safer Internet Day 2020 – Four Ways to Promote Cybersecurity

Safer Internet Day is celebrated in around 150 countries across the world. The day aims to create a safer and better internet, where everybody is able to use technology responsibly, respectfully, creatively and critically. The theme of the Safer Internet Day 2020 is “together for a better internet”.

Importance of Safer Internet Day in 2020

India has the second-largest number of internet users in the world with almost half a billion users according to a report by a report by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). But as the great saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility”, the Internet can be a double-edged sword. It has been reported that internet penetration in the country is faster than literacy penetration. While on one hand, the internet is empowering young Indians to conquer the world, on the other hand, it is leaving them vulnerable to cybercrimes, bullying and fraud. In fact, the World Economic Forum Global Risks Report 2019 has ranked data breaches, data theft and cyberattacks among the top five global risks.
In such a scenario, Safer Internet Day holds a special significance in 2020 to ensure more security and a better experience for internet users. Let us look at four ways in which we can promote safe internet for Indians on this International Safer Internet Day.

Educating Indians on safe usage and navigation of the Internet

We teach children how to ride a bicycle and navigate traffic and other dangers lurking outside. But the same is not repeated when they access a smartphone and get connected to the world at large through the internet. It is a common practice in Indian households to handover a smartphone to toddlers so that he or she do not disturb the parents who are busy working, chatting or binging on a TV show.
With India having the cheapest internet in the world, and people adopting the technology rapidly, they are exposed to more danger than ever. Today. a child has the freedom to access whatever the internet dishes out, often subjecting them to age-inappropriate and violent content as well as cyberbullying.
As we have advanced technologically, the crimes too have moved from offline to online. People have no idea about cyberbullying, ransomware, cybercrime or getting stalked on the internet. There are countless cases wherein people have suffered online abuse in India leading to mental health issues as well as physical harm.
Educating the netizens about safe usage of internet needs to be a top priority. To enable that, corporates, schools and civil society will need to make a collaborative effort and reach out to students and their guardians. The stakeholders need to be informed about the drawbacks and dangers of the web so that they can take measures to protect themselves from the evils of the technology.

Educate people on how to use social media safely in India

India has the highest number of users of Facebook in the world. India has the highest number of users of WhatsApp in the world. India has the second-highest number of users on Instagram. These are numbers which show how active India is when it comes to social media but this makes the issue of cyber safety all the more important.
It is very common for people to share their personal lives online. They share the pictures of themselves, families, friends, where they’ve been, where they are going and where exactly they are right now. This would have been ok if the information is meant only for their families and friends but this vital information is for all to see as majority of them don’t change privacy settings and keep their data visible to all.
The minimum age to sign up for Facebook and WhatsApp is 13 years but if you dive deep, you will find thousands of users in India who are way below this age limit.
If there are so many users who are already so active on these social media platforms, it makes sense to have social media awareness programmes in India to educate people on how to navigate social media safely.

Instagram’s Unlabel India Campaign


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After travelling across India to meet thousands of Gen Z last year, we are excited to bring to you UNLABEL INDIA: The Yuvaa Roadshow of Kindness, in partnership with @instagram India. Starting this February 2020, Yuvaa will travel to 20 cities, 50 colleges and meet, interact with and listen to thousands of India’s youth, and unlabel India, one story at a time. If you want us to visit your college, reach out to us on baatcheet@yuvaa.co.in and we will get in touch with you. Stay tuned for further deets! #YuvaaXInstagram #TheYuvaaRoadshowOfKindness #TheYuvaaRoadshow #UnlabelIndia #UnlabelWithYuvaa #366DaysOfKindness #YourStoryMatters . . . #Yuvaa #WeTheStories #WeAreYuvaa #MainHoonYuvaa #theyuvaaroadshow #roadshow #unlabel #labelsunlabelled #roadshowofkindness #kindness #kindnessmatters #journeyofkindness #indiancollege #stories #storiesofindia #storytellers #india

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Instagram has announced a new campaign to nurture a safe and supportive community online. In partnership with Yuvaa, a youth media and insights company, the app has launched an ‘Unlabel India’ campaign in a phased manner, to inspire conversations among youth all across India and initiate positive online dialogue.
The first phase of the campaign will begin with a roadshow to 20 cities in 50 colleges, where young Indians will be encouraged to speak up on issues such as mental health, bullying, safe spaces and gender sensitivity. They will also be given guidance on it. The next phase will be about having a sustained engagement with the colleges through ‘kindness clubs’, ‘kindness ambassadors’ and targeted digital campaigns.
The app has also recently launched the ‘Restrict’ feature to prevent unwanted interactions and started asking for date of birth when creating an account to build a safer experience for the youngest members of our community.

Challenging Cyberbullying in India

Most of the people in India fail to understand what cyberbullying means as the behaviour has been normalised to such an extent.
A cyberbullying study conducted by IPSOS found that India is the cyberbullying capital of the world. 37% of Indian kids are bullied online and this increases every year. Children sharing their pictures online may seem like just another activity but there is a dark side to this innocuous activity.
Cyberbullying is defined as harassing someone using online tools and media. This may include threatening someone, hate speech, spreading rumours, disclosing private information, creating fake pages and narratives or making sexual threats. One reason why online crime can be dangerous is that the person who commits it can easily impersonate someone else. For example, you could go online and pretend to be someone else and post illegal materials about that person on the Internet. This makes it easy for them to cause a lot of problems for other people. Cybercrime happens when people harass other people and cause them physical or mental harm.
Just like any other forms of bullying in India, the instances of cyberbullying were ignored at first but the infamous “Blue Whale Challenge” or “Blue Whale Game” made everyone notice the lethal effects of cyber threats. There were many cases in India where people had committed suicide while playing this game.
Many people post their pictures online to gain acceptance among their peers but are often found affected mentally because of a rude or an insulting comment on them by their online friends. This creates a long term impact on people, something which they fail to acknowledge.
It is important at such a time for everyone to understand that it is NOT OK to BULLY anyone. Be it online or in-person!
One aspect of cyberbullying has been addressed in ‘What the Falooda’ campaign by Swiggy India to protect their employees from receiving rude remarks by angry customers is an eye-opening and a fun way to encourage people to avoid abusing people.

While the campaign is effective to a certain extent, it is not enough to address other aspects of cyber-bullying which are darker in nature and has worse consequences.
Helplines need to be set up for victims of cyberbullying to rehabilitate them back in society. Police vigilance also needs to be maintained to prevent such bullying. Most important of all, it is important for society to participate in spreading the message of love and discouraging cyberbullying. A bully needs to be called out by all the members to ensure that he or she corrects their behaviour.

Securing Financial Security Online

Financial crimes are the most popular of all kinds of cybercrimes. Every now and then, we hear stories about how users are duped of their sensitive banking information. This eventually causes them to be victims of theft and fraud.
In order to protect the users from fraud while promoting digital transactions, RBI rolled out new rules for credit and debit cards. RBI has asked the banks to allow only domestic card transactions at ATMs and PoS terminals in India at the time of issuance/re-issuance of the card.
For international transactions, online transactions, card-not-present transactions and contactless transactions, customers will have to separately set up services on their card. These rules will be applicable for new cards from 16 March 2020. Those with old cards can decide whether to disable any of these features.
For existing cards, issuers may take a decision, based on their risk perception, whether to disable the card not present (domestic and international) transactions, international transactions and contactless transaction rights. Existing cards which have never been used for online/ international/ contactless transactions shall be mandatorily disabled for this purpose.
The users will have 24×7 access to switch ON/OFF or change all transaction limits via all available channels — mobile application/internet banking / ATMs / Interactive Voice Response (IVR).
Issuers shall provide to all cardholders the facility to switch on/off and set/ modify transaction limits (within the overall card limit, if any, set by the issuer) for all types of transactions – domestic and international, at PoS/ ATMs / online transactions / contactless transactions, etc.
Apart from this, the central bank also issues advisories and ad films in various languages for the citizens to educate them about the importance of not sharing their card details, CVV or OTP with anyone to protect themselves from cybercrimes.
The Internet has become one of the most important tools of democracy. It provides everyone with the freedom of speech, liberty and expression. It is a tool that helps in bridging the gaps between educated & uneducated, rich & poor and rural & urban. On this safer internet day, let us ensure that the internet remains to be a boon for society by promoting its safe use among all.