With Poila Baishak round the corner, Bengalis are set to kick start celebrations for the Bengali New Year, with immense excitement and high – spirited festivities everywhere. For many, Poila Baisakh, with changing times, gets a different makeover as a gesture of appreciation and to wish family members and friends luck for the coming year through the digital medium.

This online shopping spree has also led to new techniques of duping people by perpetrators making them victims of cyber-crimes like bank fraud, hacking, harassment and malicious distribution. Usually recorded between a month prior to Poila Baisakh – either fake “Bengali traditional items” (from clothes to even ‘Rasogolla’) or offers of fake holiday packages are used to lure consumers.

The modus operandi is primarily sending anonymous messages to some selected phone numbers giving them an interesting and attractive deal. They can either call or send text messages in WhatsApp or SMS mentioning about any sum of money as prize or convince you to buy their products in low price as their bait. Even the scratch cards promise them jaw-dropping prize money if a transaction fee to a particular bank account is paid. A casual click on the link of the fraud deal would instantly make the consumer a victim of cyber-crime. There has been a fivefold rise in cyber fraud – notably during the festive seasons. Recent data suggest that 90 percent of the links are active only for 24 hours for which the consumers are unable to track their purchase.

The list of Do’s & Don’ts For Maintaining Cyber Security are as follows:

Do’s

– Check the authenticity of the organisation or company sending any kind of message on Offers or Prizes

– Keep your social media accounts private and locked

– Only Response to the callers or messages which are known to you

Don’ts

– Don’t response to any kind of links sent to you offering any Prize or deals

– Don’t response to any unknown caller who is provoking you to buy their Products

– Don’t press any links where you are said to be a Lottery Winner or something like that

– Don’t share any OTP with anyone

– Don’t meet any unknown people who says you to be a lucky customer of their business

“Our company’s security division IEMLabs is one of the leading service providers in the cyber-crime domain. IEMLabs provides cutting edge cloud-based cyber security solutions and vulnerability assessment and audits for clients to implement robust cyber security protection measures by companies as well as by individuals in their devices. It has been noticed that perpetrators become more active during celebrations, social events targeting majorly senior citizens & women as soft targets for cyber-crime” said Mr Hrithik Lall, Chi,ef Technology Officer, IEMLabs.

Adequate knowledge and awareness about cyber security only can prevent consumers from doing any kind of activities that can put their privacy or security vulnerable to threats.  

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