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Consumer Online Protection

When we live half our lives in the cyber world, there are bound to be cyber-crimes. Today our life is increasingly dependent on the online world be it electronic documents, transactions, communication and even livelihood. In such a scenario there will certainly be undesirable elements in this world who will try to invade your peace. Here we will give you the lowdown on all the cyber-crimes you should know about, and what steps you should take to report the crime to the proper authorities. First let’s look at, what cyber-crime means. The Bangalore Cyber Crime branch defines it as “an unlawful act wherein the computer is either a tool or a target or both”

Here are some of the common cyber-crimes and what is involved in each of them. We asked Mr. Rakesh Goyal for advice on prevention methods and reporting advice. Mr. Goyal is a veteran of IT Security for 18 years with 6 books and 50 research papers. He is the Managing Director of Sysman Computers Private Limited and Director-General, Centre for Research and Prevention of Computer Crimes.

Cyber Crimes

Email abuse

Receiving vulgar e-mail from a known or unknown person. This may include receipt of threatening / abusive / obscene content.

Email hacking / Privacy attack

Someone accesses your email or social networking account

Cyber Stalking

Cyber-stalking refers to the use of the Internet, e-mail, or other electronic communications devices to stalk, follow or keep track of another person. In cyber stalking the criminal commits repeated acts of harassment or threatening behavior towards the victim by using Internet services such as email or social networking web sites.

Denial of Service

In this case the cyber-criminal floods the bandwidth of the victim’s network with repeated requests. Eventually this consumes the bandwidth of the network which then fails to serve legitimate requests and ultimately breaks down.


This involves illegal / unauthorized intrusion into a computer system or network.

Cyber impersonation / Cyber defamation

If someone sets up a fake profile of you on a social networking web site and posts from that profile.

Online Fraud

This includes anything from phishing web sites, email scams, virus hoax emails. Fraudsters create seemingly authentic web sites or email the victim to divulge sensitive information such as login ids and passwords.

In all of the above you need to report these crimes to the nearest Cyber Crimes Investigation Cell or nearest police station. Certain police stations in the country have been assigned as Cyber Police Stations. In case of hacking, intrusion attempts and online frauds, you should also report to CERT in addition to the nearest CCIC.

What do you need to take along with you while registering the complaint?

In case of email abuse the Mumbai CCIC advices you not delete the mail and to extract headers from such email. You will usually find this in “view full message” or “view source” type of options in mail clients or web based mail. The Mumbai CCIC web site gives exact details on this procedure. In case of a hacking attack you should take along and retain:
  • Server Logs, Copy of defaced web page in soft copy as well as hard copy format, if your website is defaced If data is compromised on your server or computer or any other network equipment, soft copy of original data and soft copy of compromised data.
  • Access control mechanism details i.e.- who had what kind of the access to the compromised system List of suspects – if the victim suspects anyone
  • And relevant descriptive answers that will give information leading to the answers to what, who, when, why, where.
You should also write a complaint letter, with a description of what has or appears to have happened and explaining in what way you are a victim or aggrieved party. Backup all data, as it is evidence. Once, the prima-facie case is established, the FIR is registered. “If the proper leads are available, the success rate is over 90 per cent in case of email, Orkut, Facebook related crimes or harassment, if originated in India,” says Mr. Goyal.

Below, you will find a list of relevant contact details of important cyber security centers around the country.