(cyber safety-2) confidentiality of information

The Internet is a public platform, mostly. The sites you visit, the things you search on it, and the posts that you put on social networking sites are all visible to the public. But there must be some information like your credit history or bank details, your emails, etc., which you do not want to make public, i.e., you want to keep this information confidential for cyber safety.

What measures should one take to avoid and maintain the confidentiality of personal information?

Some common steps that one can take to guard one’s identity online are:
Never open suspicious texts or emails – permanently delete them.
Never send money or provide credit cards, online account details, or copies of personal records to anyone you don’t know or trust.
Pick passwords that would be hard for others to imagine, and update them regularly. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts, and don’t share with anyone.
Secure your networks and devices with anti-virus software and the best firewall.
Avoid using public computers or Wi-Fi hotspots to access or provide personal details.
Be very careful about how considerably personal data you share on any social network website.

Similarly, on your computer system or in a private network, you would certainly want that crucial information to be protected and not publically visible. Confidentiality of data ensures that only authorized users gain access to sensitive and protected data.

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Practices to Ensure Confidentiality of Information

Computers, networking, the Internet – these all are inevitable; you cannot avoid these as these are modern-age tools. But you surely can follow certain practices to safeguard your data and ensure its confidentiality.

Best methods used to ensure confidentiality are as follows:

Use firewall wherever possible

Your system must be secured such that only genuine users can join it. A firewall is one very good solution for this. A firewall is a program that monitors all communications and traps all illicit packets. Maximum operating systems now come with a firewall preinstalled.

Nevertheless, some, such as the Windows Firewall, only block suspicious incoming communications, leaving totally open access to the Internet from your device. Thus, it is recommended that you install a firewall that can monitor both incoming and outgoing communication and traps the illicit ones.

how to stop websites from tracking you?

You already know that websites can track your surfing on their site by IP address and related system information, including system names and Internet network addresses that often uniquely identify your computer.

Search engines normally record your queries together with your computer identification, creating a profile of your interests over time. To underestimate these threats, you can turn your default browser settings to ban cookies, mostly third-party cookies, since they can be used to build up detailed profiles of your surfing patterns over time.

Browse privately wherever possible

To avoid tracking by websites, you should try to browse the Internet privately wherever possible. This way websites would not be capable to store cookies on your computer, which give data about your search routine and surf history.

Be careful while posting on the Internet

You should know that posting is public. When you post anything to a public Internet such as social networking sites like Instagram or Facebook etc., newsgroups, mailing lists, or chat rooms, you generally give up the rights to the content and any expectation of privacy or confidentiality is useless. In most countries, anything you post to public space can be saved, archived, duplicated, distributed, and published, even years later, by anyone in the same way as a photograph taken in a public area like a city park. So ensure that you never post your crucial information like your personal details such as an address, mobile phone number, bank details, credit card details, etc. on public Internet sites.

Ensure Safe sites while entering crucial information

Sometimes, you have a need to provide crucial information such as your personal details or bank details, etc. For example, you might be applying online to register for an entrance exam through a legitimate site that asks for your personal details.

In such cases, ensure these things :

  1. Type the URL of the site in the address bar of the browser on your own. Do not click on a link that takes you to this website, or do not cut/copy the link of this website and paste it.
  2. Ensure that the address contains HTTP and a padlock sign. When this website gets loaded, before you start typing any details, assure that the website address. A safe site’s URL starts with HTTPS:// and not with HTTP://. Also, it displays a secured padlock.
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Carefully handle emails

when opening an email, make sure that you know the mail sender. Even if you open the email notice by accident, make sure not to open attachments in any email from an unrecognized origin. Emails holding sensitive data should be deleted securely. Also, your email might contain a link to a legitimate-looking website; never click on any link inside an email to open it. The link might look legit but it may carry you to a fraudulent site.

Even if you must visit the linked website, type the URL of the website on your own in the URL address bar of a web browser but never open any type of link by clicking inside an email or by copying its link.

Do not share sensitive data on wireless networks

Sometimes, you get access to some wireless connections such as the Wi-Fi connections available at Airports or Railway stations. While using such Wi-Fi connections, make sure not to open any personal email or provide any sensitive information on a website. The reason for this is that most free wireless networks are not encrypted and hence information on it can be tapped and used for fraudulent purposes.

Is it all right to give your name, address, and birth date when registering to use a site online?

No. It is never a good idea to show your birth date on the Internet. Most websites ask for this as an option. Protect yourself from identity thieves and skip this request.

Avoid using public computers

Always try not to use the public computer especially if you have to deal with your crucial data. But if you need to work on a public computer, then make sure to follow things

  • (a) Browse privately, first of all.
  • (b) Don’t save your login information.
  • (c) Never save passwords while working on a public computer.
  • (d) Avoid entering sensitive information onto a public computer.
  • (e) Don’t leave the computer unattended with sensitive information on the screen.
  • (f) Disable the feature that stores passwords.
  • (g) Correctly log out before you quit the computer.
  • (h) Erase history and traces of your work, i.e., clear history and cookies.


Cybercrime is any criminal offense that is facilitated by or involves electronic communications or information systems, including any electronic device, computer, or the Internet. The term, cybercrime, is a general term that covers crimes like phishing, credit card frauds, illegal downloading, industrial espionage, child pornography, cyberbullying, cyberstalking, cyber terrorism, creation and/or distribution of viruses, spam, and so on.


Any criminal offense that is facilitated by, or involves the use of, electronic communications or information systems, including any electronic device, computer, or Internet, is called Cybercrime.

Let us talk about some common cybercrimes.

Cyber Trolls and Bullying

A cyber troll refers to a person who purposely posts opposing-, sarcastic-, demeaning- or insulting comments about something or someone with the aim of targeting a person online. The suggestive messages posted this way are even called trolls. So the word troll can also refer to a person who is doing it and may refer to the derogatory comments posted by a troll. Trolling is cybercrime and is closely related to cyberbullying. In fact, it is a form of cyberbullying.


Derogatory messages comment posted or online targeting people are called cyber trolls.

Cyber Bullying

Cyberbullying happens when somebody uses the Internet, a cell phone, and social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, email, instant messaging, chat rooms, etc., to harass, demean, embarrass, or intimidate somebody else. It is normally a crime committed by teens also, as their growing entry into electronic communication creates it possible to make fun of or exclude others. The problem extends like wildfire as the bully can hide behind the anonymity of a login identity while inspiring other kids to join in the “fun” of harassing the victim.

Cyberbullying is a crime, garnering such criminal charges as harassment, libel, charge, and even terrorism. In extra to criminal charges, cyberbullies may be kept responsible for the harm they do in a civil case, where they may be ordered to pay for it.


Harassing, demeaning, embarrassing, defaming, or intimidating someone using modern technologies like the Internet, cell phones, instant messengers, social networks, etc., is called Cyber Bullying.

Cyber Stalking

This is a type of online harassment wherein the victim is subjected to a barrage of online notices and emails. Normally, these stalkers know their targets and instead of resorting to offline stalking, they use the Internet to stalk. A cyber stalker relies upon the anonymity afforded by the Internet to permit them to stalk their target without being detected.

Cyberstalkers often do this to trouble their victims :

  1. They collect all personal information about the victim such as name, family background, telephone numbers of residence and workplace, the daily routine of the victim, address of residence and place of work, date of birth, etc.
  2. The stalker may post this information on any filthy/obscene or illegal websites posing as if the victim is posting this information.
    People of all kinds from nooks and corners of the World, who come across this information, start calling the victim at his/her residence and/or workplace for many filthy/obscene reasons. Some stalkers subscribe the e-mail account of the victim to innumerable obscene or illegal sites because which victim starts receiving such kinds of unsolicited e-mails.
  3. Some stalkers keep on sending repeated e-mails asking for various kinds of favors or threatening the victim.
  4. Stalkers follow their victims from board to board. They “hang out” on the same social networking site as their victim, many times posting notes to the victim, making sure the victim is aware that he/she is being followed. Stalkers will almost always make contact with their victims through an email having friendly or threatening content, many times using multiple names.

What do you understand by identity theft?

Online identity theft guides to an act of stealing someone’s personal data such as name, log-in details, etc., and then posing as that person online. Whatever online movement happens after this is supposed to be of the person whose identity details are stolen and being used. With online identity theft happens one can achieve access to other personal details (name, log-in details, Adhaar number, credit card info, etc.) and use this data for illegal activities such as harassing others or stalking others or for conducting cybercrime, etc.

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