Cyber Safety Guide

1. Setup strong passwords and change them regularly

Never underestimate the power of a strong password. It’s the first line of defense for your digital presence. A strong password should:

  • At least be 8-12 characters long
  • Be a combination of alphabetic, numeric, and special characters
  • Have at least one uppercase letter
  • Not be shared with anyone and should not be written anywhere

The second line of defense is to enable Two-Step Verification on your accounts. Most of the major social media and email outlets (Facebook, Twitter, gmail) provide this feature for the added security of the users. It prevents the hacker from accessing your online accounts if they somehow manage to crack your password. It’s extremely crucial to change your passwords at least every three months.

2. Report to the authorities immediatelybad connection

Once you’ve taken the preventive measures for your passwords, report the possible hacking of your accounts to the relevant sites. All the large websites usually have a very responsive help centre and mostly reply to the queries within 24 to 48 hours depending on the nature of the complaints.

 

 

1.Setup strong passwords and change them regularly

Never underestimate the power of a strong password. It’s the first line of defense for your digital presence. A strong password should:

  • At least be 8-12 characters long
  • Be a combination of alphabetic, numeric, and special characters
  • Have at least one uppercase letter
  • Not be shared with anyone and should not be written anywhere

The second line of defense is to enable Two-Step Verification on your accounts. Most of the major social media and email outlets (Facebook, Twitter, gmail) provide this feature for the added security of the users. It prevents the hacker from accessing your online accounts if they somehow manage to crack your password. It’s extremely crucial to change your passwords at least every three months.

 


 

 

3.Alert Family and Friends

After reporting the hacking, immediately generate a message to your friends and family to inform that your account has been compromised, and ask them to not communicate with the hacker who might pretend to be you online in order to get more information about you or the people in your friends list.

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4.Do not cede to the blackmailer’s demands

There might come a point when the harasser/hacker starts blackmailing the victim and demands money and/or anything else in return of your private data. Do NOT give in. Do NOT entertain any of their demands at any cost.

There are high chances that the blackmailing continues even after you abide by their demands, and you can never be sure that they have deleted all the copies of your private data .


5.Report the harassment to FIA (Click to Complain)

In case the harassment or blackmailing take extreme turns, report to the Federal Investigation Agency’s National Response Centre for Cyber Crimes (Nr3C).

In order for them to investigate efficiently, you’ll need to provide a few details as anonymous reports are not accepted. FIA’s Nr3C department actively looks into the complaints and takes actions immediately. Their helpline number is 9911.

It’s necessary for you to do this as you’d want an official complaint filed against the criminal.Before you lodge a complaint to Nr3C, consider a few points:

NOTE: Take screenshots of all the conversations and logs of emails and messages that you receive from the harasser.

  • If you’re a minor, ask your guardian to file a complaint on your behalf. You can also ask your friends and/or teachers, or anyone who trust, to help you lodge a report for you in case you don’t want your family to be involved.
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  • Remember: reporting a crime doesn’t only protect you from future harassment, but it also minimizes the chances of others being subjected to the same troubles as you.
  • The report can be filed either by filling out the online form or by sending an email to helpdesk@nr3c.gov.pk with all the required information and evidences of harassment.

NOTE: Take screenshots of all the conversations and logs of emails and messages that you receive from the harasser.

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6.Extend support to others

Online harassment can be as traumatizing as offline bullying. Extend support to the victims of cyber harassment if you know somebody is experiencing it. Support from friends and colleagues is extremely important because most of the times, due to the nature of the harassment, families refuse to support the victim in hardest of times.

If the victim is unable to get the confidence of their family in case of blackmailing, contacting friends or anyone else in your support system is the best practice. There’s a chance that you’ll find somebody who’d be able to help, support, and guide you in such times.


7.Try to locate the hacker, if possible

As victims are usually terrified in such situations, it’s important for the family and friends of the victim to take charge and contact the authorities of the universities, colleges, workplace, or any other institution which the harasser is believed to be affiliated with.

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Content Provided by: Nighat Dad