August 31, 2016 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Royal Bombay Yacht Club, Anchorage Hall
Gateway Of India Mumbai
Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001

V Citizens Action Network made its first foray into the field of Cyber-Safety with a Social Sanchar on Wednesday the 31st of August 2016, at the Royal Bombay Yacht Club. The speaker for the evening, Mr. Brijesh Singh, IPS, Special Inspector General of Police, (Cyber and PAW), heads the newly created Cyber Wing of the Maharashtra Police, in addition to heading the Department of Information and Publicity for the State Government, and the charge of Prevention of Atrocities on Women (PAW).

Apart from being a published author, and educating himself in fields like Engineering, Business Management, Psychology, Public Administration, Foreign Trade, Computer Forensics, and Law, Mr. Singh has spearheaded the CCTNS Maharashtra Initiative (Crime-Criminal Tracking and Network Systems), which is a prestigious project of the Government of India, and has recently established 44 Cyber-Crime labs in his current assignment.

In line with a continuing theme, apart from Mr. Singh, the Sanchar also featured the ‘Ashoka Fellows Connect’, our joint-initiative with the Ashoka Organisation, a worldwide network dedicated to the support and encouragement of Social Entrepreneurs in countries all over the globe.

The Managing Trustee of VCAN, Mrs. Indrani Malkani, who also happens to be an Ashoka Fellow, kicked off the evening’s programme with a Welcome Address. Apart from briefly introducing V Citizens Actions Network, and its activities, as well our partners and sponsors, to the audience, she also briefed the audience about the Social Sanchar, and how it would be conducted.

Mr. Singh was then introduced and welcomed by Mr. V. Ranganathan, a Trustee of VCAN, as well the former Chief Secretary of Maharashtra, who apart from speaking about Mr. Singh’s many accomplishments, made note of the exponentially increasing rate of Cyber Crime in the country and in Mumbai in particular.

Mr. Singh began his address by first thanking the organisers for giving him an opportunity to interact with the public, and mentioned how technology is simply an extension of human life now. He also mentioned that despite some claiming that Cyber Crimes were simply a small percentage of total cases registered, almost every case involved some aspect that had to do with cyber-technology, and the number unreported crimes were far larger.

He also admitted that while they, and most Police Forces in the world have to catch up, positive steps were being taken towards it.

He then shared a presentation on basic cyber safety, with the audience, and cautioned them to be careful of sharing personal information on Social Media that they normally wouldn’t share in the real world. He spoke of how massive amounts of data about us are revealed through simple actions like sending a photo to someone, or updating your social media status.

He briefly spoke about how stalkers, kidnappers, and other criminals use the Dark Web for various purposes, from buying and selling customer information, to cyber-stalking young women. Mr. Singh then went to say that stealing someone’s data and private information was surprisingly simple, considering the lack of awareness. Free Wi-Fi points, and other access points can easily be used to get access to people’s credentials.

In a rather startling note, Mr. Singh proclaimed the battle for data had already been lost, and virtually all the audience member’s information had already been collected by large data mining companies. He mentioned about how people often had no idea about the security and content about their apps, and were vulnerable to phishing and other online frauds.

On a more humourous note, he joked that rather than worrying about the Government spying on them, people should be more concerned about large corporations.

He mentioned how even the Central Banks of counties such as Bangladesh, had been targeted by hackers and thieves, and millions of dollars had been stolen despite their security measures.

Among the tips he shared with the audience, were that they should delete apps which they didn’t use anymore, controlling access to wireless networks, using secure sites (https connections), and above all, using strong and secure passwords, and multi factor authentication.

On the issue of children’s safety, he mentioned about how parents had no idea what apps their children were using. Apps like Snapchat, Tinder, and others in-app purchases, were often used by children without their parents’ permission. Photos once posted online are there in some form of the other virtually forever. Parental controls and oversight are important tools, but more important is simply to have an open and trusting relationship with your children and speaking to them about these issues.

After the Mr Singh’s presentation, the floor was then opened to the audience, both those at the venue as well as those viewing online, to interact with Mr. Singh and share their queries and questions.

One of the first issues raised was on how to report a cyber-crime, to this, Mr. Singh replied that you could simply go to your local police station and register an FIR. No special steps had to be taken, even for Bank-related frauds and cases.

On a question from the audience about registering cyber-crime cases against e-commerce vendors, he reiterated that you simply had to go to your local police station.

When asked about issues faced by women at police stations, he spoke about positive steps the Police was taken, and of the success of Operation Muskaan, and how thousands of children were returned to their families.

While some of the questions could not be raised during the event due to a paucity of time, Mrs. Malkani informed the audience that their questions would be forwarded to Mr. SIngh, and that he and his office would get back to them via email after going through them.

The audience at the Venue were then invited to continue the discussions over the excellent tea and refreshments provided by the Royal Bombay Yacht Club.

To view the photos of the event click here.

To view the video of the event click here.

To view Mr. Brijesh Singh’s presentation click here.

Please be advised, the information in the slideshow was prepared by Mr. Brijesh Singh IPS, Spl. Inspector General (Cyber & PAW), Maharashtra Police, and was presented at the TogetherVCAN’s Social Sanchar held on 31st August 2016.

All Rights are reserved with the Author and due acknowledgement is to be given to the Author should this presentation in part or in full be used by anyone anywhere. The contents of the slideshow presentation are by the Author and not by VCAN.

The presentation file is lengthy, therefore please wait for it to be fully downloaded before clicking on individual slides. It is advisable to use Google Chrome to download the presentation.