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10 Things to Know About Data Privacy

Data breaches carried out by hackers are expected to go up 22 percent annually, exposing some 146 billion records

A French soldier watches code lines on his computer during the International Cybersecurity forum in Lille, northern France, Jan. 23, 2018. VOA

From hackers exposing private information online to the handling of users’ data by internet giants, online privacy has become a matter of growing concern for countries, companies and people alike.

On Monday, countries around the world marked Data Privacy Day, also known as Data Protection Day — an initiative to raise awareness of internet safety issues.

Here are 10 facts about online privacy:

* Less than 60 percent of countries have laws to secure the protection of data and privacy.

A data theft alert is displayed on a “threat spiral” at the ProtectWise booth during the Black Hat information security conference in Las Vegas, July 26, 2017. VOA

* Europe’s data protection regulators have received more than 95,000 complaints about possible data breaches since the adoption of a landmark EU privacy law in May.

* More than one in two respondents to a 2018 global survey by pollster CIGI-Ipsos said they had grown more concerned about their online privacy compared to the previous year.

* Almost 40 percent of respondents to another survey by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab said they did not know how to protect themselves from cybercrime.

* A survey of tech professionals by security key maker Yubico suggested experts might not live up to safety standards. It found almost 70 percent of respondents shared passwords with colleagues.

US Intelligence, Privacy
A specialist works at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in Arlington, Va., Sept. 9, 2014. (VOA)

* More than half reused an average of five passwords across their work and personal accounts.

* About 4 percent of people targeted by an email phishing campaign would click on it.

* In 2017, almost 17 million U.S. consumers experienced identity fraud — the unauthorized use of personal information, such as credit card data, for financial gain.

Also Read: Tech Giant Google Discusses its Data Privacy Before Senate Hearing

* Data breaches carried out by hackers are expected to go up 22 percent annually, exposing some 146 billion records, including personal information such as name, address and credit card numbers by 2023.

* Data breaches cost companies worldwide almost $4 million on average for every incident. (VOA)

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61% Indian Business Leaders Fear Cybercrime Risk During Covid-19

61% of Indian business owners think their business may experience cybercrime during Covid-19

SMBs believe that cybercrime is more likely to occur during Covid-19 situation than before. Pixabay

About 61 per cent of Indian business leaders and decision-makers think their business is more likely to experience a serious cybercrime during the Covid-19 situation as opposed to 45 per cent globally, said a survey on Tuesday.

About a third of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) believe that cybecrime is more likely to occur during Covid-19 situation than before, showed the study by US-based cybersecurity company CrowdStrike.

From February to March alone, CrowdStrike found that there was a 100x increase in Covid-19 themed malicious files.

Interestingly 62 per cent of Indian businesses surveyed, the highest among all the countries surveyed, provided additional training for their staff to learn how to avoid threats and Cybercrime while working from home.

The “CrowdStrike Work Security Index” surveyed 4,048 senior decision-makers in India, Australia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore, and the U.S across major industry sectors.

62 per cent of Indian businesses surveyed provided additional training for their staff to learn how to avoid threats while working from home. Pixabay

The survey looked into the attitudes and behaviours towards cybersecurity during the Covid-19 situation.

Also Read: Indians Watch 54% Online Videos in Hindi: Youtube

It included responses from 526 Indian decision-makers across small, medium and large business enterprises.

The survey revealed that a large majority of respondents around the globe are now working remotely, with more than half of them working remotely directly as a result of the pandemic.

This, in turn has given rise to the use of personal devices, including laptops and mobile devices, for work purposes, with 60 per cent of respondents reporting that they are using personal devices to complete work — with countries like Singapore and India even reaching 70 per cent or higher in personal device usage. (IANS)

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Cybercrime on Rise During Pandemic, Warns UN

There has been a 600 percent increase in malicious emails during the ongoing pandemic

A Toyota Hybrid during a test for hackers at the Cybersecurity Conference in Lille, northern France, Jan. 29, 2020. VOA

The U.N. disarmament chief said the COVID-19 pandemic is moving the world toward increased technological innovation and online collaboration but warned that “cybercrime is also on the rise, with a 600 percent increase in malicious emails during the current crisis.”, as suggested by Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) news.

Izumi Nakamitsu told an informal meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Friday that “there have also been worrying reports of attacks against health care organizations and medical research facilities worldwide.”

She said growing digital dependency has increased the vulnerability to cyberattacks, and “it is estimated that one such attack takes place every 39 seconds.”

According to the International Telecommunication Union, “nearly 90 countries are still only at the early stages of making commitments to cybersecurity,” Nakamitsu said.

Nearly 90 countries are still only at the early stages of making commitments to cybersecurity. Pixabay

The high representative for disarmament affairs said the threat from misusing information and communications technology “is urgent.” But she said there is also good news, pointing to some global progress at the United Nations to address the threats as a result of the development of norms for the use of such technology.

Also Read: New York Times Devotes Entire Front Page to COVID-19 Victims

Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas, whose country holds the Security Council presidency and organized Friday’s meeting on cyber stability and advancing responsible government behavior in cyberspace, said “the COVID-19 crisis has put extra pressure on our critical services in terms of cybersecurity.”

He said the need for “a secure and functioning cyberspace” is therefore more pressing than ever, and he condemned cyberattacks targeting hospitals, medical research facilities and other infrastructure, especially during the pandemic.

“Those attacks are unacceptable,” Ratas said. “It will be important to hold the offenders responsible for their behavior.” VOA

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10 Interesting Facts About Rudraksha For Spiritual Seekers

Here are 10 Interesting facts about Rudraksha that every spiritual seeker must know

Rudra is the manifested form of Lord Shiva himself and Aksha translates to eyes. Both the words come from sanskrit origin. VEDICFEED

Rudraksha, the seed produced by a large evergreen broad-leaved tree of the genus Elaeocarpus. It is abundantly found in the temperate and sub-alpine zone is a pioneer of symbolism in the Shivaism, a major tradition of the Hindu dharma where the believers regard Lord Shiva as the principal deity. Worn around their neck or wrist primarily in the form of Mala by the devotees, it is constituted of two words; Rudra and Aksha, both being of Sanskrit origin.

Rudra is the manifested form of Lord Shiva himself and Aksha translates to eyes; meaning, having originated from Lord Shiva’s eyes. Thus, A genuine Rudraksha seed has high significance, scientific properties, yet it is very mysterious and is regarded as highly sacred and precious by the devotees.

Here are 10 Interesting Facts about Rudraksha

1. Shiva’s Tears

As the Legend has it, Lord Shiva had been meditating for thousands of years with his eyes closed. When he opened his eyes, some tears drops fell from his eyes on the ground. Later, these tears grew trees of Rudrakshas. The ardent followers of Shivaism thus regard Rudraksha sacred and to have originated from Lord Shiva’s own tears himself. It is thus believed to have miraculous powers and when possessed it is said bring them closer to Lord Shiva and develop a spiritual connection with him.

2. To Check Negative and Positive Prana

As, Sadhus and Sanyasis were continuously on the move, they could not drink water from just any pool because many times in nature, the water may be poisoned or contaminated in the forest. As the legend goes on, If a person well into spiritual practice; a Sadhu or a Sanyasi held a rudraksha above the water and if the water is good and drinkable, it will go clockwise. Similarly, If it is poisoned, it will go anticlockwise. It is said, if held above any positive pranic substance, it will move in a clockwise direction. If you hold it over any negative pranic substance, it will move in anti-clockwise direction.

3. The Deity and Mantras of Different Faces

Of all, only 1-14 faced Rudraksha are to be worn by humans. The deity and the Beej Mantra, which is to be chanted while wearing the Rudraksha and also the celestial body associated with, varies from one type of Mukhi appearance to another. For Single faced or Ek Mukhi Rudraksha the Ruling deity is Lord Shiva, Beej Mantra attributed is Om Hreem Namah and the Celestial body is the Sun. For all 21 different kinds, all of the three vary accordingly.

4. Ek Mukhi Rudraksha

Single-faced or Ek Mukhi Rudraksha is considered closest to Lord Shiva. When possessed, it is said to bring all kinds of materialistic pleasure and wealth. Though, the most commonly worn by all is Pancha Mukhi or five-faced Rudraksha.

Commonly the number of beads is 108 plus one extra bead called the Bindu. Pixabay

5. The Mala

Traditionally the beads are strung together on a cotton or a silk thread as a Mala. Most commonly the number of beads is 108 plus one. The extra bead is the Bindu. There must always be a Bindu to the Mala, otherwise the energy becomes cyclical and people who are sensitive may become dizzy. An adult should not wear a Mala with less than 84 beads, plus the Bindu. Any number over that is considered fine.

6. Chanting and Japa Yoga

Rudraksha beads are aesthetically perceived to be most effective if in the practice of Japa Yoga, where, the Beej Mantra is repeated verbally or mentally 108 times a day while keeping count on a strand of Rudraksha beads and at the same time submitting oneself  to Lord Shiva’s infinite, all-pervasive presence.

7. An Umbrella of Energy

The followers of Shivaism believe that the Rudraksha beads create a cocoon of your own energy. For someone who is constantly on the move, Rudraksha is a very good support because it creates a cocoon of your own energy. The situation around you may not be conducive to your kind of energy, it will not let you settle down. In the ancient times for Sadhus and Sanyasis (sages and preachers), places and situations could trouble them because they were constantly moving. One of the rules for them was never to put their head down in the same place twice.

You can identify a Rudraksha primarily on the basis of the face or Mukhi appearance. Pixabay

8. Faces of Rudraksha

Different types of Rudraksha beads have different numbers of segments (or faces) grooved over their surface giving the beads a unique texture. The segment or the face is called ‘Mukhi’ and the identification of a Rudraksha is primarily on a face or Mukhi appearance. The beads range from being one faced to 21 faced and each of them have different aesthetic values attributed to them.

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9. A Shield

The Rudraksha beads, as the followers of Shaivism believe shield against the negative energies. It is possible for some people to use negative energies to cause harm to someone else. The Atharva Veda, is all about how to use energies to your advantage and to someone else’s detriment. The Rudraksha beads helps to create a cocoon of your own energy shielding the space against negative energies.

10. Significance for Health

The Rudraksha Beads has many scientific properties that holds a lot of significance in the Ayurvedic medicine . It is said to lower your blood pressure, calms your nerves and brings a certain calmness and alertness in your nervous system. It will help them calm down and be more focused. (VEDICFEED)