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Internet Users should thoroughly screen Personal Information shared Online to avoid being ‘Online Harassment’ Target: Report

Use strong passwords with a mix of different types of characters, including alphabets, numbers and special characters

New Delhi, December 6, 2016: A day after the Supreme Court sought responses from three internet search engines on sharing videos related to sexual offences and cybercrime on Facebook, a Delhi-based law firm has formulated recommendations to help users avoid being a target of online abuse or harassment.

Besides increasing cases of sexual assault videos being uploaded online, there is also an increasing issue of people facing cyber abuse and harassment.

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In a new report, Software Freedom law Centre, a non-profit legal services organisation, said an internet user should thoroughly screen the personal information shared online.

“Be very careful about what personal information you make publicly available and refrain from providing any information apart from that which is absolutely essential for its purpose. Do not feel obligated to fill out all fields when registering online and avoid providing identifying information such as birth-date and place in required fields,” the report said.

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“Dedicate an email ID for social-media purposes that is dedicated solely for use while signing up and/or using social media services. Do not use this ID for personal communication purposes and avoid uploading photographs that identify you or your location,” it added.
Instead of using real given name, using a pseudonym maintains anonymity and keeps one safe. Also, keep a tab on information others post about you and if something concerns you about privacy, let your friends and family know about it.

“Use strong passwords with a mix of different types of characters, including alphabets, numbers and special characters and change them periodically. Also, review your service providers’ privacy policies,” the report added.

A bench of Justice Madan B. lokur and Justice Uday Umesh lalit on Monday sought responses from – Google India, Yahoo India, Microsoft Corporation (India) ltd. and Facebook — by January 9 on NGO Prajwala’s plea seeking a defined place where one could report such rape videos and seek their blocking.

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The court’s notices for response came during the course of hearing of a letter by Hyderabad-based non-governmental organisation Prajwala along with two rape videos. Two videos submitted in a pen drive showed a man raping a woman and another man filming it.

The NGO’s lawyer Aparna Bhat said videos of sexual offences are shot and posted online, and pleaded for court directions to them to take steps to curb cybercrime. (IANS)

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