Leading caller identification service Truecaller and CyberPeace Foundation started a nation-wide campaign #TrueCyberSafe to create awareness and train people on cybersafety, from Guwahati on May 6.
The launch event at Royal Global University in Guwahati was organized in association with Assam Police where discussions were held to promote cybersafety awareness.
The initiative aims to create awareness and train people to tackle cyberfrauds leading to a safer online experience. The safety training, that began from Assam, will be held in five regions across India to increase awareness about the steps that internet users can take to avoid fraud, spam and scams.
The programme opened with a keynote followed by training on recent cybercrimes and safety measures that can be incorporated in daily lives to stay cybersafe. The event was attended by government stakeholders, students and faculty members of various universities, young entrepreneurs and bank officials. It was supported by the Assam IT department as well as the Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh Police.
Addressing the audience, Anurag Goel, principal secretary at IT department, Assam said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vulnerabilities of cyberspace, which is evidenced by the rise in cyberattacks in the past few years. This can only be tackled through better awareness and building the capacity of people to recognize and report cybercrimes. Taking cognizance of this issue, the Assam government has taken several measures in the past, including organizing a month-long cyber awareness drive and issuing a one-stop guide book on how to stay safe online. We are very happy to see Truecaller play a role in raising awareness, and we wish them all the best. We are confident that this will prove to be an extremely fruitful exercise.”
Commissioner of police, Guwahati, Harmeet Singh said: “With rapid innovations in technology, there is also a corresponding rise in cyber threats and online harassment. India has seen a five-fold jump in cyber fraud cases between 2018 and 2021. As we continue our march towards technology, these negative externalities will also continue to grow. Hence, it is imperative that we take measures to empower citizens, and the first step to achieving this is raising awareness about digital safety and outlining the ways in which people can report cybercrimes. I’m certain that this nationwide programme will go a long way in realizing this goal.”
Pragya Misra Mehrishi, director of public affairs at Truecaller said: “With the world moving to digital space and the internet being the town square of the 21st century, it is where debate takes place, communities are built, products are sold and reputations are made. We remain committed to building trust in communication by making it safe. To build on this mission, we are conducting our first set of trainings in Assam as part of our national campaign called #TrueCyberSafe.”
“We are excited to partner with the Assam Police and receive support from the principal secretary of Assam to encourage digital users to learn how to stay safe online, take steps to report cybercrimes and aid them in nurturing the faculties of critical thinking and empathy. We are certain that this program will play an instrumental role in raising awareness and making the digital communication safer for all,” she added.
Talking about the “CyberPeace – The Need of the hour”, Vineet Kumar, global president and founder, CyberPeace Foundation said: “Since the past two decades CyberPeace Foundation has emphasised on online safety and the issues that might be faced in the upcoming days. Post the onset of pandemic, we did see a rise in the online frauds and hence we have constantly collaborated with the organisations across the globe to ensure that the netizens stay cyberaware and cyberalert and they know the mechanism to report and raise their voices. On our helpline, we get almost 10-11 cases per day related to cyberfrauds. To address this issue, we along with Truecaller believe that this programme on understanding online threats and safety is the future of Internet use. When we combine our content and expertise of Truecaller, we can create truly transformative learning experiences that deliver actionable intelligence and we are hopeful to provide the participants with lessons to follow for a safer online environment.”
The launch was followed by a technical session conducted by head-capacity building at CyberPeace Foundation, Rakshit Tandon, under the #TrueCyberSafe campaign.
In addition to talking about safety measures to be taken to stay cybersafe, the session also spoke about various reporting mechanisms including the government reporting portal and helpline. The session discussed the various safety features of Truecaller for users and ended with a lively Q&A session.