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How are online transactions leading to cyber crimes?

An increasingly digital society in Nepal has opened the way leading toward online crimes.

2022 Jul 08, 7:46, Kathmandu

With the democratisation of technology, the widespread use of new delivery channels such as ATMs, internet banking, and mobile banking is increasing the risk of financial loss and electronic fraud.

Data breaches have become commonplace in Nepal, with organisations and businesses hiring expert technology officers for ethical hacking and data protection purposes. Keeping a check on the company's online presence helps prevent possible financial loss and reputational harm. However, it is equally important to remain alert about data theft and online crimes at an individual level.

Suyash Nepal, a cyber security engineer at Nepal’s leading cyber security enterprise ThreatNix, says, “There is still little awareness in the general public about maintaining cyber security. However, in the corporate world, people are undeniably concerned about their companies' data."

As the use of pirated software, hardware and applications are widely prevalent in Nepal it is becoming a source of multiple hacking incidents. From important government sites like the Department of Passport to personal social media handles, all have been hacked multiple times in Nepal.

However, to prevent banks of Nepal from falling prey to people committing theft online, the Nepal Rastra Bank has set Information Technology Guidelines which all banks operating in Nepal are obliged to follow. According to it, all banks in Nepal should have a board-approved IT-related strategy and policy and it should be reviewed at least annually. Band banks should designate a senior official of the bank as an Information Security Officer (ISO) who will be responsible for enforcing the information security policy of the bank. The government of Nepal has also recommended deploying strong cryptography and end-to-end encryption to protect customer PINs, passwords and other sensitive data in the bank network.

Online harassment can have serious detrimental effects on the survivors when targeted by a sole individual. Research published recently in 2021, ‘Cyber Stalking, Cyber Harassment, and Adult Mental Health: A Systematic Review’, has found a significant link between mental health issues and people who have faced cyber stalking and harassment. The research was carried out through a systematic literature review. An overwhelming majority of the literature reviewed confirmed that victims of cyber harassment are facing detrimental consequences in regards to their mental health involving depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation and panic attacks. It revealed that the survivors of cyber harassment felt a lack of support from the criminal justice system which resulted in a distrust of technology.

To hold cyber criminals accountable, the Nepal Police established a cyber bureau on June 10, 2018. It is located in Bhotahiti, Kathmandu. Citizens who reside in the valley pay a visit to the bureau to file a complaint whereas those residing outside do it via mail or an in-person visit to the local police station. The bureau receives many cases related to character assassination and defamation mostly through social media platforms.

The above-cited research is centred around adults, unlike the majority of research conducted in the research sphere which is based on school children and adolescents only. However, many adults fall victim to crimes committed online highlighting the lack of safer technology use in not only minors but adults as well.


ATMs internet banking mobile banking technology officers cyber security ThreatNix cyber security engineer cyber security enterprise Department of Passport Nepal Rastra Bank hacked Cyber Bureau Online Harassment issue NepalNews technology
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