Question: The recent revelation regarding WhatsApp breach is a prime example of how social media is vulnerable to spying. Explain the challenges involved in social media protection and measures to tackle the threats.
Answer: The Pegasus malware controversy is indeed an eye opener for users regarding safety and privacy of their social media participation. This shows that digital data is not as safe as it is perceived to be.
Challenges involved in social media protection
The main issue in social media is regarding privacy of the concerned individual. The data and information collected from social media can be used to create problems to the user as well as authorities.
Ex: Passwords of government owned platforms like AADHAR.
- Identifying criminals
After the event has taken place it becomes necessary to catch the criminal and bring him/her to justice in order to create fear. With advanced masking techniques it becomes extremely difficult for authorities to catch the criminal.
- Reducing interference by authorities
Sometimes people intended to protect citizen’s interest itself misuse their powers to carry out snooping. This will reduce the trust that people have in the authorities.
Ex: Tracking twitter activity by police.
Measures to tackle threats
- Strong laws
Framing strong laws that makes snooping illegal can reduce such incidents considerably. This will also encourage users to approach authorities to lodge their complaints.
- Digital education
Large section of Indians are regular social media users in which significant numbers are uneducated or under educated. To make them aware of the threat, digital literacy campaigns must be carried out.
- Capable cyber security force
Regular monitoring of cyber space by a dedicated team can help identify emerging threats and can warn users in advance regarding them. This will be particularly useful in case of popular domains used by individuals.
Thus, we can say that cyber security is indeed a new warfare front and ample amount of resources must be dedicated to protect citizens as well as government resources from getting affected.