Troubled Social Media Accounts-Toolkit

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Amit Rethrekar
Amit Rethrekar
Amit Rethrekar is a noted author on the subject of Cyber Security, Anti Money Laundering and Compliance related issues.
Whether you’re reading this on Linkedin/Facebook/Instagram/Twitter. It means both you & I have online tools to access what’s published in the web-PUBLIC domain & if we happen to be connected easier to communicate as well as DEFRAUD.

Difference between Impersonation v/s Hacking?

  • Impersonation- In simple words, it is a new number/mail ID with the same photo & matching details.
  • Hacking- When your OWN mobile no/mail id is compromised/unauthorizedly used by someone without your knowledge.

Legal Implications-Indian republic

Being someone else & projecting you’re someone else is a “crime” as defined under erstwhile IPC (Sec 416) & incumbent Bhartiya Nyay Sanhita (Section 317) is a punishable offense.
This also assumes significance under, the Information Technology Act, of 2000 which reads as under ;
“Whoever, by means of any communication device or computer resource cheats by personation, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to a fine which may extend to one lakh rupees.”
So, imagine you receive a DM on Insta from Tripti Dimri (the latest heartthrob of the nation), if you believe that & say divulge personal details & worst pay/transfer money online you end up being a “Foolish” social+ online ANIMAL 2024.
So, if you’re an attempted victim/victim of IMPERSONATION social media handles online, you need to read this;
1. Reporting Hacked / Impersonating Facebook Account?
-Report to the Facebook Page of the Indian Grievance Officer and get the ticket number.
-If no response, within 48 hours report on
2. Reporting Hacked/Impersonating WhatsApp Account?
-Report to authorities on whatsapp and register your grievance
-If no response within 48 hours, report on
3. Reporting hacked/impersonating Instagram accounts?
-Report to the authorities on Instagram and register your grievances
-If no response within 48 hours,report on
4. Hacked/impersonating Twitter/X accounts
– Report to the authorities on Twitter
-If no response within 48 hours,report on

What happens when you report?

Someone (dedicatedly set up to ensure such grievances are addressed) checks, investigates & possibly restores.
These measures/filing complaints will attempt to ensure you “RE-GAIN” control of your social media accounts.
Simply, putting status/story/msg/DM across social media that my account is hacked pls don’t respond/pay/divulge/reveal is irrelevant/useless.

The role of GAC whose links are given above?

Its Govt of India machinery escalation matrix. The Grievance Appellate Committee (GAC) is established under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 [“IT Rules”], made under the Information Technology Act, 2000. They deal with appeals of users aggrieved by decisions of Grievance Officers of various social media intermediaries and other intermediaries. The entire appeal process, from filing to decision, is in digital mode. GAC endeavours to resolve appeals within 30 days.
So safe to say, they’re “Social Media Ombudsman/Digital Lokpal”
Last Resort
Ministry of Home Affairs set up I4C’s- “Cyber Dost” guess we all need to use him as last resort. In case, if your issues aren’t addressed to your satisfaction, you may report at 1930 or

Precautionary Safeguards

It is our primary responsibility to ensure your “Digital Hygiene”.
How much / whom / when-where & whom you share your PRIVATE life online with matters. Merely making reels/showcasing your vacation or luxury life may entail you being financially deprived of it at a later stage…
Stay Vigilant… Stay Aware…!!
Indiaforensic-Cyber Suraksha Antarang
As mentioned in Ganesh Purana (historical Indian scripture across ages)
A fault/mistake/error gets aggravated if it is concealed but fades away if revealed.
Cyber Suraksha is an “Ongoing Exercise”, you need to be vigilant at all times, or else it costs you Big Financial and/or reputational damage.
So it is always advisable, to be vigilant and even if an untoward incident happens, ensure it’s reported not just for your safety but the overall digital safety of every internet user.
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