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Cyber Harassment Helpline received 2,023 complaints in 2019

Lahore

July 1, 2020

LAHORE:The Cyber Harassment Helpline received a total of 2,023 cases during 2019 with a daily average of 146 calls per month.

This was revealed in the Cyber Harassment Helpline’s annual report for the year 2019 presented by Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) on Tuesday. When compared to the overall complaints the helpline received over three years, the calls from 2019 account for 45 percent of all complaints. This shows an alarming increase in the number of cases over time and a disturbing upward trend in cyber-harassment cases. Over the past year, DRF reports complaint trend towards attacks where people are targeted through WhatsApp or text messaging. Another trend is the increase of attacks on mobile wallets/ e-wallets like Easy Paisa. “We received a total of 855 complaints that were related to WhatsApp hacking or phishing attacks through WhatsApp. About 29 percent of our complaints were related to cyber harassment on Facebook,” the DRF report said.

Nighat Dad, Executive Director of DRF said: “This year, we have seen an exponential increase in cases given the initial lockdown. In the months of March and April, we saw an increase of 189% as compared to January and February. With the help of UN Women Pakistan and other supporters, we are currently running our helpline round-the-clock to accommodate this increase in cases, and also have professionally trained mental health consolers at hand to attend to sensitive calls and cases.” The Helpline team provides relief and help to those affected by online harassment and bullying, at 0800-39393 every day from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

Condolences: Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Niaz Ahmad Akhtar has expressed his sorrow and grief over sad demise of mother of Federal Minister of Education Shafqat Mahmood.