Digital Detox

Sleeping with the phone under the pillow? Insecurity in the absence of the phone? These are symptoms of a person who is in need of a digital detox. A digital detox is a time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, utilizing this time to do what he is supposed to. Though technology has its advantages, people are now cognizant of the negative impact and know that the addiction to it is real. So how do we unplug and take a break to be tech-free, above all overcome the fear of missing out?

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  • Do not use your phone as an alarm clock
  • Do not take your phone first thing in the morning, give yourself a good half an hour to prepare for the day
  • Turn off push notifications on all apps, be it social media, dating apps or messengers
  • Set a time of the day to check the notifications, or decide to check them every two or three hours
  • Set a time limit, even if one thing leads to another, curb your temptation and keep the gadget aside after the time limit
  • Start slow, maybe no gadgets at the dinner table or
  • Assign a day off your gadgets, once a week. Maybe a Sunday when there is no workload and you are engaged with family and fun. Let people know you are offline
  • Introspect and analyze which apps or sites consume your maximum time, try to simulate the effects in real life. Like physically meeting new people with common interests and likings, maybe a walking buddy or visit an art gallery or a Zumba session
  • Keep your phone out of reach while driving
  • Make your bedroom a gadget-free zone
  • Remind yourself that social media shows only the highlights of others’ lives and is not the be all of one’s life

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Have substitutes ready to clampdown temptations

  • Have books, magazines ready for reading
  • Take a short walk when temptation sets in
  • Meet your social media friends in person
  • Spend time with family
  • Take up an outdoor activity
  • Run chores
  • Try your hand at something new like gardening
  • Play board games
  • Talk to neighbors
  • Make new friends, catch up with old ones
  • Take up new hobbies
  • Make memories instead of capturing them
  • Meditate to calm your mind and convince it that you are doing the right thing
  • Mentally repeat a mantra to deter the urge of grabbing the gadget
  • Explore places you have always wanted to
  • Focus on life issues that you have been procrastinating
  • Reward yourself if you achieve your goal of abstinence

Advantages of disconnecting

  • More empathy towards others
  • Better relationships
  • More relaxation
  • Better posture
  • Stronger personal bonds
  • Insight into the way your mind works
  • Boosted memory due to undivided attention to the present
  • Better sleep
  • Improves health saves from eye strain and a phenomenon called ‘text neck’
  • Helps get over shyness, anxiety, depression and loneliness
  • Increases attention span

Start and more importantly stick to the detox to have a life-changing and enjoyable experience. Live in the present moment for a stress-free and anxiety free life. End the slavery to technology, switch off to get back the normalcy in our lives. Experience these benefits in your daily life and eliminate the dependencies incrementally until you are in control of your lives again

 

Business Etiquettes

The foundation of business etiquette is to build strong professional relationships resulting from feeling at ease with people you work with. Business etiquette is not about which fork is to be used but, one’s behavior asserts one’s professionalism. Business etiquette varies from country to country but some fundamentals are still universal.

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  • Introduce yourself using your full name for better retention and online searches. Pay attention to others’ names as well. Introduce people who you think might not know each other, it makes people feel valued, again by their full names
  • Shaking Hands demonstrates confidence, approachability. It also sets the tone for further communication. Eye contact also demonstrates confidence and honesty.Greet people when you see them
  • Punctuality is a virtue that is respected and shows that you value other peoples’ time as well as yours
  • Dress appropriately. Dress code varies from place to place which can be found out from the Human Resource department or by looking at the others around. But the basic clean, pressed clothing and polished shoes never go out of fashion
  • Be Kind. Speak politely. Be courteous to people. Using please, sorry and thank you wherever needed goes a long way in how people perceive you as a person. Do not bring up controversial topics for discussion, talk on neutral subjects as far as possible
  • Do not ask too many questions in a meeting or interrupt someone mid-sentence. This is considered rude and a sign of an insufferable know-it-all.
    In fact, give non-verbal cues indicating your attention and interest to what is being spoken
  • No gossiping or backbiting, it not only tarnishes the reputation of the person being spoken about but also brings out your personality of a blabbermouth. Be mindful of being in an environment where you may not know people at a personal level. No whining and complaining about the organization
  • Declutter your desk. An organized workspace reflects your professionalism
    Do not enter into someone’s office unannounced. You run the risk of derailing his train of thoughts or intruding into their privacy which is totally uncalled for.
  • Respect shared space be it the refrigerator, the desk or the printer area. Keep it clean for the next person to use.
  • Keep emails simple and short and polite. Before clicking the hit button, review your emails for typos or grammatical errors or any source of confusion or misinterpretation
  • Reply to emails as and when necessary. Do not keep people waiting for your reply. Remove people from email threads if it no longer concerns them
    Use the right words, no slang, no loose language. Mind your tongue and you are good to go.

Undeclared and implied business etiquette exists in all company cultures. Maybe not too obvious in the beginning, but following these simple universal rules will help you amalgamate into the organization. Being kind, nice and considerate is what people notice and like, thus help one in becoming a lasting employee or gain ground in the organization

Examination Tips

Exam time is the most stressful part of the academic year. With so much at stake, there is constant pressure to outshine. Fortunately, there are various easy ways to deal with this examination stress and channelize your energy in the right direction and achieve results that you always wanted

  • Make a timetable which you will strictly adhere to. Let the timetable have a variety of subjects to keep you hooked. Have a mix of memorizing and problem-solving subjects to keep it interesting
  • Highlight important points, read important information aloud and jot it down for better retention. Write keywords on the side of your notes so you can weave your answers around those words
  • Pin stuff that you need to remember like flowcharts, diagrams, important dates or formulae on your soft board. The visual aid will also help in better recall value.
  • Keep your notes ready and make flashcards for easy reference, anytime anywhere
  • Take short breaks to relax the brain and overcome unwanted stress, meet friends or take walks
  • Be prepared by knowing what kind of questions to expect
  • Solve old question papers so you know what the frequently asked questions are and the pattern of the paper, time yourself
  • Take help from teachers, friends and family during preparation, group studies also help
  • Sit with a friend or parent and explain to them the concepts and answers, this way you will know where you lack
  • Have a nutritious diet during and before exams so the brain gets proper nourishment
  • Keep yourself hydrated for the brain to work better
  • Sleep well before the exam so you are fresh during the exam. A good night’s sleep also boosts the memory
  • Pack your bag the previous night with all the required material like the hall ticket, pens, pencils, calculators and so on that, you will need during the exam
  • Last minute revision should consist of only the key concepts and important points, no stuffing the brain with too much last minute information
  • Wake up on time to avoid last minute rush, have breakfast, you do not want hunger to trouble you while taking your exam
  • Make sure you have checked the venue beforehand
  • Avoid discussion outside the examination hall, will only add to panic and confusion
  • Go to the toilet before the exam if you need to
  • Read instructions on the paper carefully, keep the time in mind
  • Count the number of pages, allocate time to be spent on each section
  • Attempt the answers you are most confident about
  • If you get stuck on some answer, skip it and get back to it
  • Review the answer paper for any mistakes before submitting it

 

So, keep aside the stress, and get down to work! All the best!

 

 

Tips On Writing A Questionnaire

A Questionnaire has questions that need to be interpreted by different people in the same way. So you need to know how to play with your words to serve this purpose. A questionnaire usually is made either to get feedback or input for maybe training, marketing or research on improvement of a service or a product or for record keeping. If a questionnaire is able to accumulate reliable and usable information, then it is an effective one. Let us go through what all needs to be kept in mind when writing a questionnaire

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Simple questions, simple language
Easily understandable language so it does not have to be read multiple times. Follow the “KISS” Keep it simple sweetheart. No beating around the bush, ask to the point questions. Simple questions render instinctive answers
Short questionnaire
Keep only the questions that are essential and useful. A questionnaire that gives a feeling of answering an exam will not be answered sincerely
Start well
An interesting question will grab the attention of the respondent. Tricky or difficult questions can be kept for later
Close-ended questions
Questions with definite answers are welcome. Open-ended questions distract and pressurize the respondent Ask questions like
Will you buy a particular product from our brand today
Instead of
What is the next purchase that you will make today
No biased questions
Questions that lead to an answer of your choice is not appreciated and does not serve the purpose of the survey
Provide scales
Response scales giving direction and intensity provide strong data for analysis than the true or false, yes or no type of answers
No coinciding options
In a multiple choice question, the choices should be clearly distinct from one another.
One question at a time
Do not mix two questions in one. Instead of asking would you like a game night or a movie night with friends, ask them separately with the extent of willingness as the options.
Dissect the questions
Instead of asking one big generalized question about a product, as multiple simple questions like
I would buy this product again
I enjoyed using the product
I would recommend it to a friend
For online surveys, show a progress bar and make sure it works on multiple operating systems and devices
Try and test
Send the survey to a few people before the final audience to get the feedback. Brainstorm to make required changes

A good questionnaire is the product of brainstorming, attentive writing, compiling, reviewing and rewriting. Though they seem simple, making surveys is a daunting task. Just by tweaking the questions and corresponding responses, the quality can be drastically improved rendering value to the result.

By NSS

29th March 2018

Group Discussion Techniques

A Group Discussion is a group activity, an exchange of ideas among individuals of a group of about 10-12 people on a specific topic. It is a leaderless discussion to bring out and find out the natural leader in an individual. A group discussion is an elimination round usually in a selection setup wherein  participants  of the same educational standard discuss a topic of current interest

The Group Discussion tests you in

  • Body language
  • Keenness and interest
  • Eye contact
  • Communication skills
  • Understanding
  • Ability to present ideas logically and systematically
  • Team skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Convincing capacity
  • Listening skills
  • Self-confidence
  • Backing arguments with examples or facts and figures
  • Attempt to take the group towards  a consensus
  • Getting people to agree with one’s views
  • Co-operation with the group
  • Co-ordination
  • Acceptability by the group
  • Time management
  • Coherent discussion

Tips to remember for cracking a Group Discussion

  • Build knowledge base. Being informed of current affairs shows a well-rounded personality. Read newspapers, business magazines and all sorts of books and news
  • Make up your mind on what is your take on the issues, write down your views, check if your views are fact-based or are influenced by other factors
  • Get into a habit of discussing your views with friends and family so you get a broader spectrum of ideas. Accept faults with grace and refine your thought process as you go along.
  • Learn to have healthy, mature discussions without turning it into a debate or losing your cool. Everybody has a right to their opinion, respect that.
  • Catch people and peers who would be interested in discussing topics with you. Participate in mock discussions, take feedback of your performance from people to improve your technique

Tips to remember during the Group Discussion

  • Have a positive attitude
  • Do not get into complexes towards other participants
  • Carry a paper and pen
  • Think for a few minutes before starting the discussion
  • Write points for and against the topic if it is such so you are prepared for both approaches to a particular topic
  • Try to Initiate the GD with a strong beginning if you have a thorough knowledge of the topic like a quote, story, fact and figures, shock statement
  • Do not think, more talking is good. Relevant talking is good.
  • Be a dynamic and active participant
  • Try giving the discussion a new dimension
  • Stay focused and competitive
  • See things from others’ perspective as well
  • Be assertive of your views and accept others’ views with grace
  • Be open minded
  • Speak calmly and clearly, grab your chances to speak don’t be too aggressive though
  • Make eye contact while speaking
  • Give others a chance to speak
  • Keep the discussion on track
  • Try to help the group reach a consensus though difficult, the attempt is appreciated
  • Try to summarize the discussion

Leaving a good impression on the evaluator is of key importance. Interpersonal skills are of core importance in the corporate world and hence the group discussions are conducted to test your behavioral and attitudinal ability in a team environment and prove that you are the best among equals.

 

By NSS

27th March 2018

Nadir Yakhni Recipes

Lotus root or Nadru is found in the lakes of Srinagar. Hence it is a popular ingredient used in delicacies in Kashmir. Nowadays it is available in local vegetable markets as well

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Nadir Yakhini is a yogurt gravy based dish cooked in a variety of spices.

  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes Image result for nadur yakhni recipe
  • Cooking Time: 40 minutes
  • Serves: 5-6 people

Ingredients

  • 1 kg nadru (lotus root)
  • 100ml mustard oil
  • 2 cups of whipped curd
  • 3 table spoon saunf powder (fennel seeds powder).
  • 1/4 tea spoon hing (asafoetida)
  • 1 tea spoon shah jeera (cumin)
  • 1 tea spoon kala jeera (black cumin)
  • 3 crushed moti elaichi (black cardamom)
  • 2 crushed choti elaichi (green cardamom)
  • 1 tea spoon saunth powder (ginger powder)
  • 2 tej patta (bay leaves)
  • 1 stick dalcheeni (cinnamon)
  • 1 whole laung (clove)

Method

  • Wash the lotus root well and peel them, cut them into 2″ thick pieces.
  • Boil them for 5-7 minutes to get rid of the mud and dirt inside the holes
  • You can fry the nadru after boiling (This is optional)
  • Add these pieces of nadru in a pressure cooker with 2 glasses of water
  • Add salt, tej patta, dalcheeni, laung and pressure cook for 5-6 whistles till the lotus root softens
  • Heat the mustard oil in a pan, add shah jeera and hing
  • Beat the curd and add it to the pan and stir constantly to avoid curdling
  • Let it boil
  • Add the salt for this gravy, saunf powder, saunth powder, kala jeera, moti elaichi and choti elaichi and give it a boil.
  • Add these contents to the pressure cooker with the nadru
  • Let it boil for 10 minutes so the flavors are absorbed by the nadru
  • Serve with boiled basmati rice
Lotus root is a very healthy vegetable. Rich in minerals like potassium, phosphorous, iron, manganese, copper, zinc and many more; contains vitamin B6 and Vitamin C. It is a source of dietary fiber, also complex carbohydrates
Benefits of Lotus Root
* Boosts Immunity
*Aids Digestion
*Helps weight management
*Reduces stress
*Improves Blood Circulation
*Regulates blood pressure
*Relieves constipation
*Protects the heart
*Facilitates digestion
So what are you waiting for, get your stock of good health now.
By NSS
26th March 2018

Walking For A Healthy You

Walking is the most natural way of exercising, man has been walking since the beginning of time immemorial. When done right, you can walk your way to a fitter, slimmer and a healthier you

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  • 10,000 steps a day is recommended for fitness. Keeping track of the number steps taken gives you a sense of achievement. Adapting to small lifestyle changes could help you get in shape, walking to the grocery store or to a friend’s or even to run errands, taking the staircase, ditching the elevators and escalators will help you reach to your desired weight.
  • A dedicated 40-minute walk will also help reach your daily target. You can even walk in intervals, it helps control blood sugar levels and also can squeeze into your tight schedule.
  • Intensity can be increased by a brisk walk or walk uphill which will increase the heart rate, help build muscles, increase metabolism and would not even lead to sore muscles. Interval walking also works wonders, walk at varied speeds to increase calorie burn.
  • Eating healthy, cutting on sugar and bakery products will also help speed the weight loss process.
  • Try having foods and beverages that boost metabolism,  like green tea, green coffee, protein-rich food. Drink 3-4 liters of water to flush toxins.

Walking has innumerable benefits, some of which are

  • Burns calories, promotes weight loss, helps cut down the extra flab
  • Reduces risk of diseases, increases bone density, keeps the heart healthy, prevents disease like diabetes
  • Keeps the body active by stimulating blood circulation, controls blood pressure and cholesterol levels, refreshes the system, lifts your spirit, makes feel livelier, rejuvenates the body
  • Cheapest and easiest form of exercise can be done anytime, anywhere. There is an array of walking videos available online for which you just need an internet connection, walk along with them or walk on the treadmill, without a need to step out of the house.
  • Walking keeps a person happy and keeps stress at bay. Calms down the nerves as the body releases endorphins which have an overall relaxing effect.
  • Improves memory and cognitive functions of the brain as the levels of the hormones serotonin and dopamine increase due to walking
  • Improved blood circulation gives the skin a healthy glow, delaying the signs of aging.
  • Walking with a friend keeps the motivation high and the bond strong
  • Walking keeps a man happy and healthy and keeps off the excess weight, also strengthens muscles

Walking tips

  • Wear the right shoes that are comfortable, offer a good grip and support and do not pinch anywhere
  • Track the number of steps using a pedometer or a tracking mobile app
  • Warm your body up, start with slow walking and then work up the speed
  • Carry water for hydration
  • Walk with a good posture, with your back straight, tummy tucked in, navel trying to touch the back
  • Arms need to be as close to the body as possible while swinging them so that the motion is fluid and effective
  • Swinging the arms back and forth faster will increase your walking speed
  • Relax the neck and shoulder muscles
  • Take shorter strides trying to push off the leading foot with more force while keeping 
  • The heel should touch the ground first then roll the foot on your toes for minimum stress on ankles and knees
  • Find a walking buddy  to keep yourself motivated

Coupled with a healthy diet, a daily walk done in the right way can work wonders for one’s well being. So, what are you waiting for; put on your walking shoes and start today! And remember, “The only shortcut for weight loss is taking the long path”

By NSS

26th March 2018

Negative Effects Of Social Media

We all know the positive aspects of social media, the connectivity, the platform for sharing and growing, meeting like-minded people and so on. But to come to think of it, there are quite a few disadvantages to this whole social media bubble. What started as an innovative idea to get the world closer has become an addiction and reason for potential social disaster for the youth at different levels

  • Hacking and Cyber Bullying are the most common liability to an individual and a more serious misdemeanor of identity and data theft.  Misusing any leaked classified information could have serious repercussions if it falls into the wrong hands.
  • Abuse Posted pictures and videos on websites can be tampered with and be used in undesirable places. Abusing and defaming anonymously is also a common practice on social media
  • Deceipt Incidents of people meeting on social media websites, falling in love, being cheated financially and emotionally are not unheard of. Even employees could end up leaking or sharing confidential data resulting in serious ramifications for organizations.Image result for social media disadvantages for youth
  • Lack of social skills People start recoiling from face to face interactions due to excessive time spent on social media. They start lacking direct communication skills and are comfortable communicating only virtually with people. This lack of social interaction may lead to hormonal and mental imbalances
  • Inactivity Social media has led to a lazy generation. Instead of going to a friend or a relative, one just messages or calls. Even running a  chore or ordering food etc is just a click away, leaving fitness and activity far behind
  • No emotional connect A message or an emoticon cannot convey the real emotion behind the words. It leaves one wondering what the other actually feels
  • Escape Hiding emotions or confidence or even reality behind the screen is what attracts people to it who are either shy or a fraud. Lack of empathy also arises from interacting through social media
  • Diversions Distracts people from doing what they are actually doing and hooks them to unwanted scrolling and unnecessary screen time
  • Respectability Reputation of a company or an individual can be ruined just by someone creating rumors that spread like wildfire across the web
  • Health Adverse effects on health like stress, anxiety, poor eyesight are also serious issues caused due to excessive use of social media
  • Time Waster Social media is one of the most popular time waster and distraction. One finds solace in it when not able to do something or wants to escape something and where time flies no one knows
  • Shared narcissism Very often people live in self-deception by posting picture perfect shots and good news. Thus creating a perfect image of oneself that clouds the actual self-image. All this has rendered a  generation of self-obsessed narcissists. Every episode in life however frivolous becomes a source of self-promoting content.
  • Low-self worth A person constantly keeps looking for external validation  and if his reality does not match the digital illusion posted on their own profiles, one may end up feeling that he is not living up to his own “best” or that of his peers

As for everything else, social media has its flaws though it has brought to the world a common platform for thoughts and expressions. Correct and efficient use of social media is up to one’s own discretion. The knowledge of the risks and vulnerabilities equip us to use it to our advantage.

 

By NSS

22nd March 2018

 

Advantages Of Online Matrimony Sites

In this internet era, it is no surprise that even marriages are arranged on the internet instead of heaven. As man is becoming a global citizen, it is no surprise people are looking for their spouses in all parts of the world instead of being confined to one’s state or even country for that matter. Liberalization also has led to more and more youngsters opting for matrimonial sites like http://www.sahijodi.com/ to find a perfect match for the happily ever after.

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These sites have the following advantages

  •  The soul mate search has been made so effortless that it is just a click away. The sites have superseded the cumbersome process of approaching the conventional matchmaker. Doing it in the comfort of one’s home with the availability of merely a computer and an internet connection or even a mobile app
  • Busy people and introverts who would otherwise either not have the time or would be too shy to venture out also can just register, that too usually for free  and enter their information and get started
  • The user-friendly algorithm lets you enter minute details of predisposition like the geographical, religious, occupational preference. Based on these choices and data, they notify the client through emails and messages. It is like the match is tailor-made to suit your criteria.
  • There are various filters that make the search specific and lead you to more like-minded matches, complementing  your value system, social standing and professional inclination
  • There are privacy features that guard your identity and limit it only to authentic or relevant parties. Even photos and pictures are protected so they cannot be downloaded or copied.
  • Chatting options are available so you can have a one on one chat with interesting or interested parties to get further details and arrange for eventual meetings.
  • Personalized assistants are also assigned if requested for, they use advanced tools and also help in detailed background research for the prospective brides/grooms
  • Demographic limitations are not a deterrent to the process as people from one corner of the world can easily connect with someone in another part of the world due to the ease and accessibility of these websites
  • It is easier even for parents who would otherwise depend on an agent, other community meetings or newspaper adverts, the web offers a wider spectrum in a more organized form for ease and comfort
  • Sharing and matching horoscopes is also done on many of these sites. Moreover, some of these websites offer help as far as booking venues, caterers, event managers and even honeymoon destinations. They are like a one-stop shop for the institution called marriage.

Though there are fraudulent cases that pop up in such events, one is advised to do a thorough background check and be cautious before taking the plunge. If a match does not click, the option for making friends is always open.  Marriage portals not only offer systematic database but also act as a medium for communication. The springing up of matrimonial sites is  primarily because of the diverse options they offer, making it a smooth sailing finding a perfect match

By NSS

26th March 2018

 

Cyber Crime Safety

Cybercrime is a universal issue tormenting the world. Cybercrime is defined as criminal activities carried out by means of computers or the Internet
Due to the growing number of people attaining access to the internet,
evolution in technology, the global population is getting more vulnerable to participation in cybercrime, either the predator or the prey. Cybercrime is
swiftly propagating from simple e-mail misconduct to far-reaching violations like theft of information, email bombing to crashing servers and so forthImage result for cybercrime
Cybercrime is different and more reprehensible than conventional crime here electronic medium is used. It involves individual citizen, to groups to huge businesses, to the government and the world at large.
Various laws have been brought into existence. There are various classifications on the basis of the crimes and the victims of the same. Against individuals, property, government or against the society at large.

Cybercrime is a problem because it puts internet users at risk of being taken advantage of or harmed. Let us now learn of measures that can be taken to protect oneself and the data from cybercrime.Image result for anti virus software

  • Use anti-virus Software- Firewalls and latest anti-virus software should be installed wherever possible Even if it slows down the system, it can save all your work which would otherwise be destroyed by an attack. In case of businesses, hire Security Experts if needed. Like the saying goes better safe than sorry
  • Block-Suspicious or unknown accounts are better blocked. Do not accept friend requests from doubtful strangers.
  • Online Shopping Shop only from secured sights. Try choosing the Cash On Delivery option where ever possible. The online retailer’s internet address will change from “http” to “https” to indicate a connection is secure, make sure you check this and proceed with the payment. Don’t store your card details on websites, put in those extra seconds everytime to enter the details. Image result for passwords
  • Passwords– Use strong passwords for all your IDs. Use different passwords for different sites
  • Multiple email accounts Have separate accounts for official and informal transactions so even if one of the accounts gets hacked, all your banking and passport details are not compromised.
  • No unwanted clicking– Do not acknowledge pop-ups, as they might contain malicious software tricking you into installing malware. Similar strategies are used by hackers by luring you into opening links or attachments and in turn installing malware which makes your device vulnerable. Emails claiming that you have won high-value Lottery or any kind of money is dangerous, DO NOT entertain such emails.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 It may not be practicable to eradicate cybercrime but it is quite possible to check them. Crime cannot be completely extinguished from the society. If every cyberspace user takes that one extra step to safeguard himself and his data and business, exploitation of it may be saved. Various laws are put in place for the variety of cyber crimes, but don’t they say, ‘Prevention is better than cure’

By NSS

22nd March 2018