Cyber Crimes against Women and Children are on the Rise:
The number of internet users in India, particularly women is on the rise. Even now also 30% of the internet users in India are female. Given the dependence on the virtual world, cyber- crimes in India and abroad has been increasing exponentially. Consider, the result of a survey which says, 1 in 10 women under 30 has been the target of revenge porn and / or sextortion. Similarly, another survey claims that 76% of the women below the age of 30 years have faced online harassment. These statistics itself are quite worrisome.
Similarly, with a dramatic reduction in the prices of smart-phones, the first point of contact with the internet has seen a sharp decline. Ten years before, a working salaried person may not have had a smart-phone. However today, children as young as ten years old are using smart-phones and perhaps even laptops/ desktops to connect to the virtual world. Activities like school projects, sometimes compel a student to reach out for online resources!
A hacker is most likely to target a less tech savvy user than anyone else. Thus, children are the most preferred target for a cyber-criminal especially for sexual abusers and pedophiles.
Common Cybercrime against Women & Children:
Women and children have regularly been the victims of various cyber-crimes including, revenge porn women and pedophiles. Other specific cyber-crimes against women and children include the following:
Stay Safe – Tips to Prevent Cyber Crimes against Women & Children:
In India, majority of cyber-crimes in India go unreported not only due to lack of awareness on the reporting procedures, but also the inability to even detect the crime. For example, 90% of cyber bullying cases of children in India remain unreported (as per a recent survey). Thus, the children continue to suffer in silence. Following are some of the most important tips one should follow to remain safer in the virtual world:
Never Share Passwords:
One of biggest reason of breach of account is sharing of passwords. So, never share your login credentials with anyone. You never know when the relations will turn sour, which may result in the misuse of password.
Never Leave Webcam/ Microphone Connected:
There are several application and vulnerabilities which may allow a hacker to remotely start a webcam or microphone. For example, recently the camera of smart TV of a couple in Surat was switched on remotely. It allowed the hacker to capture the most private moment of their life. Subsequently, the hacker posted their private video on several porn sites, leading to incalculable and irreversible damage.
Thus, we advise users to disable the camera permissions and close / cover the lens when not in use. For computers, you should apply a small sticker to cover the webcam when you don’t need it.
Share Personal Data Online Diligently:
Don’t trust an unknown online person blindly. Even if you have known someone for long, don’t share anything more than necessary. Otherwise, one can easily misuse intimate photographs/ videos, online chats for blackmail, revenge etc when the relations run into troubled waters. In other words, follow the principal “need to know basis” in real life.
Never Meet Online Connections Alone:
Many of the mishaps have been reported, when the victim went to meet a malicious person, whom he/ she had befriended on the virtual world. Thus, always keep your loved ones informed when you meet such stranger friends.
Install Updates and Use Anti-Virus Software:
You must install latest and genuine anti-virus, anti-malwares and update them on regular basis. They provide a decent layer of protection, and make the online adversary move onto some other target.
Measures by Government of India:
National Commission of Women in its report on “Ways and Means to Safeguard Women from Cyber Crimes in India” recommend the following – dedicated helpline numbers, increment cyber cells and forensic labs, stringent laws, technical training of LEAs and judicial officers etc.
The Information Technology Act, 2000 amended 2008 together with Indian Penal Code, Copyright Act etc. have several provisions to deal with Cyber crimes. Besides, several other steps have also been the government listed below:
To read about Acts and Section related to cyber crimes, navigate to: https://cyber-cops.com/links