“Time is now here to exculpate that our women are safe in cyber world, the memento alarms to stop tomfoolery activities on internet access as it is an offence and women take umbrage from it”
Every second, one woman in India gets tricked to be a victim of cyber crimes and the online platform is now the new platform where a woman’s dignity, privacy and security is increasingly being challenged every moment. Trolling, abusing, threatening, stalking, voyeurism, body-shaming, defaming, surveillance, revenge porn and other forms of indecent representation of women are rampant in the cyber world. In cyber crimes against women, the effect is more mental than physical while the focus of the laws ensuring women’s security is more on physical than mental harm. It is true that the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) of India does not maintain any separate record of cyber-crimes against women. Technology is the resource used by some perpetrators who target to defame women by sending obscene WhatsApp messages, e-mail, stalking women by using chat rooms, websites, and worst of all by developing pornographic videos, mostly created without their consent, spoofing e-mails, morphing of images for pornographic content by using various softwares available online. Indian women are not able to report cyber crimes immediately as they are not really aware as to where to report such crimes or are not serious about reporting the same due to social embarrassment they don’t want to face. Their mindset needs to broaden and they must be the whip to curb down by taking derring-do against such perpetrators, that is to go ahead and lodge an immediate complaint. Most of the problems can be solved if women report the crime immediately and warn the abuser about taking strong legal action.
Cyber crimes incept generally through fake ids created on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms causing grave harm to women, as through these platforms, major blackmailing, threatening, bullying, or cheating via messenger messages and email are done by perpetrators. Ill-intentioned men perpetrate these cyber-crimes with malafide intention such as illegal gain, revenge, insult to the modesty of a woman, extortion, blackmailing, sexual exploitation, defamation, incite hate against the community, prank satisfaction of gaining control and to steal information.
Some of the major well-known cyber crimes have put thousands of women into various health issues such as depression, hypertension and women suffer from anxiety, heart disease, diabetic and thyroid ailments due to e-harassment.
Major cyber crimes are as under:
Under the Information and Technology Act, 2000, stalkers and cybercriminals can be booked under several sections for breaching of privacy:
Key points on how to protect yourself from getting victimized to cyber crimes are as under:
It may sound silly. Who in their right mind shares their password, right?
Wrong. You may have shared your password with a trusted friend or partner. According to the Norton Cyber Crime Report, two in three people believe it’s riskier to share their email password with a friend than lend them their car. The fear is reasonable. While friends may not intentionally cause you harm, they may accidentally reveal your password to someone. Sometimes relationships change before your password does. Use your discretion and keep those passwords private and complicated.
There are too many apps capable of turning on your camera and slyly recording your movements without your knowledge. As a precaution disable camera permission and keep the lens of your camera closed or covered when not in use.
Relationships have only two shades in a spectrum – very good or very bad. Even the best of people can swing from one end of the spectrum to the other. That is why use caution when you share intimate messages, pictures, information or anything that has the potential to come back and embarrass you.
Always let your friends and family know where you are going and who you are meeting. Make sure you meet the person in a crowded coffee shop or mall.
There are too many sinister characters browsing social media sites to initiate friendship with unsuspecting women. Be careful about posting details about your whereabouts and lifestyle. Stalkers can find ways to reach you with a simple photograph or status update.
They can be a nuisance. But they are very important to keep you safe. Security updates and patches keep the latest threats away. Always install them no matter how busy you are.
Having a mobile phone or a tablet without a security system in place is like sitting in a house with the doors unlocked. Both Android and Mac devices are at risk from malicious software invading and taking over your life. Always install a reliable security system like Norton Security in all your devices.
Freebies come as games, offers, deals, etc. They may be riddled with viruses, spyware and malicious software. These can get into your device and mine all your data.
Never feel weird declining friend requests from people you barely know. Trust your instinct and ignore, unfriend or block them. You get to choose who stays on your friend list.
When it comes to safety, both online and offline, common sense is the first line of defense. Your instincts play a critical role in your protection. If something feels ‘off’, go with your instincts. You don’t have to explain your reasoning to anyone.
Reporting a cyber crime
The procedure for reporting cyber crimes is more or less the same as for reporting any other kind of offence. The local police stations can be approached for filing complaints just as the cybercrime cells specially designated with the jurisdiction to register complaint. In addition, provisions have now been made for filing of 'E-FIR' in most of the states. Women safety is a must and the police in our country must be well trained to resolve complaints of cyber crime made by women and cognizance of the same must be taken very seriously. Every police station must have expert-trained police officer who can immediately deal with cyber crime complaints made. If a police station refuses to register the complaint, a representation may be given to the commissioner of police/superintendent of police. If in spite of that action is not taken, the next step could either be a private complaint before the concerned court or a writ before the high court.
“If There Is Cyber Crime, Women Start Reporting Right Now”.
[The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of LiveLaw and LiveLaw does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same]