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Cyber Crimes: The emerging danger

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By: Kulsooma Bano

Cybercrimes have increased so much in our country that we need to take extra care and be much cautious while using the internet. The present age is the age of internet and technology and while it has a number of advantages, it has certain disadvantages as well. One such disadvantage of internet is cyber bullying and cyber crimes.

Cybercrime is a broad term used to define criminal activity in which computers or computer networks are a tool, a target, or a place of criminal activity; it includes everything from electronic wracking to denial of service attacks. It is a general term that covers crimes like phishing, credit card frauds, bank robbery, illegal downloading, industrial espionage, child pornography, kidnapping children via chat rooms, scams, cyber terrorism, creation and or distribution of viruses, spam and so on. Cyber crime also covers those traditional crimes in which computers or networks are used to enable the illicit activity. Cyber crime is increasing day by day, nowadays it has become a new fashion to earn money by fraud calls or to take revenge through hacking other accounts.

Types of Cybercrimes: Cybercrimes are broadly divided into the following major categories:

(i)Cyber crimes against persons like harassment that occurs in cyberspace or through the use of cyber Harassment can be sexual, racial, religious, or other. Crimes against persons are called “Cyber- Stalking”

It means the physical threat that creates fear to use the computer technology such as internet, e-mail, phones, text messages, webcam, websites or videos.

(ii) Cyber crimes against property which includes the crimes of computer wreckage (destruction of others’ property), transmission of harmful programs, unauthorized trespassing, unauthorized possession of computer information; and (iii) Dissemination of Obscene Material.

(iii) Dissemination of Obscene material includes indecent exposure/ Pornography (basically child pornography) and hosting of websites containing these prohibited materials. These obscene matters may cause harm to the mind of the adolescent and tend to deprave or corrupt their mind.

Moreover, Email and SMS spoofing are also included in cyber crimes. E-Mail Spoofing: A spoofed e-mail may be said to be one, which misrepresents its origin. It shows its origin to be different from which actually it originate.

SMS Spoofing: Spoofing is a blocking through spam which means the unwanted uninvited messages Mobile phone number of any person and sending SMS via internet and receiver gets the SMS from the mobile phone number of the victim. It is very serious cyber crime against any individual.

Are Women more Prone to Cyber Attacks?

As far as woman safety is concerned, it has been observed was that due to increase in cyber crimes woman are badly affected like pornography, cyber stalking, cyber harassment, etc. With the increasing use of computers in society, cybercrime has become a major issue. The advancement of technology has made man dependent on internet for all his needs. Internet has given man access to everything while sitting at one place.

Use of social networking, sites and apps, online shopping/ studying/ jobs, every possible things that a human can think of can be done through the medium of internet. The cyber crime is different from any other crime happening in the society.

The reason is that it has no geographical boundaries and the cyber criminals are unknown. It is affecting all the stakeholders from government, business establishments to common citizens alike. In India, cybercrime is increasing with the increased use of information and communication technology (ICT), etc.

Cybercrimes In India

India (after China) is the second largest online market in the world with over 560 million internet users. It is estimated that by 2023, there would be over 650 million internet users in the country.

According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, a total of 27, 248 cases of cybercrime were registered in India in 2018.In Telangana only, 1205 cyber crime cases were registered in the same year. According to FBI’s report, India stands third among top 20 cybercrime victims. The National Cyber Crime Reporting portal, started by the central government, received 33,152 complaints till now resulting in loading of 790 FIRs.

In fact, according to a 2017 report, Indian consumers had lost over 18 billion US dollars due to cyber crimes. In 2018, there were over 27,000 cases of cyber crimes recorded in the country, marking an increase of over 121% compare to the number of the cases as two years back. In 2013, there were 5,683 cases which increased to 9,622 in 2014, 11,592 in 2015 and 12,317 in 2016; and in 2017, the figures reached to 21,796. It clearly shows the increasing number of cyber crime cases in India.

The top 5 popular cyber crimes are: Phising scams, identity theft scams, online harassment, cyber stalking, invasion of privacy. Every Indian–whether living in Kashmir or Kerala, Karnatka or Kanykumari; north or south India; in rurual or urban areas or in metropolitan cities–is  affected by cyber crimes.

Therefore, we need to be aware about these crimes and need to take extra care and remain much cautious while using the internet (whether any website or social media, or while doing online shopping, etc.).

(The author is a student at Govt. Degree College Sogam (Lolab), Kupwara)





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