While the world is witnessing the wrath of the virus COVID-19, which has caused havoc across the globe and has questioned the mere intelligence of our species, some are involved in other nasty acts of intelligence. A recent case which has woken up the virtual space of the nation the “Bois Locker Room”, a chat group in a social media platform, where a group of teenagers has exchanged morphed images of teenage girls in their conversation have been taken to juvenile custody in Noida, after the release of those photos.

Cybercrime has taken a sudden leap during the continued period of lockdown and has spiked an eyebrow for the safety of women on the internet. The internet which has become a nasty need of the time, when the lockdown was announced to avoid the spread of the virus. There has been a rise of 87 percent increase in social media usage amid lockdown, which has also increased the concatenated cybercrime cases across India.

A time when people around are accepting the act of staying indoors, some women are mistakenly falling prey to the virtual world attackers.

Technology and Cyber Crime

We are living in the era of technology, where communication has reached its pinnacle. The social media platforms which powers the communication have completely transformed our perspective about it, which seemed quite impossible few years back. But steps of progress towards future, brings new obstacles to the present. Such is the case of cyber crime which has squeezed itself into the forefront of technology.

In India there are 351.4 million social media users, which is an astounding number to be graced with. It is good news for the nation that, the people are accepting the change but the trouble which it causes also cannot be neglected. There was about 131.2 million cyber crime cases registered in India in 2019, out of which 2030 cases of sexual harassment only. Such staggering numbers have shown that the women using internet are not at all safe in the virtual expanse.

And it is a shame that the education which the teenagers are getting on technology, they are using it in a wrong way to satisfy their momentary pleasures. And these small acts further nurture them to commit a larger crime, which then questions the presence of technology and the educational awareness that should come with it.

Legal aspect

Talking about the role of Govt. in this matter, the government says that social media has emerged as one of the major tools in the increase of cybercrimes. With people being more engaged with the internet, about 39 percent of the total social media users have already become the victim of cybercrime. Despite the fact that there is an increased number of cases, govt. have made provisions to help women surf the net with proper safety.

The IT Act, 2008 which not only facilitates the promotion of IT-industry and e-governance but also applies to prevent cybercrime in the nation. Govt. has also provided the centralized citizens portal through Crime and Criminal Tracking Networks and Systems (CCTNS), to register cybercrime complaints.

We have been provided with the policies which govern our safety on the internet, but the miscreants have always found a way in through a back door that is present in every policy. The major factor that gives access to them is the lack of awareness, which plays a major role in promoting cybercrime. The continued usage of the internet without any safety firewall and precautionary knowledge has groveled the victims towards their miscreants.

Where is it taking us?

The whole agenda of cybercrime can be brought into a halt if the people using the net be aware of the malware that roams free. By just clicking on unauthorized links we give them full access to every single bit of information about ourselves. The lack of adoption of safety precautions could be the spurt of promoting cybercrime, stated IT expert Pramod Satpathy.

The advent of technology has brought our lives into a stage where the vulnerability of losing your profile into the virtual world is very easy. But it is not the fault that improvement of technology brings numerous problems like cybercrime with itself, rather it should be noted that every step of progress brings two sides of it; one is the brighter side and the other being the darker side. And in this case, cybercrime is the darker side which can be curbed to zero if we take a stand against it. But by taking adequate precautions, can keep the cyber offenders at bay.

S N Surajbhan is a Bhubaneswar based author and he primarily writes on women’s rights, gender issues and social injustice.


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