Cybercrime is a worldwide issue. With the advancement of technology, cyber-crime and female victimization are on the rise, posing a serious threat to a person’s overall security. Despite the fact that India is one of the few countries to pass the Information Technology Act of 2000 to fight cybercrime, women’s problems are still unaddressed in this legislation. This Act does not completely address the grave threat to women’s safety in general.
Cybercrime is a term that refers to any criminal activity that is carried out primarily through the use of a device. It is a crime committed against individuals or groups of individuals with a criminal purpose who use modern telecommunication networks such as the Internet to deliberately damage the victim’s reputation or inflict physical or mental harm to the victim directly or indirectly. Women, especially young girls who are inexperienced in the cyber world and who have been newly exposed to the internet and do not understand the internet’s vices, are particularly vulnerable to falling prey to cyber criminals and bullies.
TYPES OF CYBER CRIMES
Cyber-crimes may be committed against persons, property and government. The common types of cyber-crimes are discussed below.
Harassment via e-mail
It is not a novel idea. It’s a lot like bullying people by letters. It may involve extortion, threats, intimidation, and even email cheating. While e-harassment is similar to letter harassment, it frequently causes problems when it is sent from a false ID.
It is one of the most often discussed and practiced online crimes in today’s world. According to the Oxford dictionary, stalking is described as “pursuing stealthily.” Cyber stalking is described as following a person’s movements around the Internet by posting threatening messages on the victim’s bulletin boards, accessing the victim’s chat rooms, and continuously bombarding the victim with emails, messages, and other communications.
The most dangerous threat to female internet users is cyber pornography. This would include pornographic websites or magazines created through the use of computers to publish and print the content, as well as the Internet (to download and distribute pornographic pictures, images, and writings, among other things).
The internet has served as a conduit for the facilitation of crimes such as pornography, especially cyber pornography. On the Internet today, almost half of all web pages contain pornographic material. When cyber criminals use pictures of women and fix them with naked, this becomes dangerous to a woman’s dignity. Photographs or videos, and only that woman appears in the picture or video.
Another popular offence against women on the internet is cyber tort, which includes libel and defamation. This happens when slander is carried out using machines and/or the Internet. Someone, for example, posts defamatory information about someone on a website or sends defamatory e-mails to all of that person’s friends or relatives.
Hacking someone’s id on Facebook, Google, or any other social networking or mailing website is the most common method. It can also be achieved by creating a false profile of an individual on any website that contains all of that person’s personal information and appears to be real to others.
Unauthorized editing of the original image is known as morphing. Morphing is the process of creating a false identity for a consumer. It had been
Female pictures are downloaded by fake users and then re-posted/uploaded on various websites after being edited by creating fake profiles.
Email spoofing is when an e-origin mail’s is misrepresented. It is a forgery of an email. It demonstrates that its root is distinct from the real origin.
LANDMARK CASES IN THIS REGARD
The Ritu Kohli Case was India’s first case of cyber stalking. Mrs Ritu Kohli filed a police report against a person who was using her identity to chat on the Internet for four days in a row, mostly in the Delhi channel. Mrs. Kohli also said that the individual was chatting on the Internet, using her name and address, and using obscene language. The same person was also giving her phone number to other chatters with the intention of encouraging them to call Ritu Kohli at odd hours.
As a result, Mrs. Kohli received nearly 40 calls in three days, the majority of which were during after-hours. The said call caused havoc in the complainant’s personal life, so IP addresses were traced and police investigated the situation, eventually arresting the suspect. He was arrested and charged under section 509 of the Indian Penal Code, following which he was released on bail. This is the first time that a cyber-stalking case has been identified.
The DPS MMS scandal is a well-known example of cyber pornography, in which an MMS clip of a schoolgirl in a compromising position was created and disseminated through several internet networks.
In the case of SMC Pneumatics (India) Pvt Ltd. v. Jogesh Kwatra-Jogesh Kwatra, India’s first instance of cyber defamation was registered. Pneumatics (India) Pvt Ltd. is a private limited company based in India. The company’s employee (defendant) began sending insulting, defamatory, and obscene e-mails about its Managing Director, which was reported as cyber defamation.
The anonymous and regular e-mails were sent to several of their business partners in order to tarnish the company’s reputation and goodwill. Plaintiff’s firm with the assistance of a private computer analyst, the complainant was able to locate the defendant and filed a case in the Delhi High Court.
The recent Air Force Balbharati School case (Delhi) falls under this category, in which a student was mocked by all of his classmates because he had a pockmarked face. He planned to retaliate against his tormentors by scanning images of his classmates and teachers, morphing them with nude photographs, and posting them on a website he created using a free web hosting service. When the father of one of the class girls featured on the website learned of this, he filed a police report.
SOME SUGGESTIONS AND STEPS TO TACKLE CYBER CRIMES
In addition to relying on the legal system to combat cybercrime, women must be mindful of self-victimization due to cybercrime, because the time has come to condemn the embrace of silence. Furthermore, cyber laws do not apply universally, since they differ from country to country. Every internet user nowadays, particularly women, wants to browse the web privately and safely. We should take some action to address this problem. The following are several steps and recommendations for how women can protect themselves from being abused in cyberspace and make their online attitudes and interactions safer:
- Passwords should be modified on a regular basis.
- Avoid disclosing your home address.
- Keep your social relationships secure.
- Campaign to raise awareness about cybercrime
- Seminars and conferences to help people better understand cybercrime
- Be wary of unsolicited phone calls and texts.
- Recognize the social network’s privacy settings.
- Anti-virus software must be kept up to date at all times.
- Data security on the go
- Keep the firewall activated.
It concludes that gaining exposure to combat cybercrime against women in general is difficult, and the only way to do so is to understand cybercrime. Criminals consider cybercrime to be much simpler than conventional crimes because there is less risk of being caught and less fines. First, the government must improve the justice system to reduce cybercrime.
Second, society’s perception or mind-set toward women must be altered, as women must no longer be seen as a commodity. People must realise that violence against women is merely a manifestation of gender disparity and power imbalances between men and women.
Third, women must recognise that the time has come to break their silence or hesitancy and speak out against cybercrime and for their rights.
Fourth, it necessitates ongoing study and exposure to cybercrime. It should be thoroughly researched and subsidised by the government.
Fifth, police officers must be trained in order to combat and respond to cybercrime. Workshops and seminars on cyber space education must be arranged for this reason. Women should take part in such events as well. However, in the end, people must change their attitudes toward women and cultivate a sense of community, since cleanliness begins at home.