SOCIAL MEDIA AND CRIMES : A MAJOR THREAT TO THE PEOPLE

By Gaurav, Shubhanshu Aggarwal, Students, CPJ College Delhi, 24 July, 2021, 05:10PM

To provide a clear and exact definition of cyber crime will be a tough job. As it cannot be elaborated due to the vast offences coming under this category. Cyber crime is the mixture of illegal act i.e. crime and an electronic medium like computer. The exact definition of cyber crime has not been defined anywhere. The target of hacker in cases of cyber crimes is basically either the data stored in the computer or the person using the computer.  

Introduction

Social media includes all those platforms which run through internet. The social media is a good platform as it minimizes the distance, and people from various geographical areas can communicate easily. This is the main advantage as well as disadvantage too. Immature teenagers or mature teenagers fall in traps laid down by the criminals using fake identities, using those id’s for immoral purposes. Social media in the pandemic time is being used by almost every person irrespective of age and gender. Due to this the risk of cyber crimes has also increased. Cyber crimes are fundamentally those crimes which are committed through internet against any person. In today’s world internet is the most common. Even a child of tender age knows about internet and its operations. This is yet again an advantage but a disadvantage too.

 

According to a recent survey it was observed that over 27 million Indian majors have experienced cyber crime in one way or another. In today’s world the most common cyber crimes constitutes crimes like cyber bullying, cyber threatening, stalking, accessing dark web in order to purchase or sell illegal things, hacking into another person’s privacy to commit some kind of fraud [ fraud need not to be always in monetary terms ], robbing [ many criminals check on various people profiles and as soon as they come to know that they are not at home, they commit burglary ], sextortion. Apart from these crimes there are many crimes committed through social media but the above stated are the most common kind of social media crimes.

 

Common Types of Crimes

  • Hacking of profiles : The cyber criminals illegally access the other person’s id with the illegal intention of committing some kind of illegal act. Many times people while using their social handles observe malicious things but ignore them. These things shouldn’t be ignored rather they should be properly addressed. They should be reported to the cyber cell authorities of Government of India. It is very necessary to report such things as the privacy as well as crucial details of a person is on stake. There are many apps which ask for social media handles' access before a person can use them. The person using such apps must be aware about its reviews.

  • Morphing of Photos: The photos of persons can be easily morphed. Criminals use this technique to commit fraud with other people. They imitate themselves as another person and commit fraud without getting caught. Today on social media handles around billions of photos are shared due to which it gets easy for the hackers to pick up photos and morph them. Hackers commonly use the illegal act of photo morphing for gaining financial and sexual gains from girls and women. They edit their photos and then send them to porn sites or else many times they use it for black mailing purposes. But various commonly used and famous applications are updating their privacy policy and immediately send the notification if any person tries to take screenshot of their uploaded pic without their permission. This is a good step taken by the developer of the applications.

  • Cyber bullying: Bullying either physically or through internet is punishable. Cyber bullying means to bully or humiliate the victim by creation of an apprehension that he will be hurt if he doesn’t work or act accordingly to the hacker. It constitutes a series of acts like sending bullying messages containing vulgar language, vulgar photos, humiliating content and sometimes immoral content too. Sharing of child pornography is also considered as an illegal act and comes under the purview of cyber bullying. In such cases the victim should report an First Information Report with the respective area’s police station. Ignoring is no solution rather fighting against the same will definitely provide solution. The police has cyber cells which traces the sender’s address and then the further investigation is made and the guilty person is then prosecuted.

  • Robberies on Vacation: Many people use to upload pictures , their travelling destinations as well as updates while they are going somewhere. They do it for their own satisfaction but they are unaware of the fact that not only their friends are on social media rather hackers are also there. The hackers access these information and then commit burglary into the respective person’s property.

  • Cyber-espionage: Not only individuals become victims of cyber attacks but big companies, multinational entities are also victims for these hackers. Hackers break into the company’s private data and then use the data for their own benefit or sell that data elsewhere for more profits.

  • Cryptojacking : The hackers use the illegal techniques and hack into the person owning cryptocurrencies. They use to purchase and sell items by making transactions through that cryptocurrency.

 

Laws for handling social media crimes

 

The Information Technology Act,2000 and the I.T. amendment Act,2008 are the laws handling the grievances relating to the cyber crimes.

 

The objective for enacting these acts was to give legal recognition to the computer or electronically based transactions.

 

Conclusion

 

In today’s world, cyber crimes have been emerging as a new trend among the criminals. In the post pandemic session as well people are being victimized more often by these kind of crimes. Fraud emails are the most common type of cyber crime.

 

The government has made many cyber cells as well as acts in order to maintain harmony in the society. It is also the duty of people to remain safe and not to be silent if they know any such person involved in such activity.