By Fiona Mehta
With increased traffic in the virtual world, the risk of becoming a victim of cyber crime grows all the time, especially for women, who are typically perceived as easy targets. The types of internet crimes against women have grown, and the wave hasn’t stopped in India. Cyber flames, cyber eve-teasing, and cyber flirting and cheating are a few additional new generation crimes worth mentioning.
- Phishing – According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), cybercrime against women increased by 110% in India between 2018 and 2021. Offenders are sending fake emails with a link to a specific webpage in order to trick victims into entering personal information such as bank account numbers, contact information, and passwords, or to install harmful viruses on the victim’s device as soon as they open the link. These emails and texts look to be from trustworthy sources. The criminals then utilize the victim’s bank account and other personal information to make fraudulent transactions from the victim’s account to their own.
- Cyber Stalking and Hacking – Usually, a cyber stalker’s victim is new to the internet and unfamiliar with internet safety standards. Over 75% are females, according to estimates. With a few mouse clicks or key strokes, a cyber stalker can easily locate confidential information about a potential victim. Women began becoming victims of cyber hacking by clicking on virus links, which downloaded all of their personal information, activated the camera and microphone, and captured intimate photos and videos. Offenders then utilise this information and photographs for sextortion and other favours.
- Cyber Defamation – The internet and social media are undoubtedly beneficial to individuals and society as a whole, but they are also a particularly rapidly growing field for potentially defamatory claims. In India, defamation is considered both a tort and a crime. It damages a person’s reputation and status, making the wrongdoer as accountable as if the wrongdoer had injured the person’s body.
- Sextortion – During the epidemic, this was the most common cybercrime perpetrated against women. By blackmailing the victims into revealing their private photos or modified photographs, the perpetrators began extorting money or sexual favours. Threatening women with sexual video calls/images or messages was a result of the pandemic and lockdown frustration. In addition, the loss of revenue prompted them to extort money from the victim by threatening them with modified photographs.
There are no specific provision in the IT Act, 2000 that specifically deal with the crime against women as does the provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the Constitution of India or the Code of Criminal Procedure for that matter.
- Keep a watch out for insignificant/false phone/email messages.
- Do Not Respond or click on emails that request personal information.
- Keep an eye out for bogus websites that attempt to steal your personal information.
- If a victim is a victim of cybercrime, he or she should inform the nearby cyber cell or police department in their city.