INCREASE IN CYBER CRIMES - TARGETING SOCIAL MEDIA USERS


Since the beginning of times, man has been always been inclined to have more advanced technologies and always work to make the existing technologies better and bigger. The advancement in technology has surely paved way for various inventions and developments in several other fields, leading to better health facilities, educational facilities, new and better transportation, good communication devices and methods, etc. However, these advancements has lead to an increase in crimes, especially the increase of cyber crimes among the people, extracting their personal information and using it to blackmail them.

Cyber crimes are the criminal activities that involve the use of internet and computers to hack into other people's computers, steal confidential business information, gain access to government information and extract information out of them or disable the services provided to people. It is usually done by novice hackers who do it for their own gain by the selling the information to others or sometimes by companies to sabotage the work of their competitors and have a upper hand. 

In India, the percentage of complaints in regard to cyber crimes is 32% which is higher in comparison to countries like USA and UK, where the percentage is about 11-15% of the complaints filed. The Indian Law does not provide a proper definition for the term cyber crime, but it has introduced an act i.e. Information Technology Act 2000 (IT Act 2000), to tackle different types of cyber crimes. One of the main reasons for the increase in these crimes is the dependency of the people on the internet.

In today's time, the main source of increased cyber crimes is on the social media platforms, as it attracts everyone on the internet either as a means to connect with their family and friends or to start and promote their businesses. In 2013, the stock market lost more than $130 Billion as the hackers gained control of the twitter account of the associated press and posted a fake story that a bomb had exploded in the White House that caused the dow to drop 150 points. This is just one of the many incidents that happen daily which harm the cyber safety of the people.

The youth of the country is the most inclines towards the use of social media as a platform to showcase their lifestyle, talents, startup a small business, or to earn money. They have to provide their data to set up their account and also provide some basic information so that they can attract a particular group of the society to their profile. The hackers then strategically extract personal information of the users, along with the list of their friends and family. One of the main reasons of the increase in crimes relating to social media is the idea of extracting revenge from one another. People hack into other peoples account and post malicious contents, send vulgar images and messages from the hacked account.

One of the most common type of Cyber Crime is Phishing.It is a fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information from the people such as their usernames, passwords, credit card details, bank details etc. Hackers send phishing emails to people by luring them with the offer that they have won a lottery and tempt them into paying the person thousands of rupees and eventually becoming a victim of the cyber crime. One of the most famous case of the Cyber Crime was the con artists of the Jamtara district of Jharkhand.

The crime was committed by the boys aged between 15-17 years. They would either pose themselves as the customer care executives of the banks or would call random people informing them that they have a jackpot and out of greed, people would provide with their bank details. Those boys would then use that information to rob the people out of the money that have been deposited in their bank accounts. This is just one of many incidents of the cyber crime that happen on a daily basis but there are several cases that are not even registered with the Police.


WAYS TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM CYBER CRIMES

1. Never put your personal information out their for the public eye.
2. Always keep your software update and install an anti-virus software in your system to protect from unwanted virus attacks.
3. Always inform your child about the concerns that are with the internet and keep an eye on their activities online. 
4. Always report any spam and malicious emails that you receive.
5. Be extra careful while visiting any site online and never click on any unwanted advertisements. 
6. Always use a strong password that is a combination of numbers, special characters, small and capital letters. 


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