Women are an integral part of society. One cannot imagine a world without them. They are in every sphere of life from being a homemaker, to a CEO of a company or to a President of a country. They are becoming global icons in their respective fields. Nevertheless, one cannot shun the dark side to it. The patriarchal society thinks that they are weak, backward, and unequal. Women have become a subject matter of exploitation by men and society. Women are exploited physically, mentally, socially, economically, politically. 
We are living in the age of science and technology the phase which has changed the outlook of the world. Technology has advanced people, and it has become a trend too. It is rightly said that with great power comes great responsibility. The advancement has caused technology to be faster and sensitive. Technology is a boon when used and a bane when it is misused.

Technology and Crime

The advancement of technology has changed the phase of the world. From the invention of computers and mobile phones to laptops, tablets, and smartphones, etc. technology is changing day by day. Technology has given us the convenience and life. However, one cannot avoid the dark side to it. Even the crime world is not behind in technology. The crimes that involve the use of computers or other electronic devices and the internet are known as Cyber Crimes. Cyber crime is not restricted to hacking but it includes bullying, extortion, trolling, frauds, terrorism, phishing etc.

There are various kinds of cyber crimes, some of them are:

  • Phishing Scam

Phishing refers to a process in which a scammer extracts personal information. These scammers trick people by acting as the executive of the bank or the company and will give you offers. They will extract the information such as credit card and debit card numbers, net and mobile banking details, frauds, etc. another way to take out the information is that they tell you about the suspicious activity going in your account and will ask you to provide details so that you can settle the same.

Women are very fond of online shopping. From clothes to cosmetics they can get everything. They are not restricted to only one site they are various platforms where they can get everything as per the price one wants to pay. The scammers call as a representative and they ask them about the feedback and the schemes they are offering. These sometimes include cash prize or electronics or premium membership, etc. they ask them the information like bank account numbers, number of the debit card and the expiry date of the card. After deducting the required amount they disappear.

  • Online Scams

These scams generally take place through ad-popping or scammer notifications. These include ad-poppers stating “YOU HAVE A WON A LOTTERY” or “YOU HAVE GOT A FREE TRIP TO YOUR FAVOURITE DESTINATION, etc. People ask them to fill the information through which they will be able to get the required money. They also involve online dating scam especially the dating and the matrimonial sites. People create their fake user name and email ids to collect the required information.

The romance scam has emerged as the prominent form of online scam around the world. People create fake profiles under different names and photos. Women looking for a match go to the profiles, and they meet the individual for future prospect. In major cases, the investigation is not done. The scammer asks them for a sum of money stating that he requires for the future. When this happens, they tend to disappear and they make a new identity and continue the same. 

  • Cyber Stalking

Cyber stalking has become a very common practice among the youth these days. In this, the victim and the stalker might know each other or they have seen or spoken to each other. 

The stalker emails, messages telling the victim that he has every idea about the victim and making him/her realize that she has an evil eye watching the victim all the time making the victim mentally troublesome and miserable. This crime is common with women where they are the victims of the cyber stalkers.

  • Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying is similar to that of cyber stalking. But in this case, it involves threats, violence, body shamming, etc. It is offensive and abusive in nature. People post pictures, videos which have content to trouble the victim. It is similar to bully but on an online platform. Women are discriminated on the basis of their color, body type, class performance, etc. They are asked to stay away by a particular group of people. Sometimes they are not allowed to involve or associate with a particular group of people. The messages or the mails may include slut shamming, body shamming etc.

  • Child Abuse and Solicitation

Child abuse and solicitation is a kind of cyber crime in which children are abused for the purpose of pornography. These crimes are frequently seen with the girls who are at the age of 0 to 16 years. Children being young, immature and naïve to the web of technology are unaware of the consequences of the cyber crime fall into the trap. Being adolescent they do not tell their parents about it. Crimes related to child abuse are not reported due to embarrassment, or parents do not take them seriously since they are young or when a relative of the family is involved. Girls who are in early teens and are new to the technology, a trap is laid for them. They are asked to send their pictures or share their videos, etc. some of them are kidnapped or they are taken to the hotels or other places where cameras are installed. The videos are circulated on the online platforms to earn huge some of money.

  • Trolling

Nowadays it has become a trend to comment or post something on the public accounts of the social media. The comments are positive but at the same, there are people who post negative comments which are vulgar, offensive, and abusive in nature. This aspect is known as trolling. In other words it is online harassment. The trolling has become common on the accounts of actors, politicians, actresses or any other public personality, etc. in India MTV had launched a show “TROLL POLICE” hosted by Ranvijay Singha in which the celebrities from all walks of life came together to meet their trollers who posted mean messages on their accounts. Public personalities especially actresses, female politicians, sportswomen etc. are under the spotlight of trolling. Whenever they post photos or videos they are black lashed. Women are character assassinated, bullied, harassed etc on the social media platforms.

  • Hacking

The most common form of cybercrime is hacking. Hacking is that cybercrime where criminals known as hackers intrude the cyber privacy of the person. In additional, hacking means to steal the online information of the person by a hacker. One can identify hacking from the activity of one’s account, and steps can be taken for the same. In case of a woman, their accounts are hacked to get their pictures, videos or their personal information. But in some cases photos, videos are posted which are indecent in nature. Their fake accounts are made, and the photos or videos which have either pornographic content or other indecent stuff is distributed.
 

Cyber Crime against Women in India

In the age of technology women are not mentally secure. They are the worst sufferers of mental agony since everyone has the access to technology. With each passing day these Crimes against women are on the rise. Women are subject to online cruelty which includes threats, stalking, voyeurism, body shamming, revenge porn; child abuse etc. there is an infinite list to the same. In India people are more concerned with the crimes which cause physical damage more than the mental damage to the women. Certain provisions have been made to ensure safety of women who are at a greater risk of digital harm.

The National Crime Report Bureau (NCRB) does not consist of the separate records of physical crimes as well as cyber crimes. Due to the lack of awareness of cyber crimes they are not being reported by women and they are not being taken seriously by the authorities. They are not being considered as crimes and therefore there has been a significant increase of the cyber crimes in India.

Conclusion

It is required that the cyber crimes should be taken seriously as other crimes in India. Day by day the crimes would increase in a different way which will cause troubles in future. More awareness should be made so that women would be able to report them and an immediate action for the same could be taken. Therefore, there should be a mandatory session for cyber crimes in schools, colleges, offices, and public department etc. People should be well known with consequences of posting a comment, tweet, photos, videos etc. there should be less of information exchange with the strangers. One should use software that prevents hacking, block pop ups or other indecent content on the phones, laptops or other gadgets.

One’s safety lies in one’s own hand. We should take some steps to ensure safety and guide others to be safe from the people who are sabotaging you.

This article has been authored by Medha Malik.

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