Yesterday, we informed you about ongoing fake calling scams. The focus today is women’s safety online. We know we are soft targets on the internet. That picture you posted innocently on Instagram brought undesired attention from pesky cyber stalkers. Which woman hasn’t received an obscene text on messenger? It all falls under the cyber crime gamut. According to research conducted in 2016 (Violence Online in India: Cybercrimes Against Women and Minorities on Social Media, Feminism in India):
– 30% of the respondents said they were not aware of laws to protect them from online harassment
– Only a third of respondents had reported harassment to law enforcement; among them, 38% characterized the response as “not at all helpful.”
According to the official statistics provided by the National Crime Records Bureau, Government of India, Cybercrimes registered a sharp increase from 11,592 in 2015 to 12,317 in 2016. The more common and frequently reported forms of cybercrimes against women include cyberstalking, cyber pornography, circulating images or video clips of women engaged in intimate acts, morphing, sending obscene or defamatory messages, online trolling, bullying, blackmailing, threat or intimidation, and email spoofing and impersonation.
Recognising the growing importance and emerging threats on digital platforms and ensuring women safety, The World University of Design (WUD) hosted Digital Shakti workshop this week. The workshop was conducted by Cyber Peace Foundation under the aegis of the National Commission for Women (NCW). It was all about building awareness about cybercrimes and recourse available to women to prevent and redress such crimes.
Facebook has entered into a partnership with NCW to launch a digital literacy programme aimed at training 60,000 women in universities across India on the safe use of Internet, social media and email in a year. Launched in collaboration with Cyber Peace Foundation, the pilot programme will enable trainees to differentiate between credible and questionable information.
Ministry of Home Affairs has developed the portal www.cybercrime.gov.in to allow women to report cybercrime complaints. The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) has set up Cyber Forensics Training Labs in north-eastern States and cities such as Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata and Bangalore to train State police officials and judiciary in cybercrime detection and collection, preservation and seizing of electronic evidence and dealing with cybercrime.
Tips to protect yourself from cyberstalking
Cyberstalkers show advances on a person repeatedly despite clear indication of disinterest. They use internet, email, social media or any other form of electronic communication for stalking. To protect yourself:
1) Disable location services for social media sites, mobile devices etc.
2) Refrain from sharing your personal information like phone number, e-mail address, photographs with unknown persons.
3) Do not use your smartphone to take sensitive personal photographs and videos. Most of the smartphones are connected to the internet and cloud storage. If a picture or video has been clicked by using Smartphone connected with the cloud, it may get saved automatically into the cloud. Even if you delete the photos or videos you’re your phone, the same can be recovered from the cloud account or any other device/ PC connected to the cloud using same account.
4) Report the person on the Cybercrime Reporting Portal.