The age of the internet has opened up doors for different activities online that can be performed from any part of the world. Social media platforms, gaming and entertainment platforms, and other online tools have been successful in creating a virtual existence for millions. All this ultimately brings everyone under one umbrella of digitization.
India has over 500 million internet users and is estimated to reach over 800 million by 2022. Being the second-largest populous country in the world, and one that is steadily gaining more access to the internet - the increase in the number of digital users is understandable. Teens, pre-teens, and young adults have been reported to constitute the largest demographic of social media users in our country.
But most netizens are unaware of dangers that are looming about the digital world until they are a victim of it. Online Harassment, Cyber-Bullying, Cyber-Stalking, etc; are all prevalent online. The rise of insane games like ‘Blue Whale Challenge' that had claimed a number of innocent lives reveals the loopholes in Cyber-Security.
On the global platform, India leads the statistics of Cyber-Bullying victims. Users from major cities of India face the highest number of threats like online sexual harassments, online abuses, racial insults etc. Bullying online is also done based on disabilities, mental illnesses, and physical appearances. Most women users have been a victim of cyberstalking or some other form of online harassment. Shockingly, few of the victims are even physically attacked based on their online exchanges.
Children these days are growing around digitalization. This has lead to a number of cyber crimes in which children are the victims.
In India, at the moment - laws of Cyber Security are still under development. We have S.66A of the Information Technology Act, which punishes people who send annoying, abusive and insulting comments or messages through a digital medium. Lack of awareness about such laws also contribute to the growing number of cyber victims.
It is imperative that necessary actions are taken to enforce strict laws of cybersecurity. There is a need for both Government and the People to unite for implementing the cyber laws. Awareness programs, workshops, and campaigns can help people stay on the right side of internet use.
Abstain from responding to the communication which is abusive or offensive. Cyber victims should record abusive messages or media files. Such records will aid as proof of cybercrime.
Contact the communication platform from which the cyber attacks are faced, report the account/user that carries out such attacks.
Do not open any unknown links or download files or attachments without proper knowledge.
Submit a formal complaint to the local police station, their cyber cell can help in tracking the attacks and taking legal steps.
Take help from NGOs like CCVC (Center of Cyber Victim Counseling), they provide support and help take necessary actions.