Over the past few years, there have been many developments in the cyber crimes and how they are performed and against who and why. a surprisingly major rise has been spotted in cyber crimes and cyber bullying against the weaker gender of our society, women. Be it Europe, Australia or Asia. Especially in Asia.
Internet can be potentially harmful for women, we are in a dire need to understand the changing dynamics of our society with respect to Internet. We normally come across scenarios where elderly citizens don’t understand how Internet works. But in a society like today’s, in order to prevent their kids from any unpleasant situation, elders especially parents need to learn how things on the Internet work.
In a country like ours law enforcement is minimal, and almost non existent in case of cybernetics. Which has led to grave situations in the past and are still a threat to everyone who uses the Internet even in when cybercrimes have been made punishable by law.
Cyberbullying involving women is either, blackmailing, harassing, threatening women using modern technology to cause disrespect, defamation and harm the victim either physically, socially, emotionally or all. Recently a woman attempted suicide when a morphed picture of her went viral on the internet. Another, when a 14-year old girl who was blackmailed by her alleged boyfriend who threatened to post online an obscene video of the victim.
Even children have been victimised and have met tragic ends, including being murdered or attempting suicide. We have compiled below a list of situations on cyberspace involving women.
Harassment is not a new phenomenon, but to the extent in it now spotted online is receiving immense attention from media, law enforcement and academia. How harassment is performed can vary. From threatening to bullying to stalking to blackmailing to name-calling and outright shaming. This problem can be termed structural up to some extent and dates back to the 90’s and wasn’t legally criminal act. Governments should come up with result-oriented solution to cut harassment against women or anyone else for that matter down to prevent people meeting traumatics situations and ends.
The most common and most effective crime against women. The victim is watched by the attacker or ‘stalker’ by hacking into their social networks or email account, posting unethical and obscene messages and pictures while disguising the victim. Usually this is ex-spouses, ex-boyfriends, jealous colleagues to attempt such an attack. This act against more is supported by the fact that most aren’t usually tech savvy.
Although everyone is at an equal threat of being harassed, it has been found to be more prevalent among women than men. A new Pew Research Centre survey has revealed that 40% of the Internet users have experienced harassment and that female are at a higher risk of being threatened or harassed.
Everyone nowadays is in a habit of clicking pictures of themselves and posting online for their friends to see, like, comment and share. These pictures can be be seen and used or say ‘abused’ by anyone. Online predators are yet another threat to women, especially young girls. These predators befriend you by disguising to be someone your age and can later prove to be a lot more harmful than one can humanly imagine. The sole purpose of these predators is usually to lure young children, especially girls and later arrange to meet with them in person.
One instance, where an online male predator, 19, was seized by police and confessed to befriending young girls, having met them and also raping them. His victims were young girls, almost preteen, aged, 12, 13,14.
With technology evolving everyday, online defamation has cultivated ugliness that has ruined victims both financially and emotionally. As the name suggests, defamation is associated with defaming a person online by claiming a disrespectful occurrence or instance involving the victim or by sending messages or emails disguising the victim, containing defamatory material to friend and family.This can be done by making a fake social media account or email accounts, posting and publishing unethical message and pictures and making obscene comments. This is one very effective way of ruining a person’s reputation. It can happen to anyone, regardless the age. But women are naturally a more attractive target.
Morphing is yet another online phenomena that has taken its toll recently. More often than not, a girl or a woman would find or get to know about some strange pictures of themselves travelling the Internet. Most of the times, they don’t recognize the pictures and negate having taken them. These pictures are usually digitally edited or ‘morphed’ to look like they are. Morphing is an instance of vengeance. For instance recall, recall the school kid who used to be bullied by his classmates. Frustrated angry and vengeful, he took to morphing the pictures of not only his classmates but also the teachers, and uploaded them on a website for everyone to see!
It remains that the environment that allows creativity, innovation and communication, also enables derogatory and criminal activities for which there is very little recourse. It is a matter of utter concern to enact laws and their enforcement to counter cyber crimes against women and cybercriminals for operating against women. Here are a few handy tips for all the girls and women out there:
Become cyber-wise, TODAY. NOW.
Never underestimate the power of a keystroke.
Sign-up for a digital awareness program.
NEVER engage in a verbal war online.