New Normal//

Don’t Be Spooked by Cyber Bullying, Learn to Say ‘No’

Our dependence on digital media has seen a significant rise recently. This in turn has led to a spike in cyber-crimes. Here’s how you can deal with it.

Photo by Charles Deluvio/ Unsplash
Photo by Charles Deluvio/ Unsplash

The pandemic has spread its tentacles into just about every area of life at this point, forcing us to change our behaviours significantly. This has led to a sharp increase in digital activity.

According to a survey conducted by Hammerkopfduring the lockdown period alone, over 87 per cent Indians turned to social media for all sorts of content consumption. This, cyber experts say, has led to an alarming surge in cyber-crimes. Sexual harassment, abuse, stalking, trolling and rape threats are on the rise as miscreants take advantage of the new-found dependence on the virtual world.

Traditionally, men and women are taught to simply ‘ignore it’, making many of us resign to it, to think that this is all that one can do. This attitude has, however, caused a lot of mental harm and keeping silent is simply not a viable solution anymore. Today, these are crimes punishable by the law.

Photo courtesy Malini Agarwal

Why #IgnoreNoMore

India figures among the top five countries affected by cybercrime. Though Central and state agencies are constantly at work, the vulnerabilities are more pronounced, the threat more real.

But we’ve had enough because the mental and emotional toll cyber bullying and harassment has taken on all of us is unreal. We are increasingly moving to virtual lives and we need to ensure we feel safe and happy there. So, it is up to us to take out the trash.

We can put an end to this  if we come together and say enough is enough and report these creeps.

How do you file a complaint?

List all the people who you would like to report. Then, gather their virtual information to collect evidence for quick action against culprits. Later, mention URLs, user names, attached screenshots of offensive material/posts/comments/DMs and e-mail them to the police, for instance, to Mumbai Police if you’re in Mumbai (For Mumbai email: cyberpst-mum@mahapolice.gov.in and cc shubhamcybercrime@gmail.com. Visit https://cybercrime.gov.in for more information and other city email IDs)

Report and track. 

Once your complaint is submitted, you will receive a confirmation message in the portal itself. In case, you have filed a complaint through the “Report and Track” or the “Report Other Cybercrime” section available on the portal, you will receive a SMS and an e-mail with a complaint reference number on your registered mobile number and e-mail id.

What are cyber crimes?

Eight out of 10 Indians have faced online harassment. Online sexual harassment encompasses a wide range of sexual misconduct on digital platforms. These include some of the more specific forms of online harassment including ‘revenge porn’ and ‘cyberstalking.’ It often manifests as hateful speech or online threats.

What else constitutes cybercrime?

  • Non-consensual sharing of intimate images and videos.
  • Exploitation, coercion, and threats.
  • Sexualised bullying
  • Unwanted sexualisation
  • All forms of unwelcome sexual requests, comments and content.

People posting lewd comments on social media are liable under Section 354A of the IPC

to be punished with one-year imprisonment and fine. In addition, posting/messaging content related to pornography against the will of a woman or requesting sexual favours are punishable by a fine along with three years of imprisonment under the same provision.

It is time to put an end to it. Let’s join hands, take out the trash and spread internet positivity in society.

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