Cyber crime

Online Harassment & Cyber Crime: it’s Prevention

  • blog
  • 28th Sep, 2020
Cyber crime

With rapid technological changes, everything appears to be digitizing. Along with which threats like unethical hacking, cybercrime, and online harassment appear to be more intensified.

Research has found out that 57,000 scam websites have been created by cybercriminals every week. In 2008, about 10 million victims of identity theft were reported in America alone.

In Nepal, 5,574 cases of online harassment were reported to the Cyber Bureau of Nepal within a period of four years (2016-2020), which is assumed to be a very minimal representation of reality. Among the reported cases, only a few are actually being investigated.

The Internet can be the most useful tool yet the most devastating one in business, school, or everyday life. Anyone can become the next victim of a cybercrime. So, one must be aware of its types and their consequences.

Online Harassment

Online Harassment is the easiest way of harassing an individual, group, or organization without revealing your identity using the internet and social media platforms. It includes trolling, false accusations, defamation, threats, vandalism, and so on. It is a part of Cyber Crime.

Generally, there are 5 types of Cybercrime mostly prevailing in society.

1. Hacking

In simple words, accessing your computer system without your permission is hacking. The one who performs such acts and misuses their knowledge for devious reasons are hackers. There could be several motives behind hacking but greed, fame, power are the most prevailing reasons. Some even do to show off their expertise ranging from relatively harmless to most destructive activities.

Hackers break into your system and steal your vulnerable information such as banking information and corporation’s financial data, and modify it to execute tasks at their whim.

2. Phishing

Phishing is another prevailing cyber crime that extracts confidential information such as credit card numbers and username password combos by masquerading as a legitimate enterprise. Email typically carries it out spoofing where the email containing links to legitimate appearing websites sent to users. You probably have received it and found it suspicious and didn’t click the link. Smart move. Because the malware would have installed itself on your computer and stolen private information. Cyber-criminal tricks you into downloading malware off the internet or make you fill in your personal information under false pretenses.

But, they do not all phishing attacks via the internet. Sometimes fake calls with fake identity might fool you into considering the call from a trusted organization. It is Vishing (voice phishing).

3. Cyber Stalking

Cyberstalking is new yet the most popular form of internet crime in our society when a person pursued or followed online. A cyberstalker follows the victim virtually with his online activity to harvest information about the stalked and harass him or her and makes threats using verbal intimidation. Cyberstalking uses the internet and usually done via social media platforms.

Most victims of this crime are women who are stalked by men and children who are stalked by adult predators. Cyberstalkers thrive on inexperienced web users who are not well aware of netiquette and the rules of internet safety. A cyberstalker may be a stranger, but could just as easily be someone you know.

4. Identity Theft

Identity theft is a type of crime where criminals may have gained access to your credit card or banking account information and may use that information to make purchases in your name. It has been prevailing before the conception of the Internet but the virtual world has made it much easier for criminals to utilize and steal your identity.

Identity theft scams are very prevalent online and may come in the form of a spam email, website, or even an online pop-up survey. Phishing is a major contributor to identity theft.

5. Copyright Infringement

The copyright is an exclusive legal right over your work. Copyright does not protect an abstract idea but only protects the concrete form of expression in a work. The copyright protects a wide range of works which include written, musical, artistic, dramatic etc.

Copyright infringement the one where your contents get copied and used without any license and permission. The content can be anything including source code, logo, video, music, etc.

Preventive measures:

It is very essential to understand that the root cause of such online harassment is not the insecure internet platforms but the toxic mentality of the people who sit behind the online platforms and misuse it. You have to be aware of these crimes and protect yourself.

Protect your data and personal Information

They often ask you to share your basic personal information while using many online services. The best way to protect yourself from phishing, identity theft, hacking, and DOS attacks is to use your common sense to distinguish the suspicious and unauthorized ones. Do not respond to email messages that contain misspellings, poor grammar, odd phrases, or websites with strange extensions.

Stay away from unspecified mails

No one going to receive a large sum of money from a random unknown person. Win an iPhone from google, a huge lottery from being selected from a database of email addresses. Make big money from passive residual income a few hours each day working out of your home. You should know this notification message and ignore it instead.

Keep your Firewall turned on

A firewall is a barrier between your pc and the internet. It protects your system from harmful cyber attackers who might try to gain access to crash it, delete information, or steal passwords and other sensitive information.

Choose a strong password

Using different passwords, not repeat your passwords on different sites, and change your passwords more often. There should be set a complex password using a combination of at least 10 letters, numbers, and symbols. A password management application can help you to keep your passwords locked down.

Install antivirus software

Antivirus software prevents malicious software programs from accessing your computer. It identifies malicious programs like viruses and worms and blocks them from entering your system.