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“Internet users are victimized by criminals via a digital platform in a society whose cyber laws are inefficient and ineffectual. According to several studies and statistics, women and children persist to be among the most frequently targeted and most susceptible victims”

The public has access to a wide range of opportunities, especially with the development of information and cyber technologies and reliance on the internet. The vulnerability of society to the world of cybercrime, nevertheless, is lateral to this. This new form of technology makes no distinction between right and wrong, domestic or foreign, and merely serves as a venue for crimes committed online. These offenses include phishing, illegal access and hacking, pornography, cyber-stalking, and other offenses where a computer is used as a tool, a target, or both.

Due to the widespread and global usage of the internet, the extent of cybercrime nowadays is comparable to that of terrorism. To address this threat, laws have to be passed in a large number of countries, notably India. The primary goal of India's Information Technology Act, 2000 was to give legal legitimacy to transactions made using electronic data interchange and other forms of electronic communication. The international and regional mechanisms to combat cybercrime have undergone significant evolution over the past ten years, including both binding and nonbinding measures.

We must apply the lessons learned from combating terrorism to the battle against cybercrime, as American Attorney Robert Mueller accurately stated. However, internet users can use a variety of methods, including firewalls, anti-virus software, and other measures, to prevent cybercrimes. There have been numerous regional, national, and international initiatives to stop cross-border cybercrime. Additionally, to stop these crimes, specialized cyber-cells have been established in many police departments around the world. These cells are an excellent deterrent to cyber-crimes.


The use of the internet is prevalent in today's practically all industries. Internet use is now a given for every educated person worldwide because of various major developments in the information and communications sector over the past five years. The simplest way to connect people worldwide is without a doubt through the internet.

However, it also connects and sends data to duplicitous individuals inadvertently and dangerously. This has sparked worries about electronic transactions, information privacy, and IPR concerns. The legal system has also undergone a significant change as a result of these problems and difficulties. Today, a completely different area of law exists to regulate the online world. The term "cyber law" refers to the legal and regulatory system that controls these offenses.

  • Any criminal activity directed at employing electronic operations that attack the security of computer systems and the data they handle is considered cybercrime (also known as computer crime).
  • Cybercrime, or computer-related crime, is broadly defined as any criminal activity carried out with the aid of or in connection with a computer system or network, including offenses like unauthorized possession and the offering or distribution of information via a computer system or network.
Cybercrimes are defined by Drs. Debarati Halder and K. Jaishankar as offenses that are committed against individuals or groups of individuals with a criminal motive to intentionally harm the victim's reputation or cause physical or mental harm, or loss, to the victim directly or indirectly, using modern telecommunication networks such as the Internet (Chat rooms, emails, notice boards and groups) and mobile phones.

Although they don't appear to be thorough, the definitions offered by many jurists and organizations repeatedly give people a good place to start.

What constitutes cybercrime?

The three major categories that cybercrime can be identified include individual, property, and government depending on the method and the scale of the offense.

Types of cybercrime

  1. Identity Theft: Cybercrime is when a criminal obtains unauthorized access to a user's private information to steal money, access accounts, start new accounts in the user's name, purchase or rent property, or otherwise use the user's identity to commit crimes.
  2. Stalking (Cyber-stalking): The expansion of social media platforms has to a great extent given birth to offenses of online or cyber-stalking. This includes messaging or online content harassment committed against a user by another user. Most of these examples involve a person's contacts. The offender manipulates the narrative to make the victim fear what might happen.
  3. Potentially Undesired Programs (PUPs): This category includes the act of installing unwanted and needless dangerous software, including applications. These are a particular class of malware that aims to harm and corrupt a computer's software.
  4. Phishing: Phishing is when a hacker uses email and other messaging services to entice users into downloading a message that gives the hacker access to the user's personal information.
  5. Scams: These typically take the form of spam and online advertisements that promise to give the user a reward or inflated amounts of money. These tempting offers have the potential to corrupt software and endanger personal data.
  6. Software piracy: One of the most prevalent and well-known crimes that involve accessing or copying another person's creation or innovation. Typically, piracy involves violating a property's copyright and trademark. 
  7. Web-jacking: This form of criminal activity, which gets its name from the word "high-jacking," entails trying to enter someone else's website or domain and attempting to take control of it.
  8. Child abuse and child pornography: are the most horrific crimes of all, including trafficking and the harassment of minors via chat rooms and other online platforms to lure them into the realm of pornography. Other behaviors that constitute child abuse include downloading, selling, and disseminating child porn.

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Cybercrime Impacting Women

The growth and widespread use of information technology, namely the internet, is where cybercrimes first appeared. The majority of the current trends in cybercrime are directed at individuals. Internet users are targeted by criminals via the online platform in a culture where cyber laws are ineffective and ineffective. Women and children continue to be the most frequently targeted and most susceptible victims, according to several research and statistics. In general, there have been more crimes against women over time. According to research that was just published, the majority of girls and women who experience this type of harassment kill themselves after their images and videos are posted online.

The use of a woman's photos, videos, and other personal information by a criminal without the woman's consent to share it online is probable. For instance: Sadly, using online platforms for vindictive deeds has spread among people and has become a common trend. A criminal can post a woman's social media profile picture on a pornographic website or any other connected platform using the woman's image. These kinds of cases occasionally surface in modern times.

Cyber-Crime Impacting Children

Children appear to be the newest victims being sought after and seduced by cyber criminals. Many different approaches use the use of internet services to commit crimes against children. For the younger generation, this technology has proven to be both a blessing and a curse.

This online exploitation has grown to be a global concern as a result of the information technology's expanding scope. Young children who have had to learn to utilize these technologies have been exposed to exploitation and abuse.

By making online content easy to obtain over the internet, offenders can more easily and quickly reach these kids in large numbers. Online games, social media sites, and chat rooms are a few examples of how a criminal could access a child.

Harassment and CyberBullying

Contrary to physical harassment and bullying, cyberbullying may follow a person everywhere they go and can be excruciating. Online abuse and cyberbullying include:

  • e sharing and storage of personal data, such as photos and videos.
  • Online threats, abuse, and objectionable content transmission.
  • Body shaming, slut-shaming.
  • Trolling.
  • Online bullying of children through the creation of hate groups and hate rhetoric.
  • False account creation and account hacking.
  • Sexually explicit and explicit non-consensual messages.
  • Blackmailing and manipulating a child into providing their own obscene and sexual photographs.

Precautionary Actions and Solutions

  1. The best defense against such digital harassment regimes is education and awareness. Women would be better able to handle these hurdles if they were aware of the problems and the judicial system surrounding these crimes.
  2. Refraining from sending any personal information financial or otherwise to a stranger or a friend whose identity is in question.
  3. One such step that needs to be implemented to assure safety is removing the barrier created by cultural pressures and manipulation and empowering women to report such horrible acts without hesitation or fear.
  4. The creation and growth of government regulatory institutions and harsher legislation. The owners of the websites and social media platforms should frame policies and rules which ensure the safety of their users.
  5. Checking the traffic and irregularities on the website can be an effective way of ensuring that no malicious activity takes place.
  6. A quick Redressal system for cybercrime victims can help restore trust, which will motivate others to report and take action against such offenses.
  7. A lot of social media platforms now provide their users the ability to choose their privacy settings, allowing them to control who may view what on their accounts. To avoid being a target of cybercriminals, users especially women should make efficient use of this feature.
  8. The victims receive full restitution through compensating remedies and the harshest penalties possible for the involved criminals.

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Legislations and International Instruments

The use of the internet has increased quickly, according to a Global 2021 Forecast released by Cisco. Monthly IP traffic will increase to 50 GB per person globally by 2022, up from 16 GB per person in 2017, while Internet traffic will increase to 44 GB per person globally by 2022, up from 13 GB per person in 2017. The monthly per-person Internet traffic was significantly below 1 GB ten years ago, in 2007. Internet usage per person was 10 Megabytes (MB) per month in 2000.

An equal distribution of the offenses involving such technology has resulted from the technology's rapid expansion and trend shifts.

(1) Indian Legal Structure
Information Technology Act, 2002

The law passed for the regulation of online activity mostly deals with business-related transactions. A list of the provisions of this law that combat cybercrime is:

    • Section 67 Punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form.
    • Section 67B or transmitting of material depicting children in sexually explicit acts, etc. in electronic form.
    • Section 66A Punishment for sending offensive messages through communications service, etc.
    • Section 66B Punishment for dishonestly receiving stolen. computer resource or communication device.
    • Section 66C Punishment for identity theft.
    • Section 66D Punishment for cheating by impersonation by using computer resources.
    • Section 66E Punishment for violation of privacy.
    • Section 66F Cyber terrorism.

But in other aspects, this legislation also addresses invasions of privacy made against a specific person, such as by criminalizing child pornography and punishing stalking.

Indian Penal Code, 1860

  • Section 503 Sending threatening messages by e-mail.
  • Section 499 Sending defamatory messages by e-mail.
  • Section 463 Forgery of electronic records, e-mail spoofing.

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012

'POCSO' is one of the most important pieces of legislation that deals with crimes involving the victimization of children. This act makes certain online offenses against minors, including child pornography, stalking, online child trafficking, harassment, and other similar offenses, illegal.

(2) International Legal Structure

Taking on the issues offered by this new class of crimes that include computer sources and the internet is spreading around the world. There have been numerous laws passed by various nations, as well as proposals made by the UN, to create and evaluate the criminal laws that each region has in place to combat cybercrime. This generation has seen a rise in crimes that frequently incorporate the use of the internet as a source. In each state, laws have been created to prevent certain behaviors including fraud, unauthorized access to data and information, spying and stalking, etc. Although not thorough and occasionally insufficient in the fight against cybercrimes, these laws do give the populace a solid place to start in taking action and putting an end to cybercrime worldwide.

  • International organizations: To stop cybercrimes, regional international organizations have been established, including the Council of Europe (COE), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and the European Union (EU). This group, which has 21 member economies, works to reduce cybercrime. The United States of America, Russia, and China are a few of the members. Another significant institution dedicated to combating cybercrime is Interpol.
  • Multi-national cooperation: One example of a multinational organization that views cyber security as a top priority is the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This association, which has 30 member nations, is a key tool for combating cybercrime.
  • Conventions and Resolutions: The United Nations Organization has passed several treaties and resolutions calling for harsh action to be taken against crimes committed via communication channels, the internet, etc. The growing number of cybercrimes against minors and the need to eradicate them have been addressed in several publications by the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ). These rules cover all areas under the control of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which coordinates worldwide efforts to combat both domestic and foreign crimes.


Cybercriminals have repeatedly abused the internet's ability to give anonymity, secrecy, and ease of affiliation. Even while everyone in the world has the potential to become a victim of crimes committed online, women and children continue to be among the most susceptible segments of society. Furthermore, age and gender continue to be important considerations in cases involving children. It is frequently seen that youngsters from lower socioeconomic classes and those belonging to lower strata of society are more frequently targeted than those from higher classes. Here, education and awareness are crucial to a child's protection.

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The legislators of almost all nations have been ignorant of crimes committed online for a very long time, but with the rapid development of information and communication technology, the legal authorities are now creating more sophisticated and finely tuned legislation to address the problem of cybercrime. Such crimes differ significantly from crimes done in the actual world due to their nature and methods. Unfortunately, it is a terrible reality of the present technological world that cybercrimes do exist. The harm that cybercrimes can do to people's lives and economies is enormous. Such criminals not only target people but also the government and other governmental organizations, which might be a serious blow to both the organization's and the citizen’s privacy. To the greatest extent possible, cybercrimes must be combated if they are to be reduced or even eliminated. Future developments in this area appear to be accelerating. The number of cybercrinumbermes would rise in tandem with advances in technology. Motivation and a purpose are not enough to qualify as a cybercrime. The majority of the financial and personal harm since a specific skill set is required to perpetrate such an offense, only educated and competent individuals commit crimes online.

To effectively combat cybercrimes, legislation must be written more quickly than the crimes themselves. However, there is a fine line that must be drawn between protecting citizens' rights and invading their privacy, and when any law is being developed, the authorities must be mindful of this line.

There is a great deal we as individuals can do to combat cybercrime and create a safe and secure environment for both the present and the next generation.


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