The Digital Age has rightfully arrived in all it’s glory, with every adult and child owning a personal digital device. The internet has become a boon, especially in the COVID-19 pandemic where every small and big task can and has to be done online. Just like every coin has two sides, the internet also has a section that is a bane to the users. Various unlawful and harmful acts are conducted with the computer as a medium. These acts are broadly called cyber crimes. Cyber crimes are criminal activities that use the computer and the internet for committing the crimes. Cyber crimes are different than any other crime because they have no physical boundaries. A cyber criminal can indulge in unlawful activities even at the safety of his own house. It does not have any geographical boundaries or limitations. It can be against people, property or the government, and it can be using computer as a weapon, as a target or both.
Cyber crimes against people:
1) Hacking- Hacking is the act of compromising or invading digital devices or networks using computers and the internet. It involves unauthorized access to the computer of individuals for malicious purposes. It can be used to corrupt systems, steal personal data and disrupt data activities on other computers.
2) Cyber Stalking- Cyber Stalking is the act of using the internet to stalk or keep track of individuals or organizations without their consent. It often leads to harassment, false accusations, defamation, financial theft, identity theft and even blackmail. It is done mainly through social media platforms.
3) Cyber Defamation- Cyber Defamation is the act of publishing false statements about any individual or organization that has the potential to harm their reputation and goodwill. This is also often carried out through social media, where they can reach large numbers of people and defame the concerned party.
4) Email spoofing- Email spoofing is when an email is sent via a different email ID, however they have successfully portrayed and identified themselves as another entity, thereby tricking the receiver of the email. It is often done to commit financial theft, corrupting data etc.
Cyber crimes against property:
1) Intellectual property- Any intellectual property of any individual cannot be stolen and misrepresented as the property of someone else. Such an unlawful act by which the owners products are represented as belonging to someone else.
2) Virus transmission- Viruses are often sent to a computer or file and they then spread it throughout the computer, meanwhile altering or deleting the data in the medium. It can happen by clicking on certain links or opening of certain files or websites.
Cyber Laws are created to tackle the cyber crimes that trouble the country in large numbers. In todays evolving world, it is important to have a safe internet presence that is free from cyber crimes. Visit cybercrime.gov.in to file a complaint on the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal. It is an initiative of the Government of India that aims to help reduce cyber crimes.