1. Fake Identities
In India, fake identities are a huge problem. In 2019, Facebook reportedly removed 5.4 billion fake accounts of Indian users. With social media expanding and the number of apps that Indian users have signed up on, users have been reportedly using fake pictures, creating a false representation to connect with you and building a fake life online. Especially when these fake identities are used for criminal activities like harassment, stalking and phishing.
2. Cyber bullying
While people all over the world have been following the trend of face-to-face bullying, the internet and digital devices provided an outlet for bullies to do it anonymously. The first time India tackled with Cyber bullying was with the Vishaka vs. the State of Rajasthan, the State became aware of online sexual harassment and cyber stalking.
3. Fake News
Fake news refers to false information or propaganda published under the guise of being authentic and spread through the medium of news and/or social media, leading to even Chinese whispers through word-of-mouth.
Fake news can be categorized as –
- Disinformation: False information deliberately and covertly spread to mislead and influence public opinion or obscure the truth. The information is intentionally presented by the manipulation of facts to tweak the narrative, i.e., used as a tool of propaganda.
Example, if someone intentionally and strategically sends out information in the form of articles, photos, memes, videos, etc., that they know is untrue its disinformation.
- Misinformation: False information that is inadvertently spread and published regardless of the intent to fabricate facts and/or mislead.
Example, when an individual sees this disinformation, in the form of articles, photos, videos, etc., and believes it, and then shares it, that’s misinformation.
- Mal-information: When genuine information is shared to cause harm, often by moving information designed to stay private into the public sphere.
Example, if someone sends out a personal picture and/or video to another person and the latter makes it public without consent for the purpose of harassment and/or revenge, that’s mal-information.
Anonymity has become a powerful tool online, but predominantly for the wrong reasons. Doxing refers to researching and broadcasting private or identifying information about someone online, usually having malicious intent. The databases used to acquire such information are usually social media websites with the tool of hacking. Doxing is carried out with the intent to inflict harm, shame, and harassment on a virtual public platform.
5. Social Engineering
It is designed to convince the victim to divulge in their financial information like that of – bank accounts, credit cards, ATM Pin, etc. The fraudsters guise as customer care service providers requesting OTP or other such details. It results in huge amount of loses. Such social engineering fraud activities can also be done through emails in the form of Click bait luring someone in the form of huge amount of lottery and in the garb of it acquiring their bank details.
There are branches of social engineering like –
- Phishing: It involves sending an email that falsely claims to be a particular enterprise (bank or digital wallet platform) and asking for sensitive financial information.With the recent rise in phishing cases, especially the Paytm KYC scam, Paytm has reportedly filed a FIR with Noida police’s cyber wing against 3,500 numbers. Even Netflix is aware of the widespread scam and released a series “Jamtara”; about how phishing has turned into a lucrative business and the tricks that people use to take advantage of users.
- Whaling Attack: An advanced form of phishing used to guise as a part of an organization and target the senior or important members, with the intent to seize sensitive information and/or rob money.
- Pretexting: The act of masquerading a good pretext to strive to steal victim’s personal information. The scammer builds up the pretext of asking for “bits of information” to verify their identity. The data acquired is used to commit identity theft.
As we all know, our emails accounts come with a ‘Spam’ or ‘Junk’ folder which highlights that spam emails are a huge issue, with more than 50% of emails being sorted into these folders.
- Robinson, L., Segal J., (November 2019), “Bullying and Cyberbullying”
Retrieved from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/bullying-and-cyberbullying.htm?pdf=12322
- Bisson, David (November, 2019), “5 Social Engineering Attacks to Watch Out For”
Retrieved from https://www.tripwire.com/state-of-security/security-awareness/5-social-engineering-attacks-to-watch-out-for/
- Fruhlinger, Josh, (November 2019), “What is phishing? How this cyber attack works and how to prevent it” Retrieved from https://www.csoonline.com/article/2117843/what-is-phishing-how-this-cyber-attack-works-and-how-to-prevent-it.html
- Coble, Sarah, (January 2020), “Over Half of the Organizations Were Successfully phished in 2019” Retrieved from https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/over-half-of-organizations-phished/
- HTML Resource, (October 2019), “Doxxing: What Is It and How to Avoid Being a Victim [Infographic]” Retrieved from https://html.com/blog/doxing/
- Yonder Resource, (March 2019), “Misinformation vs. Disinformation: What’s the Difference?”
Retrieved from https://www.yonder.co/articles/misinformation-vs-disinformation-whats-the-difference/
- Wardle, C., Derakhshan, H, (2017, September 27), “Information Disorder: Toward an interdisciplinary framework for research and policy making.”
Retrieved from https://rm.coe.int/information-disorder-report-november-2017/1680764666.
- Lilleker, Darren, (January 2020), “You’re probably more susceptible to misinformation than you think” Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/youre-probably-more-susceptible-to-misinformation-than-you-think-129171
- Morris, K., Yeoman, F, (January 2020), “Why media education in schools needs to be about much more than ‘fake news” Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/why-media-education-in-schools-needs-to-be-about-much-more-than-fake-news-129156