With the invention of Social Media, people have found a brand new way of committing crimes. Identities are being stolen; accounts are being hacked, people are going through emotional trauma, financial blackmailing, cyber crimes and a whole new range of problems. Crime is predominantly linked to an act committed by adults but post social media, even children, as young as 15 yrs old have started committing crimes using it.
Criminal activities have risen in the past decade and according to NIA (National Investigating Agency), every sixth cyber crime in India is committed with the help of Social Media. Take the example of Miss Papri Das. She was continuously receiving emails from RBI (Reserve Bank of India) stating that there are some irregularities in her Tax return filings. She immediately cross examined the validity of the email with friends and found out that it was a fake id. However, not all are as fortunate and smart as Papri.
Take the case of Mr Amit Sahay, a Bangalore resident. Someone hacked his Facebook account and started sending offensive content to all his friends. Amit kept on changing his passwords and informing his friends that it was not him, but the hacker didn’t stop. His image was maligned and he had no option but to delete the account and get a new one.
Isolated cases such as these have made us rethink the credibility of Social Media. According to Symantec, 430 million new unique malwares were identified as of April 2016 and the number is growing every day. More than 500 million records were stolen without the knowledge of the user. This means your personal and financial information is at high risk and the worst part is we do not know what to do about it.
For your knowledge I have listed a few ways you can protect yourself from becoming a victim to Social Media crime
- Change your password as frequently as possible.
- Do not disclose your personal information to unknown e-mails.
- Never add unknown people to your friend list in Facebook or other Social Media sites.
- If you suspense any wrongdoings then report it to the concerned authorities.
- Be well versed with the privacy settings of the website.
- Do not click on random links.
Social Media is a very open platform and anyone can get access to your personal information almost instantly. If you do not want people to know something then it is your responsibility to make sure it doesn’t go on Social Media. If you are a parent then you will have to monitor your child’s online activities. Social Media is the new, so called, playground for children. They do not think before sharing information and more importantly they fall for dubious mails and links very easily. With mobile phones available at their disposal, children can get into all sorts of trouble if they are not monitored properly. Imagine Amit Sahay and something like that happening to your kid!