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How to Prevent Cyber Bullying – Anti-Cyber bullying Laws in India


How to Prevent Cyber Bullying – Anti-Cyber bullying Laws in India


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How to Prevent Cyber Bullying – Anti-Cyber bullying Laws in India

Do you find your child to be crankier off late or too addicted to the smartphone or desktop? Has he/she become more insular and refuses to socialize? As parents, it can be quite concerning to notice these sudden, unnatural changes in their child’s behavior. Beware! Your child may be experiencing one of the different types of cyber bullying.

Read on to know the types of cyber bullying and how to report cyber bullying in India.

What is Cyber Bullying?

Cyber bullying is the harassment or bullying executed through digital devices like computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. The platforms where cyber bullying can occur include social media, chat rooms, and gaming platforms where people can view and participate in the sharing of content.

The different types of cyber bullying involve causing humiliation through hateful comments on online platforms/apps, or through SMS or messaging. It comprises posting, sending or sharing negative, nasty or false information about another individual for causing humiliation and character assassination.

Different Types of Cyber Bullying

A cognizance of the different types of cyber bullying is necessary. This enables parents and young adults to report cyber bullying and adopt measures to prevent cyber bullying. Following are some of the common types of cyber bullying:

  • Posting hurtful, nasty or humiliating rumors or comments about an individual online
  • Publishing an embarrassing or nasty photo or video
  • Creating a fake or nasty webpage about another individual
  • Issuing online threats provoking an individual to kill themselves or hurt someone else
  • Triggering religious, racial, ethnic or political vitriol online by posting hate comments or content
  • Faking an identity online to ask for or post personal or fake information about someone

Also, one should be aware of “doxing” here. It is a practice prevalent on the Internet for researching and publishing personal information about an individual. One obtains information from the person’s social media accounts and other online profiles. It is then used for online harassment, online defamation and other forms of cyber bullying.

Cyber Bullying in India

With increasing availability of affordable data services and social media presence, cyber bullying in India has witnessed an alarming rise.

According to research conducted by Symantec, nearly 8 out of 10 individuals are subject to the different types of cyber bullying in India. Out of these around 63% faced online abuses and insults, and 59% were subject to false rumors and gossips for degrading their image.

The same study ranks India as the country facing the highest cyber bullying in the Asia Pacific region, more than Australia and Japan.

In fact, 50% of women residing in prime Indian cities are a victim of online abuse, according to a survey by Feminism.

Spurred by the increasing cases of cyber bullying in India, the Ministry of Women and Child Development has launched a distinct helpline ([email protected]) to report cyber bullying, online harassment, and cyber defamation, particularly against women and children.

Some Horrifying Incidents of Cyber Bullying in India

In November 2017, an MBBS student in Kerala jumped to her death from the highest floor of her college building. An examination of her Facebook profile showed her displeasure over the nasty comments made one of her peers. Police suspect that cyber bullying provoked her to take this extreme step.

In February 2017, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) attacked students at a literary event in Delhi’s Ramjas College.

At that time, little did a 20-year-old student from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi, imagine that her online campaign against the violence would change her life forever? The student, Gurmehar Kaur, has ever since been trolled and abused extensively on social media platforms. Worse still, she has even been receiving death and rape threats!

This is just another example of the ugly state of cyber bullying in India. Sadly, each day yet another innocent life is subject to online torments and cyber bullying in India.

Prevent Cyber Bullying

Tip 1 to Prevent Cyber Bullying – Be Wary of Your Child’s Online Activities

In this digital era, children are growing up with technology at their fingertips. Thus, different types of cyber bullying have become a household occurrence. Teenagers and adolescents are more vulnerable to cyber bullying as they have limited understanding of the good and the bad.

As a parent, it is your responsibility to be aware of your child’s online activities in order to prevent cyber bullying. Be cognizant of the apps and digital media that your child is using. It is imperative that you ensure that your child engages more in offline activities than an addiction to computers, online gaming, and smartphones.

Tip 2 to Prevent Cyber Bullying – Watch out for These Signs

The following are some warning signs that your child is being cyber bullied or is cyber bullying others.

  • Considerable increase or decrease in your child’s usage of a mobile, laptop or tablet
  • Display of emotional responses such as sadness, anger or happiness to the activities on their device
  • The tendency to avoid discussion on their online activities
  • Hiding of the device screen when others are close by
  • Indifference to social activities and gatherings, and outdoor activities
  • Sudden deactivation of their social media accounts or opening of new ones
  • Becoming depressed and withdrawn

Tip 3 Steps to Prevent Cyber Bullying – Steps to Take in the Aftermath

If you observe any of the aforesaid warning signs, it may indicate your ward’s involvement in some form of cyber bullying.

In the unfortunate event of your child experiencing cyber bullying, it is essential that you take prompt steps to show your support as well as report cyber bullying. The following are some of the things that you can do in case your child or kin is a victim of cyber bullying.

Observe

Notice if there is any abnormal change in the behavior or mood. Try to self-investigate the causes and note if these changes usually take place during the use of digital devices.

Conversation

Don’t try to sound too prying or demanding, but gently engage your ward in a conversation. Take him/her into confidence and try to understand what is happening, when it all started and who are all involved?

Record

Try to maintain a record of the online activities. If possible, take screenshots of any offensive or harmful content or post. In any case, evidence of online activities is mandatory when reporting cyber bullying.

Report

Most social media platforms have clear guidelines in place to report cyber bullying. Social media platforms can help you in having the offensive post removed. To report cyber bullying in India, you can send your complaint to [email protected]. Immediately register a complaint with the police in case your child is receiving sexual or physical threats, or you sense an illegitimate activity or crime underway.

Support

Recovering from the trauma of cyber bullying can be time-taking and hard. In such cases, the victim needs support and guidance. It could come from parents, peers, family members or teachers. If required, seek the help of a professional counselor.

Report Cyber Bullying in India

An act of cyber bullying can be reported at the cyber crime cell of any city, regardless of the place where the act was committed. Cyber bullying or cyber defamation of any kind is considered as a cyber crime and the laws covering them come under the Information Technology Act.

The detailed steps of registering a cyber crime complaint to report are in our Blog: How to File a Cyber Crime Complaint in India. It shall also give you the complete list of the cyber crime cells in India along with their contact details.

Anti-Cyber Bullying Laws in India

Cyber bullying in India has reared its ugly head in more ways than one and it is only getting worse with every passing day. However, it is shocking that there are no special Anti-Cyber Bullying Laws in India yet. Following are some cyber laws though that cover some of the acts classified as cyber bullying in India.

Sec.66A – Sending offensive messages through communication service, etc.

Sec.66C – Identity Theft

Sec.66D – Cheating by personation by using the computer resource

Sec.66E – Violation of privacy

Sec.67B – Punishment for publishing or transmitting of material depicting children in any sexually explicit act, etc. in electronic form

Sec.72 – Breach of confidentiality and privacy

Sec.503 Indian Penal Code (IPC) – Sending threatening messages through email

Sec.509 IPC – Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman

Sec.499 IPC – Sending defamatory messages through email

Sec .500 IPC – Email Abuse

Incognito Forensic Foundation (IFF Lab) – Your Partner in Fighting Cyber Bullying

Incognito Forensic Foundation (IFF Lab) is a private forensic laboratory in Bangalore and Chennai that offers consultation and digital forensic services for cyber bullying. If you need any guidance on how to prevent cyber bullying or report cyber bullying in India, IFF Lab is there to assist you.

IFF Lab has a state-of-the-art digital forensics laboratory that houses the latest digital forensics tools and technologies. This enables them to join hands with Law Enforcement Agencies for investigating cases of online defamation and cyber bullying.

Contact us for Cyber Bullying Consultation and Investigation