Everything has its benefits and loss. As the internet appeared as a boon to us but it has its flaws. With multifarious development of the Internet, the concept of cyber crimes is also developed.
Cyber harassing is when a person is assaulted, defamed or harassed online through mobile, internet or social media. Nowadays, as social media has become a very important part of everyone’s life, the crime rate has also gone up with it and the most common crime is cyber harassing. As more and more people are signing up in social media to connect with people virtually. On social media fake profiles are formed to harass people and even to blackmail them too. Fake profiles often spam legitimate users, posting inappropriate or illegal content. Fake profiles are also created while misrepresenting some known person to cause harassment to him/her.
The most common social media platforms where the most number of harassment cases are reported are:
Harassment is done through these and various social media platforms. For harassment to be committed there must have been a clear ‘course of conduct’. The messages do not necessarily have to be violent but would need to have caused some alarm or distress.
These websites have their own “Code of Conduct” and certain guidelines are given in “Terms and Condition” rules, where they can report such cases.
You can either report them online through that website by making a complaint, use the advice provided above about documenting your situation. You can also include a screenshot of such harassment and can attach it with your complaint. If you think that this harassment can be more dangerous or can cause any physical or mental danger to you than you should report it in the nearest police station.
You can file in two ways:
a) Online through National cyber Crime Portal b) written complaint in cyber cell
1) Online through the National Cyber Crime Portal
Initially, you need to register your name and mobile number, after this you will receive an OTP than you can register your complaint online. Once your application is submitted you will get a message regarding that and will keep track of it.
2) A written complaint in Cyber cell
If you faced online harassment you can file a complaint in Police Station, you need to provide sufficient documents to file a complaint. If you do not have access to any cyber cell than you can directly file an FIR in nearest Police Station.
Section 154 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 provides that a police officer must record such crime irrespective of nature and jurisdiction of the crime. For different types of cybercrimes, different proofs are required at the time of filing the complaint.
Following are the preventive measures you can take:
- Block profile from public searches.
- Restrict who can find you via an online search.
- Don’t share social media credentials.
- Don’t accept friend requests from unknowns.
- Use the recommended privacy settings provided by the site.
- Keep personal details private, including your address, date of birth, phone number, school, credit card number(s), and passwords. Be aware of the details you’re showing in photos, such as address numbers, street names, and work buildings.
- Log out of your accounts when you are not using them, especially when using a public computer or device.
- Avoid retaliating. Most bullies are looking to get a reaction.