It seems like we are not safe anymore, and anyone can misuse our personal data and information, and use it against us to disturb our lives in any way they want. All this is because of the massive usage of social networking sites today. Cybercrime which was once unknown has now become a grave issue affecting millions across the world says William D King.
Today, nearly everyone uses networking websites such as Facebook, twitter & Orkut, some for fun while some do it professionally for their business promotion etc. But have you ever thought that even these networking websites are unsafe? And they can be misused by the cybercriminals who will break into your accounts with just one click?
Let’s check out what kind of cybercrimes can be committed using social networking sites.
1. Facebook scams:
Facebook scams are the most common type of scam being done through social networking sites, mostly by job seekers & their relatives who just want to earn an easy buck. They do it by posting ads for online jobs and other work at home opportunities. They normally use attractive titles for their posts, which entices others to open them. Some examples are “Earn money from home”, “Are you looking for a job?”, “Fastest growing company invites experienced professionals” etc., but once you open the link provided in the post, it will take you to some other website where you have to complete forms with your personal
A research has been conducted on the cyber security issues of networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. It is found those users’ activities like acceptance to friend requests and likes may lead to data leakage and this data can be used to hack into networks.
2. Twitter scams:
These mainly happen through “tweet & retweet”. A tweet can be defined as a public message that one user sends to other users via twitter (a popular social networking website). It has also been found that tweets can be used to gain full access over user’s account without their knowledge/consent.
The most common scam on twitter was about an online game call Free Facebook Credits. This scam was popular on other social networking sites too. Cyber criminals used to post links of such pages on twitter and direct users to counterfeit websites (which looked like original website) where they had to provide their personal information like credit card details, passwords etc., in order to get credits which were never add.
3. YouTube scams:
YouTube is the most frequently visit website in the world and is also a very common platform for cybercriminals to spread their “malicious” activities like scams through videos & audio files says William D King. These audio/video files or links can be post anywhere on YouTube or any other SNS by cyber criminals to infect victim’s computer with spyware that may track his/her activity online or can even him/her into getting hack.
4. Facebook scams through email:
Cybercriminals are now using emails as a platform to spread their “malicious” activities like scams & threats etc, by sending messages which look like they came from some renowned company such as PayPal or Amazon etc., and ask victims to login into their website to review some transaction or something of that sort. These types of emails normally contain links which can be use to hack into the victims account and steal his personal information like passwords, credit/debit card details etc., and use them for illegal purposes (which we don’t want to explain here).
Stalking is a criminal offense in India under Section 354D of the Indian Penal Code 1860. Which defines stalking as a man following or contacting a woman and vice versa. Without the other’s permission/consent after being prevent from doing so, whether directly or through someone else. It also includes cyber-stalking where a person keeps tracking other’s activities on social networking sites like Facebook, twitter etc. Which can be misuse by the criminals to stalk a victim for their benefits.
6. Sexual harassment:
Sexual harassment is punishable under section 354A of Indian Penal Code 1860. It is an unwelcome sexual gesture in public places with the intention of offending others’ feelings. This may include sending lewd messages or posting objectionable content on the walls of males/females etc. Through fake profiles created their photos & names by cybercriminals.
Social networking platforms have completely revolutionized communication as well as the spread of information explains William D King. But along with these positive aspects, it also has its negative sides like cyber-stalking, cyber-bullying etc. Which not only ruin the social relations but also pose a threat to the security of users.