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The Dark Side of The Internet
The Dark Side of The Internet

The Dark Side of The Internet

In an era dominated by technology and social media, we often seem to ignore the dark side that the Internet brings with itself. So lost in exploring the new features it brings us daily, few or none of us realize that cybercrimes are real and occur as we speak. Cybercrimes are a serious source of psychological stress, trauma, and anxiety to the victims. Despite the matter being crystal clear, the authorities do very little to fight against cybercrimes. They are ignorant in most cases. On the contrary, cybercrime victims are told to be thick-skinned. The accounting authorities fail to commit their part of the job. I believe cybercriminals should be arrested and tried or punished, just like any other criminal. The victim should be granted justice.

Before going any deeper into the topic, it’s essential to acquire knowledge about the different types of cybercrimes. Firstly, what is cybercrime? According to Dennis (2019), cybercrime is the use of a computer to commit fraud, identity theft, human trafficking, violating privacy, bullying, and many other sorts of crimes. Cybercrime has become important through the internet as we all are connected, and computers, phones have become an essential part of our daily lives. There is an exhaustive list that contains the different types of cybercrimes that occur. One of the most notable cybercrimes is identity theft and invasion of privacy. Only stolen credit card information is enough to “reconstruct” a person’s identity, as Dennis (2019) states. According to a report released by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, almost 1.1 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2014. Similar theft cybercrimes include ATM fraud, Internet fraud, and wire fraud. Furthermore, cyberbullying is another grave cybercrime. Using electronic communication through the internet to bully someone has become very common in today’s world, especially through social media. This sort of bullying keeps the bully anonymous and causes an increase in the suicide rate. Not only are the victims bullied online, but they are also harassed and stalked as well. Other forms of cybercrimes include hacking, data breaches, phishing, illegal content such as child pornography, and other sorts of exploits (“Types of Cybercrime”, 2019).

Despite cybercrimes being disregarded and taken lightly, they remain sources of prominent psychological stress, trauma, and depression sources. In addition, the cybercrime industry is real and makes tonnes of profit each year. According to Bromium and McGuire’s cybercrime report, the cybercrime industry profited at least $1.5 trillion in 2018 alone, and that’s actually a rough estimate (Crane, 2019). Moreover, cybercrimes over social media generate more than $3.25 billion every year, as stated in Bromium and McGuire’s report (Crane, 2019). According to the Dawn newspaper, cybercrimes cause psychological disorders such as anxiety, stress, and suicidal thoughts. A well-known cybercrime that causes mental health problems is cyberbullying. Similar to traditional bullying, it causes self-esteem issues, which leads to anxiety disorders, depression, and suicidal thoughts. According to Vaillancourt, Faris, and Mishna (2016), higher levels of depression, anxiety, emotional trauma, and poorer physical health were reported in cyberbullied youth compared to their non-bullied friends. Mental health problems are not only limited to cyberbullying; other types of cybercrimes such as property theft, hacking, etc., also cause these problems. As Ranger (2020) states, “Being a victim of cybercrime can be about much more than just the financial losses.”. According to Ranger (2020), cybercrime victims went through feelings of anger, anxiety, stress, fear, and embarrassment. This shows the severe consequences of cybercrimes and that these crimes are no different from the usual ones.

Despite the evidence and the numerous cybercrime cases, the matter is taken lightly by the law enforcement authorities. The Internet is seen as a “wild west” as stated by Citron (2014). Some believe that those who browse the Internet should be thick-skinned and have the courage to face cybercrimes. Citron rejects this view because he believes cybercrimes are a civil rights violation and should be dealt with accordingly (Citron, 2014). Nonetheless, there is minimal authorities do to help victims of cybercrime. According to Ranger (2020), some victims had a hard time convincing the police to take on their case even though they had crystal clear evidence. They stated that there was very little that the police could do. Even though the cases and the cybercrime industry’s profit are pellucid, the matter lacks awareness and the attention it deserves.

Cracking the nutshell, cybercrimes are increasing day by day as we advance in the world of tech and law enforcement agencies remain ignorant. According to Li (2010), a study claims that 40% of the youth would do nothing if they were cyberbullied, and only 1 in 10 would inform adults. This shows the lack of awareness against cybercrimes and the failure of authorities in a grave matter. The increasing rate of cybercrimes leads to mental health issues, suicides, and other sorts of physical health problems. The law enforcement agencies should consider the matter grimly and carry out the necessary steps. People should raise their voices in this regard as well. Apart from depending on the authorities, we should be vigilant while browsing the Internet. It’s significant to make sure not to click on anonymous links and ads and use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) for network security. Finally, we should ensure that websites are secured and use antivirus software. These steps help to stay safe against cybercrimes and ensure a secure and peaceful time on the Internet

References

Dennis, M. A. (2020). Cybercrime. Britannica. Retrieved from
https://www.britannica.com/topic/cybercrime

Types of Cybercrime. (2018, August 20). Retrieved from
https://www.pandasecurity.com/en/mediacenter/panda-security/types-of-cybercrime.

Crane, C. (2019, November 14). 33 Alarming Cybercrime Statistics You Should Know in 2019.
thesslstore. Retrieved from https://www.thesslstore.com/blog/33-alarming-cybercrime-statisticsyou-should-know/

Vaillancourt, T., Faris, R., & Mishna, F. (2017). Cyberbullying in Children and Youth:
Implications for Health and Clinical Practice. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 62(6), 368–Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1177/0706743716684791

Ranger, S. (2020, June 26). ‘The most stressful four hours of my career:’ How it feels to be the
victim of a hacking attack. ZDnet. Retrieved from https://www.zdnet.com/article/it-is-stressfulit-is-frightening-what-its-like-to-be-a-victim-of-hacking-and-ransomware/

Citron, D. (2014). Hate Crimes in Cyberspace. Harvard University Press.
Li, Q. (2010). Cyberbullying in High Schools: A Study of Students’ Behaviors and Beliefs about

This New Phenomenon. Taylor & Francis Online. Retrieved from
https://doi.org/10.1080/10926771003788979

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