An essay on "When You abuse a Woman, You stop being a Man" by Prachi Panwar is a depth analysis of the increasing rate of cybercrime and the legislative enactments that deal with cyber offences.

An essay on "When You abuse a Woman, You stop being a Man" by Prachi Panwar is an in-depth analysis of the increasing rate of cybercrime and the legislative enactments that deal with cyber offences. In a country like India, where society looks down upon women, the law does not even recognize the cybercrimes women face. Now the main question which stuck in my mind is what actually is cybercrime.

Cybercrime is defined as any unlawful act where the computer, communication network, or computing device is used to facilitate the commission of a crime. It can be in many forms, like harassment through e-mails, cyberstalking, cyber defamation, child pornography, cyberbullying, and cyber grooming.

The author highlights that today the world of the internet has become a parallel form of life and living. People nowadays can do things that were not imaginable a few years ago. Though the internet offers great benefits to society, people are also misusing it by hurting the dignity of a woman. As the saying goes, "every good side has a bad side too". And the same is true with the internet and technology as well.

Cybercrime has thus become a reality in India which is difficult to detect and even difficult to prove. The Constitution of India guarantees equal rights to life, education, health, food, and work to women but the modesty of women seems not to be protected in general in the Information Technology Act, 2000 because there is no specific provision in the IT Act, 2000 which specifically deal with the crime against women as does the provisions of Indian Penal Code, the Constitution of India or the Code of Criminal Procedure for that matter.

The author suggests that in order to protect women against these, cybercrimes provisions have to be made in IT Act, 2000 to give justice and equal rights to the women that they actually deserve and necessary steps must be taken for their protection and well-being to stop all these cybercrimes against women.

When You abuse a Woman, You stop being a Man.

Any crime in which either computer is used as a weapon or the computer itself is the target is termed cybercrime. Cybercrimes are committed to advancing technology such as the internet, mobile, computer, etc. The main task of social media is to share information with the public. Social media is expanding rapidly into all spheres of life. It has facilitated globalization by expanding its region by connecting people worldwide through information communication technology, and social media technology is the basic component of cybercrime.

In the age of digital technology, Information and Communication Technology is performing the task of bridging the information gap and multiplying human potential in every step of life. Over the last decade, multiple social networking sites have developed on the internet. It has become an integral part of most people globally. It has encouraged the creation of new communication and information-sharing tools.

Cybercrimes leave an everlasting fear in the mind of the users and even change their mindset for choosing and staying on the social network. It is because, sometimes, the fear of being hacked forces people to opt out of social networking sites. Identifying theft and account hacking are the unavoidable burning issues of the present status of social networking sites. This is the most frightening aspect that one of ten users is facing.

Female users of social media hesitate to post and share their pictures on social media as cybercriminals may victimize them by misusing their pictures in the form of morphing. Stealing personal information by hacking, fishing, pharming, spyware, morphing, IP spoofing, stalking, and unauthorized access to any system leads to theft, fraud, threat, e-mail fraud, identity theft and fraud, extortion, spreading malicious software or malware, piracy, cyberbullying and piracy. This further causes physical or psychological harm, defamation, and a crime against individuals or society.

Various communication technologies like mobile and internet technology are used by many users across the world. Amongst all the cyber crimes committed against an individual or the society at large, some are only mentioned as targeting female users. Female users who are exposed to the internet easily fall under the threats of people of evil minds and become victims of cybercrime. But the main question is how many of them know about these technologies' risk and safety factors. Social media is regarded as the most crucial factor for generating globalization in business. On social networking sites, many alerts and threats come in the form of messages and bulk messages to send their account number as they have won an amount or prize. These alerts are the new forms of threat in social media.

As everything has two phases: one positive and one negative. People usually fall under the positive advertisement of technology. They adopt the technology with the knowledge of the fact that technology is very useful in collecting and sharing information.

Cybercrime is committed generally by using new techniques of media technology. Through the internet, many crimes are committed daily worldwide, and those unaware of the cybercrime risk become the victim of the crime.

Cyberbullying is a growing threat all over the world. India is in third place after China and Singapore in cyberbullying. It includes blackmail, online threat, harassment, posting personal photos, making videos of personal moments and then making them public, and leaking personal information over the internet. In many cases, it has been seen that people's ignorance toward technology causes risks in their life. The Internet has played a vital role in sharing information and spreading viruses. In India, a major percentage of the female population is under-educated, which is a big reason behind social and psychological harassment for them.

Cybercriminals use many traps using sophisticated tools to captivate their targets. It is easy to attack women and minors as they can be attacked on psychological grounds.

Through social media, mostly the following crimes are being committed against women:

1) Hacking

The term hacking has several meanings. It refers to exploring computers without the knowledge of the user. It is basically the practice of gaining unauthorized access to computers or computer networks.

2) Cyber Bullying

It is the way of harassment through social networking sites. It is similar to the traditional form of harassment but with a new twist with the rise of new social media such as the internet, laptop, smartphone, and social networking sites.

3) Cyber Pornography

It is an illegal act. It may take many forms over the internet. Hosting a website that contains sexual material is cybercrime. The computer is used as a tool for publication or production of such materials.

4) Morphing

It is easy for hackers to use the photos shared on social media profiles to morph or crop them to use them on pornography sites or harass the person for gaining sexual pleasure or financial gain.

5) Extortion

It is almost similar to blackmail. Blackmail can expose some personal material to destroy the target's public image.

6) Cyber Stalking

Stalking means chasing a person online through a chat room by sending vulgar messages through e-mails, instant messages in chat and frequently bombarding the victim with e-mails.

Female social media users are one of the groups of end users of social media. They need to have knowledge about social media and the risks which are associated with it. Various types of cybercrimes are being performed on social media platforms. Devices that are connected to the internet and the mode of internet connection are the most common tools to commit cybercrimes. According to the surveys, personal computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets are the devices connecting to the internet. Among these devices, smartphones are rated high with 93.0% and 87.0% in the control and experimental groups respectively in the pre-test survey and 96.0% and 88.0% in the post-test survey.

There is a type of cybercrime. Those with online accounts or smartphones may receive threats through email, messages, or other means of communication. From the pre-test survey, it is observed that not every user has received the threat. Cybercriminals often post sexually explicit materials to any public profile through social networking sites.

On social networking sites, there is a provision for posting pictures in the display of their profile as their identity. Multiple users can be of the same name but the display picture will help to identify the exact person on the social media. enforce

The chief aim and objective to control cybercrime are to address the issues of prevention, investigation, prosecution for cybercrime and cybercriminals, analyze the operations of Indian Cyber Law enforcement authorities at the first level and at the second level about creating awareness, technical knowhow about cybercrimes for detection, prevention and investigation purposes through suitable training and development programs.

The punishment for the violation or infringement of the provisions of the cyber rules is provided in Chapter XI from Section 65-78 of the IT Act, 2000. Broadly Cybercrimes are classified into:

  1. Crimes against individuals
  2. Crimes against property
  3. Crimes against govt. or organizations

It is high time to stop and curb all types of cybercrimes against women in order to maintain peace and harmony within the country so that women can remain safe and their dignity should be protected so that they can live peacefully and safely.


Cyber Crimes Against Women, Available Here

Information Technology Act, 2000, Available Here

Important Links

Law Library: Notes and Study Material for LLB, LLM, Judiciary, and Entrance Exams

Law Aspirants: Ultimate Test Prep Destination

Prachi Panwar

Prachi Panwar

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