Aanchal, 20 is a college going girl. She is a facebook addict and is very active on this social media platform. When Aanchal was in school she had a stalker who used to stalk her on facebook and send her threat mails. Aanchal ignored these threats and carried on with her life, but she found herself trapped when a friend told her that her obscene morphed photos were being uploaded on facebook on a fake profile. The person operating that profile is also distributing her number to random creepy guys. And because of that Aanchal is getting offensive and harassing calls from strangers.
This is not just the story of Aanchal. Many other girls have also gone through such situation where they had to face public humiliation and shame on social networking platforms. The internet is full of morphed pictures and fake facebook profile and there is no denying that there are many sick minded people who do that.
Question is what to do when you are stuck in such a situation? Understanding the severity of such cases our team decided to discuss this matter with Mr. Pavan Duggal who is an Advocate in the Supreme court of India, specialised in dealing with cyber laws. After an extensive discussion with him we zeroed upon few tips, that can prevent and give solution to victims of cyber crime. Here are some measures that you can take if you have been a victim of such cases.
Mr. Pavan Duggal
Cyber law expert and Advocate at Supreme Court of India
1. Stop responding if someone is sending abusive or offensive messages
People who harass online want to elicit a reaction from their targets, so firing back a text will only make things worse. Don't threaten the person who is targeting you to get back at him or her. Sending a threatening message out of exasperation will only provoke him to keep up the bad behavior, and it may also get you in more trouble
2. Save evidences like screenshots and messages
File away every email, text, instant message, web address, and other evidence that can collect. Record the time and date that each message was sent. Having as much information as possible about your stalker or abuser will help in reporting a strong case against him.
3. Change your privacy settings
This is the next precautionary measure that you should take if you are harassed online. You should immediately change your privacy setting to personal and keep all crucial information like telephone number, pictures, etc that indicate your identity, locked. This is important so that the stalker is not able to access any more information and your profile will become secure.
4. Report to the social networking site
According to facebook once you upload a picture it goes into public domain and Facebook can’t do anything about it if it is abused. But you should still report fake ids and profiles. Also ask your friends to do the same, because once it is reported as offensive or fake by multiple users on facebook, facebook can take it down.
5. Go to the police if no action is taken
According to the section 66 A of Indian cyber law, the police can arrest offenders in cases of insult, humiliation, criminal intimidation, menacing character, inconvenience and enmity. Police’s cyber security cell can track down the id and find the person behind that fake profile. You will have to show them the evidences that you have collected. The offender will be arrested and sent to jail if the crime is proved.
6. Seek the help of Court of Law
If police fails to nab the criminals, you can go to court and file a case against the person identified behind your fake profile. Laws are not very strict in India but in very serious cases of morphing, defamation and stalking, the court takes strict act actions and you will get your due justice.
- Priyanka Tiwari