From last three weeks, I have been writing about various cybercrimes targeting women and girls, how they work, how one can protect oneself from it and what legal or other remedies are available to the victims, Please check www.cybermithra.in to read about them. This week onwards for two weeks, I am going to talk about various cybercrimes done targeting children. In today’s article, I will be talking about Cyber bullying, Cyber grooming and Sexting cybercrimes, where I will talk about what it is, what is the effect of such crime, how it is carried out. Next week, I will talk about how one can protect self from such crime for child and parents and finally what are the legal and other remedies and next steps for the victim and parents.
Cybercrime against children includes Cyber bullying, Cyber harassment, Identity theft, Cyber grooming, Cyber sexual abuse and exploitation, Child pornography, Revenge porn, Cyber blackmailing or sextortion, sexting, and other online dangers that can harm children’s mental, psychological and emotional health. These harmful effects may last for a long time and trouble the victim in their later part of adult life also. In my previous articles, I had talked about Identity theft, Cyber Harassment, sextortion, please check them for details in my blog www.cybermithra.in.
Details about cybercrimes on children :-
- Cyber bullying : Bullying is a deliberate and repeated behavior, aimed at scaring, humiliating, embarrassing, torment, intimidate, pick on, angering or shaming those who are targeted. Cyber bullying is bullying with the use of digital technologies. Cyber bullying happens in many different ways – in text messages, emails and online games, and on social media platforms like WhatsApp, YouTube, Snapchat, Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook. Cyber bullying can happen at any time and any place, provided internet access is available. This crime shall leave children with low self-esteem, depressed, introvert, anxious, scared and not interested in studies or any activities etc.
- Cyber Grooming : Cyber grooming is when someone (often an adult with fake identity as a child) befriends a child online and builds an emotional connection with future intentions of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or trafficking. The main goals of cyber grooming are: to gain trust from the child, to obtain intimate and personal data from the child (often sexual in nature—such as sexual conversations, pictures, or videos) in order to threaten and blackmail for further inappropriate material. Initially, the cyber groomer may praise you, offer gifts, marketing jobs. Later, he starts sending messages, photographs, or videos and sends you porn photos or may ask the child to share his nude photos or personal and financially sensitive information of parents. This crime shall leave children with guilt, scared, difficulty sleeping, anxious, introvert, not interested in studies or any other activities etc.
- Sexting : Sexting is using digital technology to send, receive or share sexually suggestive images or videos of people naked or partially naked. It can also include sexual messages or emojis. Children use text messages, emails, online games and/or social media for sexting. Sexting can be consensual and non-consensual, consensual sexting is done for fun and to appear sexy/macho and for showoff. Sexting or sending nudes has risks, like the risk of images being shared without consent and later these being posted on social media or worst used it for sextortion or blackmail or image based abuse/harassment or bullying. Sexting is a crime if you intentionally store or distribute an intimate image of a person under 18 to others, even if they agree to the sext message being sent. You could also be charged by police for having child porn material offences for having these nude images of children. This crime shall leave children with anxiety, depression, loss of control, sleep problems and compulsive sexual behavior among others.