confidentiality of information (cyber safety-3|CYBERCRIME)

November 29, 2023
31 mins read
confidentiality of information (cyber safety-3|CYBERCRIME)


Spreading Rumours Online

Spreading rumors online is cybercrime and is a punishable offense. As per the Information Technology Act of India, Publishing/circulation of Rumours, especially hurting religious sentiments, is cybercrime, and it may invite a fine with imprisonment extendable up to three years.

People usually think that they can create a fake profile with a different name and do anything online that will not be detected. Through such counterfeit profiles, people sometimes post false information on social media or comments that could hurt others or spread rumors that may trigger panic or hurt other people's religious sentiments, resulting in clashes and even riots, etc.

Online Fraud

Fraud executed using the Internet is called Online fraud. Online fraud may appear in many forms, such as:

Non-delivered goodsNon-existent companies
Stealing informationFraudulent payments, etc.

While the first two types of fraud can be countered by setting up official bodies ensuring the validity of e-commerce companies and promised delivery of goods, the last two types of scams are more frightening. Examples of such fraud include credit card fraud and identity theft. In credit card frauds, the user's credit card details are stolen from their online activities, and then some payment frauds are carried out with this stolen information. Identity theft is also very scary; by stealing someone else's online identity (such as their social media handle, email ID, etc.), posting fraudulent posts, or some other malicious /dangerous activity (such as rumor mongering/riots fueling, etc.) is carried out.

The steps to stop this cybercrime or scams may include:

  • A monitoring official body that confirms the sanctity of an E-commerce Company and the delivery of goods/services as promised.
  • Robust security mechanism by the e-commerce site and payment gateways to stop stealing of essential data.
  • Official guidelines and protection on the selling of users' data to third parties.

Information Theft

While working online, you often enter information related to payments and even about your home address, etc., while shopping. This information must be safe and must not fall into the wrong hands. One should be careful while working online as there are many ways through which thieves can obtain your personal information :


Phishing is the method of trying to acquire sensitive data from people over the Internet, using fraud. Information generally targeted by phishing techniques includes passwords, user names, bank account details, and social security numbers. The term 'phishing' is a play on 'fishing' - hackers use different forms of 'bait' to catch a victim.

It is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to receive sensitive data such as usernames, passwords, credit card information, account data, etc. In Phishing, a fraud uses an authentic-looking email or website to mislead recipients into giving out sensitive personal data; for instance, you may receive an email from your bank (which appears genuine to you) asking to upgrade your information online by clicking on a specified link. Though it seems simple, you may be taken to a fraudulent site where all your sensitive data is received and later used for cyber-crimes and scams.

How Phishing attacks are carried out

Social engineering/pretexting.

They pose as honest business or government officials to get your personal information from financial organizations, telephone companies, and other authorities.


Any fraudulent company technique that extracts money from an unsuspecting, ignorant person is called a scam. These days, the Internet has evolved into another primary source of scams. Frauds executed over the Internet are called online scams. An example of an online scam is shown below:

"Jon wanted to gift her pal a customized bracelet whose image she saw on a photo-sharing website that listed the design and cost of customization. Jon happily transferred an advanced payment of $200 to the account mentioned on the site and was promised a delivery date. But to her shock, the gift never reached her. Even after repeated calls, she only had a promise that it would be delivered soon, and suddenly that website account was deleted from the photo-sharing website, and even the numbers went dead."

Measures to Avoid Online Scams

Essential things to keep in mind while using the Internet to avoid scams include the following:

  • Never enter personal information or any financial information (banking information or credit/debit card information) on unsecured websites, i.e., the sites that do not employ HTTPS and do not have padlock signs.
  • Never reply to emails from any unknown source.
  • Never click on any links that you have received in your email, even if you know the sender. Instead, open a browser window, type the URL yourself, and click on the link in the email.
  • Never react to an e-mail or advertisement declaring you have won something.

Illegal Downloads

Illegal downloading refers to getting files for which you don't have the right to use or download from the Internet. It is downloading a paid digital thing, without making any payment and operating an illegal way to download it.
For example, If you are downloading a movie that is not available for free download, this is an illegal download. Similarly, downloading a copy of the licensed software bypassing the legal measures is also illegal to download.

Most items that are protected under copyright law are available against a payment. Violating this is known as an illegal download. For example, a movie, picture, video, etc., is copyrighted in the favor of the creator/owner/Developer.

A product protected by copyright law cannot be downloaded, copied, reproduced, or resold without their permission.

Reporting Cybercrime

If any cyber crime happens, one must report it firstly to parents, school authorities, and then to the police. The procedure for reporting cybercrimes is more or less the same as for writing any other kind of offense. Like other countries, India also has Cyber Law enforcement for all types of cyber crimes.

That is, to report a cybercrime :

  • The local police stations can be approached for filing complaints just as the cybercrime cells specially designated with the jurisdiction to register complaints.
  • In addition, provisions have now been made for the filing of 'E-FIR' in most states.
  • In addition, the Ministry of Home Affairs is also launching a website for registering crimes against women and children online, including cybercrime.

The Information Technology Act categorically provides that cybercrime has global jurisdiction, meaning that the crime may be reported in the Cyber Crime Units of any city, irrespective of the place where the Act was committed.


Digital forensics or computer forensics guides techniques for interpreting computer media for digital evidence. Computer forensics allows our legal system to recover data from electronic or digital devices.

Computer forensics is a systematic process that analyzes electronic data for usage in a court of law. The purpose of the process is to preserve any evidence in its most original condition while performing a structured investigation by gathering, identifying, and validating the digital information to rebuild past events.

Digital Forensics investigation process.


Cyberlaw is a generic representation that refers to all the legal and regulatory elements of the Internet and the World Wide Web. Anything involved with or related to or originating from any legal factors or issues about any activity of netizens and others, in Cyberspace comes within the ambit of Cyberlaw. The growth of Electronic Commerce has propelled the need for vibrant and effective regulatory mechanisms which would further strengthen the legal infrastructure, so crucial to the success of Electronic Commerce. All these regulatory mechanisms and legal infrastructures come within the domain of Cyberlaw.

 Cyberlaw is essential because it handles almost all aspects of transactions and movements on and concerning the Internet, the World Wide Web, and Cyberspace.

Cite examples depicting that you were a victim of following the cybercrime. Also, cite requirements in the IT Act to deal with such a cybercrime. (a) Identity stealing (b) Credit card account stealing

(a) Someone watched an online show/movie using my credentials. 
(b) Someone used my financial credentials and used my money without my ability. IT Act considers both the above acts as cyber offenses, which are punishable as per law and attract a fine and jail term, too.

India's IT Act-2008 (IT Amendment Act)

In India, cyber laws are enforced through the Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act 2000), which was notified on October 17 2000. The United Nations Commission established it for International Trade-related Laws (UNCITRAL) sample law.

IT ACT 2000's prime purpose was to provide legal recognition to electronic commerce and to facilitate the filing of electronic records with the Government, i.e., to provide the legal infrastructure for e-commerce in India.

The Act was later amended in December 2008 via the IT (Amendment) Act, 2008. It provided additional focus on Information Security. It has added several new sections on crimes, including Cyber Terrorism and Data Protection. The Information Technology Amendment Act, 2008 (IT Act 2008) came into force on October 27, 2009, ahead. Significant, modifications to IT ACT (2008) contained:

Digital SignaturesAuthentication of electronic logs by digital signatures gains lawful recognition.
Electronic governanceE-Documents get legal recognition. Documents needed as per law by any arm of the government may be provided in electronic format.
Offenses and PenaltiesThe maximum penalty for any damage to computers is a penalty of up to 1 crore.
Amendments to other lawsOther related acts, such as the Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, the Bankers' Books Evidence Act, 1891, and the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 existed to be amended to align them with the IT Act.

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