Cyber Crime Against Women and Girls on Social Sites in Bangladesh

Cyber Crime Against Women and Girls on Social Sites in Bangladesh

Fardaus Ara (Rajshahi University, Bangladesh)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9715-5.ch048
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The advent of the internet has made dramatic changes in human lives. In addition, the internet also opens avenues for various criminal activities. Women are more vulnerable to cyber threats than men on social sites. Cybercrime against women is at an alarming state in Bangladesh. There is a need to inform about the pervasiveness and different forms of cybercrimes and increase awareness of safety precautions. This study seeks to explore the crimes committed against women and girls on social sites in Bangladesh. In addition, the research will suggest some remedial measures to control and combat cybercrime against women and girls.
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The advent of the Internet and modern communication devices with multiple features like camera, radio, general packet radio service and Wi-Fi networks and the wide diffusion of social media have made dramatic changes in human lives. It has created a virtual world with no boundaries; allows people to develop both personal and professional relationships across borders. The World Wide Web (WWW) permits users to disseminate content in the form of text, images, video, and audio. Worldwide, the number of people using the Internet is increasing day by day (Mala, 2016; UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development, 2015). As of June 30, 2018, more than half of the total world population i.e. 4.2 billion (55.12%) is using the Internet (Internet World Stats, 2018) for entertainment, business, education, information sharing and other purposes. In addition, social networking websites (SNWs) like Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn, Snap chat, Twitter have developed a new platform to meet people. Around 2.62 billion people use different social network sites (Statista, 2018). It allows people to share ideas, pictures, posts, activities, events, and interests with people in their network. Regardless of any distinction, women in society are enjoying this liberation. It allows them to share their experiences with the whole world; their success stories as well as their problems (Halder & Jaishankar, 2009).

However, social sites have also created avenues for various criminal activities. Cybercriminals abuse the technology to abuse people for financial gain, to take revenge, to defame, to ridicule and humiliate for their self-enjoyment and so on. Therefore, social sites put people at risk while it makes life easier, safer, and more social. Pew Research Center (2014) reports that 73% of the adult Internet users have witnessed someone be harassed online and 40% have personally experienced it. The Internet Crime Complaint Center, known as IC3 received 3,463,620 cybercrime complaints since its inception. According to the IC3 report, the total cybercrimes reported in the US shows a steady increase from 2013 to 2015. In 2013, the number of cybercrimes reported was 262,813; in 2014 it was 269,422 and in 2015 it further augmented to 288,012. The Office for National Statistics reported that there were 5.1 million estimated cybercrimes and scams in England and Wales in 2014 (Mala, 2016).

Women are more vulnerable to cyber threats than men are as the offenders were unaccountable for the offences they commit. Moreover, the criminals are committing traditional crimes using the latest information technology as committing the crime is easier and investigating it gets tougher. In the contemporary world, instances of cybercrimes against women are increasing alarmingly (Halder & Jaishankar, 2009). According to the United Nations Broadband Commission Report (2015), women aged 18 to 24 years are at risk of cybercrime victimization. EU estimates show that one in ten women has experienced some form of cyber violence since the age of 15 and the impact on their lives is far more traumatic (European Institute for Gender Equality, 2017). Women are receiving unwanted emails often containing indecent and obnoxious language. The vulnerability and security of women is a major concern globally (Halder & Jaishankar, 2008). According to IC3 (2015), in the US, 47.09% of the cybercrime complaints were reported by women. Women made 70% of the cybercrime complaints to the Working to Halt Abuse, a non-profitable organization, from 2000 to 2014 from all around the world. The organization further stated that 42% of the victims did not report their victimization (Mala, 2016). Statista (2017) reports that worldwide 57% of the surveyed women experienced abuse or harassment via Facebook.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Wi-Fi: A popular networking technology that uses radio waves to provide wireless high-speed Internet and network connection.

Cyber: It refers to the features or characteristics of the culture of computers, information technology, and computer-generated reality.

Crime: Any illegal action that is considered an offence and is punishable by law.

Social Networking Site: A social site is an online platform where people build social networks or relations with other people who usually share similar interests. A social networking service is a platform that increases group interaction and shared spaces for collaboration, social relations, and aggregates information exchanges in a web-based environment (Barlett-Brag, 2006).

World Wide Web: The world wide web (WWW) is a network of online content on the Internet that allows documents to be connected to other documents by a link and enable the user to search for information by browsing on the net.

Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3): It was established to provide people with a reliable and convenient reporting mechanism to submit information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) regarding cybercriminal activities and to develop cooperation with law enforcement agencies.

Cybercrime: A crime that involves a computer and a network.

Internet: The Internet is an interactive medium based on a decentralized network of computers. The Internet may also be used to engage in other activities such as sending and receiving emails, money, trading files, exchanging instant messages, chatting online, streaming audio and video, every type of business purpose, and making voice calls.

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