According to a survey, India is currently ranked 3rd on Global Cyber-bullying list. Are we really concerned about the statistics? Are the Indian parents and teens thoroughly aware of the growing threat?

We all use cell phones and computers for our day-to-day work, but the real threat exists in the social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube that are gaining large numbers of user engagement every single day. In this ever growing digital world boys and girls often fall prey to online abuse which can also be rephrased as ‘the intentional use of harmful words or morphed images to put another person’s moral down’. Given the nature of social media, any explicit content can quickly go viral and can reach a large audience in no time, which makes it difficult for the authorities to remove or delete a particular viral content. Such bullying can highly affect the mental state of a teen, triggering depression and anxiety for a fair amount of time. This threat not only revolves in the internet world but the victims can also get bullied in person. This is done by tracking the person’s daily activities or following the victim wherever they go. Cyberbullies can track or reach their victims at any time possible.

The most efficient way to avoid such online abuse is to simply not respond or retaliate to any kind of foul content or messages. You can also keep evidence of the abusive activities if you ever feel cyber bullying includes threats of harm, and reach out to someone who can help you out like your parents or even the Police. Also, most of the social media apps now allow you to block a particular person, so it is advisable for you to block and reject friend requests from strangers. You should also be aware of protecting your social media accounts by changing the privacy settings and by not sharing your passwords with anyone, not even your closest friend!

We all know that there is a huge gap in terms of security and privacy awareness amongst the people in India and the need to maintain the cyber hygiene is a must in the digital world nowadays. Therefore, the Government needs to make stricter Cyber laws against any cyber bullying offense as the current law under IT Act 2000 is a bailable offense with only 3 years of imprisonment. Thus, till such time, we can only adapt the above best practices in order to remain unaffected by any kind of Cyber threat.

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