One of the main problems of the current day is cybercrime. Cyberbullying and cybercrime are both on the rise and occurring simultaneously as a consequence of technological innovation and increasing internet connectivity. Virtually all internet users have, intentionally or unwittingly, experienced cyberbullying at some point. According to statistics and research, young people (boys and girls) and women are the most susceptible demographics and are frequently the targets of cyberbullying. 
Although there is no official definition of cyberbullying, we define it as an aggressive act done repeatedly by a person or a group via electronic means of interaction against an individual who is unable to defend himself or herself readily against the act. Harassment using internet-connected devices, such as cell phones, laptops, or tablets, is known as cyberbullying. Social media, email, messaging services, text messages, forums, games, and other platforms can all be used for cyberbullying. Cyberbullying can take place on any internet site that permits information exchange.
Indians frequently experience the various types of cyberbullying:
- Flaming: It is the practice of using derogatory words towards someone in chat rooms, emails, or texts.
- Harassment: Sending insulting, vile, or threatening texts constitutes harassment.
- Cyberstalking: It is the practice of following a person online and sending emails or messages to intimidate, frighten, or cause him damage.
- Exclusion: Wilfully excluding someone from a group and publishing derogatory remarks or messages about her.
- Masquerading or impersonating: Someone harms their reputation by publicizing false or inaccurate information about them
- Trolling: It is the deliberate harming of a person by making derogatory or agitating comments.
- Framing: It is the practice of posting improper stuff on someone else’s social media profiles to harm their reputation.
The government has also established legislation to safeguard individuals against cyberbullying, which it considers a serious crime. The landmark case that prompted the government to create such strict rules guarding women from sexual harassment was “Vishakha v. State of Rajasthan”. The Supreme Court’s first experience with cyberbullying came in this case.
EFFECTS OF CYBER-BULLYING
The consequences can be severe and have a wide range of effects on a person: –
- Mentally – feeling upset, embarrassed, stupid, even afraid or angry
- Emotionally – feeling ashamed or losing interest in the things you love.
- Physically – tired (lack of sleep), or suffering from symptoms such as stomach aches and headaches
The feeling of being laughed at or harassed by others can prevent people from speaking up or trying to deal with the problem. Cyberbullying can, in severe circumstances, even result in suicide. Cyberbullying can affect us in many ways. But these can be overcome and people can regain their confidence and health.
HOW TO PREVENT CYBER-BULLYING???
Prevention of cyberbullying is urgently needed. It needs to be checked over and eliminated. Cyberbullying may be addressed in several ways. We may put them both into implementation at the individual and authoritative levels. First and foremost, always teach your kids never to provide personal information online. For example, if you provide your home location or phone number online, it will be easy for cyberbullies to target you.
Second, refrain from uploading pornographic images of yourself online. Additionally, avoid talking about private things on social media. In other words, share only what you and your friends and family need to know.
The most crucial rule is to never divulge your username, password, or account information to anybody. All of this information should be kept private. Avoid clicking on any suspicious links since they can be scammers. Additionally, educate your children about cyberbullying and the difference between right and wrong.
CYBER-BULLYING LAWS IN INDIA
Cyberbullying is not specifically covered by any legislation. However, certain laws, including section 67 of the Information Technology Act, do overlap with the concept of cyberbullying. The consequences of posting or sending pornographic content in electronic form are covered in this section. This offense has a maximum penalty of five years in jail and a fine of ten lakh rupees.
The sections that deal with India’s cyberbullying legislation, in addition to section 67, are listed below:
- Section 67 of IT Act: According to this section of the act, publishing or sending lewd information in digital form is punishable by up to a five-year prison sentence and a ten-lakh rupee fine.
- Section 507 of IPC: According to this Section, if someone receives a criminal threat through an anonymous communication, the threat-maker may be sentenced to up to two years in jail.
- Section 66 E of IT Act: Infractions of privacy are punishable under Section 66 E. According to the clause, anyone found sharing, recording, or publishing private images of another person (the victim) may face up to three years in prison or a fine of up to three lakh rupees.
It is impossible to eradicate cyberbullying entirely from the world. There will be an increasing number of hazards associated with technology as it develops, including harassment and bullying. Better security is provided than in any other way, however, by putting up algorithms that make it simple to block someone. The objectives of this program are to ensure safety, reclaim electricity, and reduce the number of victims. These simple applications provide parents and children with the confidence that they have a safety net to fall back on when all else fails while they are online.
Author’s Name: Nancy Sharma (Trinity Institute of Professional Studies, New Delhi)