Social media is a platform where people use to exchange ideas and interact with other individuals online. It affects the social, economic and cultural life of individuals. Social media networking platform is used in all aspects of life ranging from performance, doing businesses, education among other phases of life. Internet use is a necessity for every individual and business. It has created an international village through the various sharing of data among different people. The Internet has simplified life and continues to give solutions to challenges that we face in life. Internet users are of distinct age group, religions, cultures, social life, attitude, and each use different devices to access media sites. Networking media sites has enabled people to meet friends as well as family to share daily activities. Social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. The research paper will focus on cybercrime and the effects on social media.
Currently, there are more computer and internet users unlike before and thus, this has enabled perpetrators to attack with illegal activities. Cybercrime is using a computer as a tool for carrying out crimes including, bullying, fraud, defamation, and solitude violation and child smuggling amongst others. Criminal activities happen with the help of the internet. Cybercrime attack affects individuals, organizations as well as governments. It has become a global problem in the entire world. However, malware, identity theft, cyberbullying, cyberstalking, and phishing are major crimes that affect social media sites.
Malware in social media sites is one of the most destructive programs that have greatly affected millions of people. It is a gateway to the computer system and once there is back door access to the infected computer, the data gained might be sold. These programs are hidden in the form of links, attachments or messages that users are directed to click on them. Once the users respond to the links, the malware then affects their phones or computers without them knowing about it, thus, causing a huge network risk.
Identity theft is the use of personal information intentionally by attackers without any legal authority. Therefore, this is a huge threat to all social media users; this is because most use their data when registering on different platforms. This is the easiest way for attackers to access information. Criminals, on the other hand, can steal documents and reconstruct credit about a person’s identity or the company. They then use individual credit cards thus leaving someone with huge bills that one cannot be able to foot. This is the main as to why criminals continue to get deeper into personal information from social media platforms.
Cyberbullying is the sharing or positing negative personal information of a user to cause embarrassment or humiliation in a person. This involves sending threatening messages through social media or hacking emails to gain more information about the user. This is common in all social media platforms where private information is leaked in the media. It causes huge harm to the affected user.
Bullying occurs to anyone provided one is connected to the internet. There is no safe place when it occurs as it something that is done anywhere and at any time. Bullying is meant to make the user feel hurt, isolated, ashamed, and helpless and even become suicidal. This also affects users’ health as some fall into depression and develop low self-esteem. For students, some are likely to drop out or even miss classes because of bullying. It can be viewed by millions of people as there are millions of users of social media. Emails and messages can be forwarded to any user and the comments are easily seen by everyone in the platform.
Cyberstalking, on the other hand, is using obsessive attention to a social media user. This involves secretly watching, texting manipulative things to the user online. The intention of the starker is mainly to cause embarrassment, humiliation, and harassment to the person. Stalking includes using defamatory information, making false accusations and even sexually harassing victims. It is a huge threat to society. Catfishing is the main form of cyberstalking as criminals use to create fake profiles to lure victims to gain their trust and eventually cause harm. They pretend to be the real people but in real sense are impersonating their identity. Sharing information on location is an easy way for stalkers to track internet users and cause crimes.
Social engineering and phishing is a type of attack used to steal gather personal information through the use of login credentials to access emails and websites. The attacker sends impersonating emails with links or downloads that seem genuine and thus making the users believe them and thus gain access to sensitive information. This target usually happens to large organizations and most financial institutions.
In conclusion, technology and social media have permitted society to more through internet use thus making it easy for criminals to commit crimes such as malware, identity theft, cyberbullying, cyberstalking and phishing. It is important as an internet user to know that anyone can experience or become a victim of any of the above crimes. Knowing social media use and security involved is an easy way of reducing criminal activities.