Social media is a digital platform which permits the user to create profiles and share information. The relationship between the users is visible to other members of the same platform. On the other hand, Cybercrime is simply the illegal usage of the telecommunication network. The sole purpose is to directly or indirectly sabotage one's reputation or cause physical or psychological harm financial hurt and financial losses. (insert name). This paper will elaborate on the various types of social media and the impact they have on cybercrime. The conclusion part will bear a summary of the discussion and recommendations for corrective measures that can help curb cybercrime and put social media into proper use.
Social media has six major categories with each serving its unique purpose. Social networks permit users sharing common interest and background to connect and interact. The systems allow people to create profiles; form chat groups share photos, videos and a lot more. The most popular networks are Facebook,whatup, Instagram. Social news sites allow for posting of news items and links directing to other articles. Users can vote on the best issue hence its access by other users. Media sharing such as YouTube permits users to upload videos and pictures also air their opinions by commenting. Bookmaking sites enable one to organise, save and manage website links. Most of the sites allow the user to tag the connection for easier reference and sharing. Microblogging, blog comments and comment forums enable members to discuss topics attached to blogs by posting messages. Next, I will discuss the adverse effects that social media has on cybercrime.
Cyber crimes are increasing rampantly with social media creating the avenue for their propagation. Social networks for instance increase promote profile hacking. When creating a social network account, ones need to give personal information, such as age, email address and passwords. Weak password or failure to log out and sharing passwords with the unauthorised person can result in blocking of the user's account. Also using the other unknown application to log into an account can give cyber hackers access to tamper with private information. The users will hence not be able to control whatever malicious or fake news that is shared using their accounts.
Posting on social networks groups and pages such as Facebook allow users to like, share and even comment. However, some take this as a chance to air vulgar comments, threaten and stalk someone. Similarly, the images one share on social media can also be altered to portray a different message. An individual can maliciously or out of fun morph a photo and circulate it as a meme. As much as the meme can cause humour, the victim will undergo immense emotional torture and torment. Online stalking as well poses excellent insecurity to the user. An enemy can quickly identify the location, activities and plans of his target through following their post. Given the secure interconnection existing in social media platforms, this information spread soon within a short period increasing cyberbullying.
Propagation of Offers and shopping scams by the use of social media platforms is also increasing. The enticing language can easily make users believe such offers exist. Most of the time fake online forms are circulated on social media for users to fill and disseminate to others. With the urge to winning the fraudulent offers, the users end up being the elements of circulation. Several people end in the same trap of giving their details to scammers. Essentials information such as identification number can be maliciously used to portray the victimised user perpetrators of criminal activities. The other most common scam is the romance scam. The scammers target a specific person basing on their occupation and financial capabilities. They vigorously pursue the person and tricks them into falling in love with them. After that, they embark on extorting money from their prey. Mostly, they will plead for flight tickets cash to meet only to go silent after the transaction has taken place. Employment and frauds scams are also rampant in developing countries with high unemployment levels. With the desperation that people have, they send money to fraudsters in the name of acquiring lucrative jobs abroad and other enticements. As such, social media promotes cybercrime through the ability to share and invite other users. Also, criminals now take advantage of the publicity and easy access to personal information to identify the prey of their preference. All these features have been resulting in promoting cyber crimes other than serving their intended purpose.
The degree of confidence that users have for social media platforms has resulted to an increase Information theft and defamation Most people find it safer to store essential information such as bank account pins, passwords, driving license and security cards details in their emails. However, most people forget that their email addresses are not safe enough due to their availability to the public. Hackers can quickly get access into your emails and use the information stored there to impersonate the user. Multiple transactions can be conducted such as requesting for loans and cash withdrawals. The reputation of an individual can be put at stake suppose the information is used to fraud the public. Defamation involves posting malicious and untrue information or claims about an individual or entity without their concert. Social media platforms such as blogging sites are creating the avenue for the humiliations of targeted entities and individuals. Images on products can be manipulated so to appear unfit for use and accompanied with vague information. The information is then circulated quickly to other social media platforms without establishing their validity causing significant losses to the victimised company.
Social media is also contributing to an increase of online crimes such a drug trafficking, weapon sales and man slavery. Social media offers an avenue for the advertisement and a centre to solicit customers. The culprits make it appear as a legal business with hidden agendas. Several publications may be made for one to apply for jobs abroad only to end up working as a slave. Also, various drug mafias created groups on social media where they converse with their overseas clients. It is now easier to trade drugs overseas due to the secure connection established courtesy of social media. Criminals such as terrorist also have a more natural way of accessing the weapon market and smuggle them into their various countries. Hence social media acts as a tool of facilitating criminal activities and social injustice.
Most virus ransomware, attacks are propagated by sending messages and link on social media. Many of these links and messages contain attractive titles that entice the user to read. What the users don’t know is that, once they open the links, their stored data are altered or destroyed. The criminals will later send a message demanding for a ransom to restore the data. Usernames and passwords in the files can as well be used to achieve malicious purposes by the criminals. Equally, perpetration of hacking is through such means. Hackers take time to examine the security features of the target. Later they will duplicate a program to acquire unauthorised access. Alteration of the data in the servers results to losses and entities have to negotiate with the criminals for restoration. Whereas most companies are embracing social media as a marketing tool, the information available to the public significantly contributes to cyber hacking and virus transfer. Next, I will elaborate on how positively social media has been applied to reduce or help curb cybercrime.
Were as social media is significantly misused, there are other helpful ways in which it’s curbing cyber crimes. Information on Social media has been extensively used to reduce illegal actives like terrorism. It is easier to predict plans of the criminal by following their social media post. Tracking of phone calls and communication helps identify the hideouts of the terrorist. Hence the security officers can intercept before the crime occur.
Similarly, the images of the perpetrators of criminal activities are usually circulated online to help in tracing them. With the connection and a massive number of social media users, the perpetrators find it challenging to hide. Hence they peacefully surrender to police officers. Also, social media is useful in exposing drug trafficking. The origin of the drugs and the destination markets can be traced by following posts of the suspects. Evidence from the conversation can also be established to help comprehend the suspects and put them under charges.
Several social media platforms are coming up with measures of curbing cyberbullying. Specific keywords are closely monitored and are detectable as soon as the user posts them. The culprit hence has to face the harsh consequences such as suspension or closure of an account. Also before forming any chart group, the administrators have to agree to the terms and conditions and set the objectives of the groups. Members who sign in as well have no option but hold healthy conversations. Also, offensive and pornographic materials that a user uploads on social platforms such as youtube or shares on other platforms are traced and offloaded. The sexual offenders can also is identified and located by watching the videos thus making them answerable to their misconduct. The minor users will hence be safe from inappropriate content on YouTube .other additional settings such as the kids’ space on social can be used by parents to prevent kids from accessing inappropriate material on the internet.
Extensive campaigns against cyber crimes conducted via social media platforms significantly reduced cyber crimes. Victims of cybercrimes get to share their bitter encounters in online forums and discussions. Hence the members of the public take extra precaution not to fall preys of such misdeed. Detectives as well use these forums to gather information about the perpetrators, their locations and identities. Also, the detectives can establish the validity of the allegations and convince the victims to other useful information and leads. Members can as well come up with recommendations on how to protect themselves against such crimes. The next paragraph summarises my discussion and recommends some possible way to help social media achieve its original purpose
In conclusions, the increase in social networking has created a conducive environment for the rise of cybercrimes. Cases of virus attacks, impersonation, defamation and hacking, are increasingly becoming common. The consequences of the same are quite painful for the victims to bear. Most companies and individual has suffered financial losses due to hacking and personification. People of proper names and well-established companies have had their reputations damaged to of circulation of defamatory information. Others are treating emotional wounds due to cyberbullying and victimisation. Hence there is a need to beef up the social army indoor to incapacitate cybercriminals. The same social media platforms can be used to promote social media training and awareness. Member should know how to set a lengthy and secure password and how to handle them. Companies should as well invest in protecting their data inventories through the use of various antiviruses. Access to such data should as well be limited to only authorised persons. The system configuration should be closely monitored to detect key indications from cyber hacks.
Social media serves several benefits to its users. Many people get to interact and share ideas and information that is helpful. Several businesses have made huge profits due to online advertising. New opportunities have been increases with online trades finding a new potential client. However, cybercrime has slowly found its way into social media .the purposes of the innovations have been misused to serve malicious self-interest by a cybercriminal. However, enforcing stringent corrective measures will make cybercrime can be a thing of the past.