A Study on Awareness of Cyber Crime and Security

 

Anupreet Kaur Mokha

Assistant Professor, SGTB Khalsa College, University of Delhi

 

ABSTRACT:

Usage of internet has become a daily routine for majority of people for day-to-day transactions. The number of internet users has grown tremendously and so does cyber-crimes. Cyber-crime is the crime that is done using computer and network. The threat of cyber-crime is an ever present and increasing reality in both the private and professional sectors. With the advent of internet, old crimes have taken on a new appearance. The purpose of this research is to make awareness regarding cyber-crimes which are happening in today’s world and also to create awareness of increased cyber security. This paper attempts to analyze the awareness of cyber-crime among internet users with different age groups and educational qualifications. Linear Regression Model has been applied for analyzing both the objectives. This paper finds that there is a relationship exists between the age groups and educational qualification of the respondents. So, it is the duty of one and all internet users to be aware of the cyber-crime and security and also help others by creating awareness among them.

 

KEYWORDS: Cyber-crime, Cyber criminals, Cyber security, Internet, IT Act, Awareness.

 

INTRODUCTION:

The internet in India is growing rapidly. It has given rise to new opportunities in the field of entertainment, business, sports, education, and many more. With the advent and increasing use of internet, the businesses have crossed the barriers of local markets and are reaching out to customers located in every part of the world. Computers are widely used in enterprises not only as a tool for processing information, but also for gaining strategic and competitive advantage. Computers can be used both for constructive and destructive reasons.

 

The abuse of internet has given birth to new age crimes which are addressed by the Information Technology Act, 2000.As information around the globe has become more accessible, it has also become more vulnerable to misuse. India is on the radar of cyber criminals with growing cyber-attacks on Indian establishment. India rank third as a source of malicious activity on the internet after US and China, second as source of malicious code and fourth and eight as source or origin for web attacks and network attacks.

 

According to the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), 27,482 cases of cybercrime were reported from January to June (2017). These include phishing, virus or malicious code, defacements, scanning or probing, site intrusions, ransomware and denial-of-service attacks.

 


It has been shown that in the first six months of 2017, at least one cybercrime was reported every 10minutes in India which is higher as compared to every 12 minutes in 2016.India has seen a total of 1.71 lakh cybercrimes in the past 3.5 years and the number of crimes so far this year has been 27,482, which indicates that the total number is likely to cross 50,000 by this December. Analysis of data from 2013 to 2016 shows that 6.7% of all cases accounted for network scanning and probing while virus or malware accounted for 17.2%.

 

According to the latest report National Crime Records Bureau(NCRB), a total of 11,592 cases were registered under the cyber-crimes (which includes cases under Information Technology Act, offences under related sections of IPC and offences under Special and Local Laws (SLL)) in comparison to 9,622 cases registered during the previous year (2014) which shows an increase of 20.5% over the previous year. Uttar Pradesh has reported the highest number of such crimes followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka.

 

The growing internet usage rate has created a problem for people who spend long hours browsing the Cyber World. In 2017, the number of mobile phone internet users grew 12.49 percent compared to the previous year and 23.93 percent of the population accessed the internet from their mobile phone. This figure is expected to grow to 34.85 percent in 2022. (statista.com, 2017).Thus, increased internet usage has opened the gate of cyber-crime to flood in. Lack of awareness on such issues will lead to the damage of financial, emotional, moral or ethical grounds.

 

Under such alarming scenario, besides tackling the cybercrimes, another issue that needs to be focused on higher priority is – creating awareness on “cybercrimes and security” among the internet users. Thus the current study focuses in finding out the answers to alarming questions i.e. “Are the people really aware that they are vulnerable to various cyber-crimes?” “If they are aware then up to what extent?”, and “If they are not aware, then what measures can be adopted to make them more aware and updated. 

 

Understanding the Cyber Crimes:

Cyber-crime refers to any crime that involves a computer or a network. It is an unlawful act where in the computer is either a tool or a target or both. It is the criminal activities committed through the use of electronic communications media. It is taking something of the computer over the internet.

 

The term Cyber Crime has been defined neither in Indian Parliament nor in the Information Technology (IT) Act,2000. In India, IT Act, 2000 deals with the offenses related to cyber-crime. Registration of Cyber Crimes in India takes place under the three broad heads which are the IT Act, the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other State Level Legislations (SLL). Several Cyber Cells have been put up to handle exclusively the cases which are registered under cyber-crimes in India.

 

It is a fast growing area of crime. Cyber criminals are exploiting the Internet to commit a diverse range of criminal activities. In the past , cyber-crime was committed mainly by individuals or small groups but now the cyber criminals constitutes of various groups/category such as Professional hackers, organized hackers, children and adolescents between the age group of 6- 18 years, scammers, phishers, insiders, malware authors, spammers, etc.

 

Categories of Cyber Crimes:

The major categories of cyber-crimes can be broadly classified under the following four groups on the basis of their target and impacts:

1.       Crimes against Individuals:

These type of crime are done to harm particular individuals. These includes hacking , cracking, harassment via emails, cyber-stalking, cyber bullying, defamation, dissemination of obscene material,  email spoofing, SMS spoofing, carding, cheating and fraud, child pornography, assault by threat, denial of service attack, forgery, and phishing. 

 

2.       Crimes against Property:

There are cybercrimes done to harm the property of an Individual. They can be classified as – Intellectual property crimes, cyber-squatting, cyber vandalism, hacking computer system, computer vandalism, computer forgery, transmitting viruses and malicious software to damage information, Trojan horses, cyber trespass, Internet time thefts, robbery or stealing money while money transfers ,etc.

 

3.       Crimes against Government /Firm /Company /Group of individuals:

These types of crimes include cyber terrorism, possession of unauthorized information, distribution of pirated software, web jacking, salami attacks, logic bombs, etc. The criminals in these wants to terrorize the citizens of the country.

 

 

 

4.       Crimes against Society:

All the above mentioned crimes have their direct or indirect influence on the society at large. Therefore, all such crimes are included in this such as pornography, online gambling, forgery, sale of illegal articles, phishing, cyber terrorism, etc.

 

LITERATURE REVIEW:

Aparna and Chauhan (2012):

The authors in their paper conducted a research in Tricity on cybercrime awareness and revealed that awareness can be increased by giving due importance to cybercrime which can be an efficient tool to decrease or prevent the cybercrimes. They also concluded that it remains the responsibility of the net users as well as the government to ensure a safe, secure, and trustworthy computing environment.

 

Mehta and Singh (2013):

The author conducted a survey to study the awareness about cyber laws in Indian society .He found that there is a significant difference between the awareness level of male and female users of internet services. The male netizens are more aware of cyber laws as compared to women users.

 

Agarwal (2015):

The author in her paper discussed the types of cyber-crime and the cyber laws made to deal with it. Her objective was to analyze whether the internet users are aware of cyber-crimes. She also insisted that it is the duty of all the internet users to be aware of cyber-crimes and cyber laws.

 

Hasan et al., (2015):

Conducted a survey to analyze the cybercrime awareness in Malaysia and found that female students are more aware of cybercrime as compared to male students. 

 

Archana Chanuvai Narahari and Vrajesh Shah (2016):

The author in this conducted a survey on 100 respondents to analyze whether netizens are really aware of cyber-crimes. They found that the respondents are somewhat aware of the cyber-crimes, cyber security but still there is a need to increase awareness among them. Also, they suggested a conceptual model explaining how to uphold and implement the awareness programmes among internet users regarding cybercrimes.

 

 

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY:

To test the awareness of cyber-crime and security, the following methodology has been applied:

 

a) Objectives of the study:

1.       To examine the relationship between education level of the respondent and the awareness of cyber-crime and security.

2.       To examine the relationship between various age groups of the respondent and the awareness of cyber-crime and security.

3.       To find out the internet usage of the respondents.

4.       To find out the level of awareness on safety while using personal computers and internet among internet users regarding cyber-crimes.

 

b) Sampling Design:

A structured questionnaire was administered for the purpose of research on 160 respondents. It was divided into four sections:

Section A dealt with the demographic characteristics of the respondents.

Section B dealt with the internet usage of the respondents.

Section C dealt with the level of awareness of cyber-crime and security

Section D dealt with the level of awareness on safety while using personal computers and internet.

All the data was collected using likert scale 5 point. (1= Strongly disagree, 2 = Disagree, 3= Neutral, 4= Agree, 5= Strongly Agree).Samples are drawn from various regions of Delhi-NCR.

 

c) Methods of Data Collection:

Primary Data was collected from 160 respondents through questionnaire to analysis whether the people really are aware that they are vulnerable to various cyber-crimes or not.

Secondary Data: Substantial data was collected from various books, published nationals and international journals, various websites, etc.

 

d) Research Tools:

For the findings of the study, Linear Regression technique was performed using SPSS Software version 23.

 

e) Hypotheses:

On the basis of mentioned objectives, the present study aims at test the following hypothesis (null hypothesis):

1.       H01: There is a relationship exists between the Educational level of the respondent and the awareness of cyber-crimes among them.

2.       H02: There is a relationship exists between the various age groups of the respondent and the awareness of cyber-crimes among them.

 

 

 

 

ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION:

A study was conducted on 160 respondents to identify whether they are aware of cyber-crimes or not. Findings of the study are as follows:

a)       H01:There is a relationship exists between the Educational level of the respondent and the awareness of cyber-crimes among them.


 

 

 

Table 1 Model Summary

Model

R

R Square

Adjusted R Square

Std. Error of the Estimate

1

.913a

.833

.830

.3472

a. Predictors: (Constant), Familiarity with the term "Cyber Crime", Awareness about Cyber Cell, Awareness on IT Act Among Internet Users.

 

Table 2 ANOVAa

Model

Sum of Squares

df

Mean Square

F

Sig.

1

Regression

84.260

3

28.087

241.143

.000b

Residual

31.050

145

.214

 

 

Total

115.310

148

 

 

 

a. Dependent Variable: Educational level of the respondent

b.  Predictors: (Constant), Familiarity with the term "Cyber Crime",  Awareness about Cyber Cell, Awareness on IT Act Among Internet Users.

 

 

 

Table 3 Coefficientsa

Model

Unstandardized Coefficients

Standardized Coefficients

t

Sig.

B

Std. Error

Beta

1

(Constant)

.354

.283

 

1.667

.108

 Familiarity with the term "Cyber Crime"

.546

.096

.556

9.371

.002

 Awareness about Cyber Cell

.179

.292

.125

.613

.546

 Awareness on IT Act    among Internet Users

.314

.176

.345

1.786

.086

a.        Dependent Variable: Educational level of the respondent

 

 

 


To test the hypothesis, is a significant and positive relation exists between Educational level of the respondent and the awareness of cyber-crimes among them, Linear Regression Model has been used on the three factors i.e. Familiarity with the term "Cyber Crime", Awareness about Cyber Cell, Awareness on IT Act Among Internet Users. The R value in Table 1 represents that the simple correlation is 0.913 (the “R” Column) which indicates a high degree of correlation. Table 2 indicates that the regression model statistically significantly predicts the dependent variable as the value of p is 0.00003 which is less than 0.05 (i.e. the regression model is a good fit for the data). Table 3 puts more clarity by showing the values for all the above three factors i.e. Familiarity with the term "Cyber Crime", Awareness about Cyber Cell, Awareness on IT Act among Internet Users and indicates that the values are statistically significant at 0.05 for only one factor i.e. Familiarity with the term "Cyber Crime"(0.002). Hence the hypothesis (H01) is partially accepted for this factor and rejected for Awareness about Cyber Cell, Awareness on IT Act Among Internet Users.


 

 

 

b)       H02: There is a relationship exists between the various age groups of the respondent and the awareness of cyber-crimes among them.

Table 1 Model Summary

Model

R

R Square

Adjusted R Square

Std. Error of the Estimate

1

.903a

.815

.792

.255

a. Predictors: (Constant), Familiarity with the term "Cyber Crime", Awareness about Cyber Cell, Awareness on IT Act Among Internet Users.

 

 

 

 

 

Table 2 ANOVAa

Model

Sum of Squares

df

Mean Square

F

Sig.

Regression

24.133

3

8.044

5.929

.001b

Residual

219.794

162

1.357

 

 

Total

243.928

165

 

 

 

a. Dependent Variable: Age groups of the respondent.

b.  Predictors: (Constant), Familiarity with the term "Cyber Crime",  Awareness about Cyber Cell, Awareness on IT Act Among Internet Users

 

 

 

Table 3 Coefficientsa

Model

Unstandardized Coefficients

Standardized Coefficients

t

Sig.

B

Std. Error

Beta

(Constant)

4.787

.419

 

11.429

.000

Familiarity with the term "Cyber Crime"

-1.763

.207

-.813

-8.513

.000

Awareness about Cyber Cell

-.098

.067

-.137

-1.460

.157

Awareness on IT Act among Internet Users

.055

.040

.122

1.370

.183

a. Dependent Variable:  Age groups of the respondent.

 

 

 

Figure 1: Showing the various kinds of Cyber Crimes in day-to-day lives

 

 


To test the hypothesis, is a significant and positive relation exists between Educational level of the respondent and the awareness of cyber-crimes among them, Linear Regression Model has been used on the three factors i.e. Familiarity with the term "Cyber Crime", Awareness about Cyber Cell, Awareness on IT Act Among Internet Users. The R value in Table 1 represents that the simple correlation is 0.903 (the “R” Column) which indicates a high degree of correlation. Table 2 indicates that the regression model statistically significantly predicts the dependent variable as the value of p is 0.001 which is less than 0.05 (i.e. the regression model is a good fit for the data). Table 3 puts more clarity by showing the values for all the above three factors i.e. Familiarity with the term "Cyber Crime", Awareness about Cyber Cell, Awareness on IT Act among Internet Users and indicates that the values are statistically significant at 0.05 for only one factor i.e. Familiarity with the term "Cyber Crime"(0.00002). Hence the hypothesis (H02) is partially accepted for this factor and rejected for Awareness about Cyber Cell, Awareness on IT Act Among Internet Users.

 

c)The figure 1 shows the very important part of our research i.e. regarding awareness on various types of cybercrimes concluded that (42%) of the respondents are aware of all the types of cyber-crimes whereas 26% are aware of Hacking, 4% are aware of phishing, cyber stalking and defamation, 12% are aware of Virus/Worms and 8% are aware of identity theft.

 

d)40% agreed that Government organizations are more vulnerable to cybercrimes. 63% felt financial institutions, like Banks, finance companies etc. are more vulnerable for cybercrimes.50% said Private sectors are the victims and 10% opted for Educational institutions,65% thought there is threat to Law enforcement agencies like police, CBI, courts etc. 32 % felt any individual can be victim of cybercrime.

 

CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTIONS:

With the increase in the users of internet, the increase in cyber-crimes can also be seen. There are various kinds of cyber-crimes which are happening in day-to-day life. But the people are not aware of all such types. Majority of the people know only about hacking and virus/worms. They are not aware of phishing, defamation, identity theft, cyber stalking etc. It is the need of today’s world to have knowledge about these crimes which are associated with the internet. The study shows that 48% of the respondents share their personal details with other persons even they don’t know them closely.55% of respondents have agreed that their PCs are often damaged by viruses. The internet users struggled with spam emails, phishing calls and emails asking for their sensitive information like mobile no., bank account, address, etc. It is the duty of each one of us to be aware of the basic cyber security. Cyber security refers to the technologies and processes that are designed to protect computers, networks and data from unauthorized access and attacks delivered via the internet by cyber criminals. The people should be aware of the basic cyber securities such as they should:

a)       Install a security suites such as Avast Internet Security, Kaspersky antivirus, McAfee antivirus, Norton Antivirus, etc. to protect the computer against threats such as viruses and worms.

b)       Activate Network Threat Protection, Firewall, and Antivirus.

c)       Always use strong passwords preferably alphanumeric.

d)       Communicate personal information only via phone or secure web sites.

e)       Do not click on links, download files or open attachments in emails from unknown senders.

f)        Beware of links in emails that ask for personal information or popups.

g)       Check that all antivirus software and computer operating system are up-to-date.

h)       Double check the spelling of a website, URL, HTTP addresses etc.

 

Government is also making efforts to have a control on cyber-crimes. It has made cyber laws to help people learn about various cyber-crimes and cyber security. Information Technology(IT) Act 2000 deals with cyber related crimes. Not only the government but people should also work hand in hand to catch the criminals. People who have been a victim of any of these cyber-crimes should come forward and file a complaint against them in special cybercrime cells. This will definitely help to tackle the cyber-crimes. Thus, awareness of cyber-crimes and security is a need of an hour.

 

REFERENCES:

1.     Aggarwal, Gifty (2015), General Awareness on Cyber Crime. International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer Science and Software Engineering. Vol 5, Issue 8.

2.     Aparna and Chauhan, Meenal (2012), Preventing Cyber Crime: A Study Regarding Awareness of Cyber Crime in Tricity. International Journal of Enterprise Computing and Business Systems, January, Vol 2, Issue 1.

3.     Archana Chanuvai Narahari and Vrajesh Shah (2016).Cyber Crime and Security – A Study on Awareness among Young Netizens of Anand.International Journal of Advance Research and Innovative Ideas in Education.Vol-2 Issue-6.

4.     Avais, M. Abdullah et.al. (2014), Awareness regarding cyber victimization among students of University of Sindh, Jamsharo. International Journal of Asian Social Science, Vol. 4(5): 632-641

5.     Hasan et al., (2015), Perception and Awareness of Young Internet Users towards Cybercrime: Evidence from Malaysia. Journal of Social Sciences, Vol. 11 (4): 395.404

6.     Jamil D. and Khan M.N.A. (2011), Data Protection Act in India with Compared To the European Union Countries. International Journal of Electrical and Computer Sciences, Vol: 11 No: 06.

7.     Mehta, Saroj and Singh, Vikram (2013), A Study of Awareness aboutCyber laws in the Indian Society. International Journal of Computing and Business Research, January, Vol.4, Issue. 1.

8.     Parmar, Aniruddhsinh and Patel Kuntal (2016), Critical Study and Analysis of Cyber Law Awareness among Netizens. Conference: International Conference on ICT for Sustainable Development, At http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-981-10-0135-2_32, Volume: 409

9.     Singaravelu, S and Pillai, K. Perumal (2014), B.Ed. Students Awareness on Cybercrime in Perambalur District. International Journal of Teacher Educational Research (IJTER) Vol.3 No.3 March. 

10.  The Times of India(July 22, 2017), http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/one-cybercrime-in-india-every-10-minutes/articleshow/59707605.cms

11.  www.statista.com,2016, https://www.statista.com/statistics/309020/india-mobile-phone-internet-user-growth/

12.  http://www.ncrb.nic.in/

 

 

 

 

 

Research J. Humanities and Social Sciences. 8(4): October -December, 2017, 459-464.

DOI:  10.5958/2321-5828.2017.00067.5

Received on 27.08.2017

Modified on 16.09.2017

Accepted on 10.10.2017

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