According to (Boyd and Ellison 2007); Social media is a digital platform which permits user to create profiles and share information with each other .The relationship between the users is visible to other members who are signed in. On the other hand, Cyber crime is simply the illegal usage of telecommunication network. The sole purpose is to directly or indirectly sabotage ones reputation or cause physical or psychological harm financial hurt and financial losses. (insert name).this paper will elaborate the various types of social media and the impact they have on cybercrime. The conclusion part will bear recommendations and corrective measure that can be implemented in effort of curbing cyber crime.
Social media has six major categories with each serving its unique purpose. Social networks permits users sharing common interest and background to connect and interact. The networks 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 item hence its access by other users. Media sharing such as YouTube permits users to upload videos and pictures also air their opinions by commenting. Book making sites enables one to organize, save and manage website links. Most of the sites allow the user to tag the link for easier reference and sharing. Micro blogging, blog comments and comment forums enable members to discuss topics attached to blogs by posting messages. Next, I will discuss the negative effects that social media has on cyber crime.
Cyber crimes are increasing rampantly with social media creating the avenue for their propagation. Social networks for instance increase promote profile hacking. When creating 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 unauthorized person can result to blocking of the users account. Also using optional application to log into an account can give cyber hackers access tamper with private information. The users will hence not be able to control whatever malicious or fake information that is shared using their accounts.
Positing on social networks groups and pages such as face book allows 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 the one shares 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 humor, the victim will undergo immense emotional torture and torment. Online stalking as well poses great insecurity to the user. An enemy can easily identify the location, activities and plans of his target through following their post. Given the strong interconnection existing in social media platforms, this information spread quickly within a short period of time resulting to an increase in cyber bulling.
Offers and shopping scams are also propagated by the use of social media platforms. The users are enticed toward believing there is an offer they are entitled to. Most of the time fake online forms are circulated on social media for users to fill and circulate to others. With the urge of win the fake offers, the users end up being used as the elements of circulation. Several people end in the same trap of giving their person details to scammers. Essentials information such as identification number can be maliciously used to portray the victimized user a perpetrators of a crime that he or she is innocent of. The other most common scam is the romance scam. The scammers are found of target a specific person basing on their occupation and financial capabilities .They vigorously pursues 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 so as 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 are fooled towards sending money to fraudsters to acquire lucrative jobs abroad and etc. As such, social media promotes cyber crime 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 a prey of their preference. All these features have are 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 easily get access into your mails and use the information stored there to impersonate the user. Various 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 great losses to the victimized 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 center to solicit customers. The culprits make it appear as legal business with hidden agendas. Several advertisements 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 strong connection established courtesy of social media. Criminals such as terrorist also have an easier 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 alter or completely destroyed. The criminals will later send a message demanding for a ransom in order to restore the data. Usernames and passwords in the files can as well be used to achieve malicious purposes by the criminals. Equally hacking can be achieved through such means. Hackers take time to examine the security features of the target. Later they will duplicate a program to acquire unauthorized 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 marketing tool, the information available to the public greatly contribute to cyber hacking and virus transfer. Next I will elaborate how positively social media has been applied to reduce or help curb cyber crime.
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 is helpful in identifying 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 massive number of social media users, the perpetrators find it difficult to hide. Hence they peacefully surrender to police officers. Also drug trafficking can be reduced by use of social media. 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 cyber bulling. Certain key words 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 clearly 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 you tube or shared to other platforms can be reported for offloading. The sexual offenders can also e indentified and traced by watching the videos thus making the answerable to their misconduct. The minor users will hence be safe from unsuitable content on YouTube .other additional settings such as the kids’ space on social can be used by parents to prevent kids from accessing unsuitable content on the internet.
Extensive campaigns against cyber crimes conducted via social media platforms significantly reduced cyber crimes. Victims of cybercrimes get to share their personal 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 pertetrators, 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 summarizes 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 increase 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 big manes and well established companies have had their reputations damaged to of circulation of defamatory information. Others are treating emotional wounds due to cyber bullying and victimization. Hence there is a need to beef up the social army indoor to incapacitate cyber criminals. The same social media platforms can be used to promote social media training and awareness. Member should he guided on how to set lengthy and strong password and how to handle them. Companies should as well invest in protecting their data inventories though use of various antiviruses. Access to such data should as well be limited to only authorized 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 new potential client. However social crime has slowly found its way into social media .the purposes of the innovations have been misused to serve malicious self interest by cyber criminal. However if the corrective stringent measures are put in place, cyber crime can be a thing of the past.