Cybercrimes On The Rise: What You Need To Know
Everyone relies on the World Wide Web (WWW) which was available to the public since 30th April 1993. The internet keeps us connected, assist us with day to day life, a great source of knowledge. Within 2 decades, the internet has evolved rapidly and today it has become a part of our daily life.
The more people are using the internet there are always bad fruits that use the internet to hurt others. Cybercrimes are complex and multi-faceted and some common types are taking sensitive information from internet users, theft of identity and cyberstalking.
Unsuspecting users fall pray to these ever-evolving cyber threats easily. As a rule of thumb, always update software and apps, use a antivirus or firewall software, backup important stuff to a portable hard drive, for online transactions always check the URL and make sure it has https:// in it, use two-step verification always, double check people who you add on social media and never share private information and always check who you are talking with to avoid getting blackmailed, cover the webcams, know how to wipe your device if stolen.
Below are some Sri Lankan organizations and Government bodies that are formed to help you to prevent and fight against cybercrimes.
Sri Lanka CERT
The Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) is the focal point of cybersecurity in Sri Lanka.
You can lodge a report by:
Filling a form on their website: cert.gov.lk
Contacting them via telephone: +94 11 269 1692 / 269 5749 / 267 9888
Sending them a fax message: +94 11 269 1064
Emailing them: [email protected]
CID Cyber Crimes Division
Report incidents of cyber-crime (including cyber-bullying) here: [email protected]
National Child Protection Authority
Contact the NCPA, if the victim of cyber-bullying is a minor (if the victim is under 18 years old).
Contact 1929 – the NCPA hotline is toll-free, available 24/7, and all reports are treated confidentially. Visit childprotection.gov.lk for more information.
The NCPA also has several educational resources for children and parents on online safety which can be accessed here: Link
Women In Need (WIN)
WIN provides support for victims of gender-based cyber violence to take legal action by reporting the incidents to the relevant authorities. WIN helps victims through each case with support from The Grassroots Trust and VOICE Foundation.
Contact: 011 267 14 11 / 011 471 85 85
Email: [email protected]
24hr Hotline: 077 567 65 55
Legal support for online crimes
Penal code sections refer to different forms of cyber violence
Section 345 – Sexual harassment
Section 372 – extortion to tackle blackmailing over-sharing personal Photos/ Videos
Section 483 – criminal intimidation
Obscene Publications Act prevents acts of sharing personal, intimate images without consent and sharing images edited explicitly through software.
As per section 02 of this act, the distribution or public exhibition of “obscene” photographs and possession of such photographs are offences.
The Payment Devices Fraud act –Section 03 (r) confirms obtaining money or goods through a payment device with intent to defraud is an offence and addresses blackmail scenarios
The Computer Crimes Act – Section 07 says obtaining information from a computer or a storage medium of a computer without permission and downloading, uploading, or making copies of such illegally acquired content are crimes
Theoretically, it is easy for victims to appeal for justice in terms of crimes online with such legislations in place.
But, the loopholes in the online violence report system makes many victims not seek help from the authorities for justice. Share this post to alert your friends and family before it’s too late!