Many days ago, I had written about the prevalent child abuse in India and how parents should safeguard against it, including educating your children about the dangers of the Internet. On the heels of that post, comes this article in the form of a warning, from CIOL.
“It was one of those normal evenings when Parmeet Kaur (name changed), a software engineer in Chennai, logged on to Orkut to unwind from work and catch up with friends.But one and a half minutes later, the evening turned shocking and miserable for her. What she saw was a cheeky scrap and forward to a profile that had her semi-nude photo in another girl’s profile, tagged as her sister who flagged joint hints of intimate advances and indecent invites. Parmeet’s photo had been brazenly and easily tampered with. After many weeks of tension and repeated requests to Orkut, the ID was removed. She vowed never to be vulnerable again.
Victims like Parmeet, are not one-off. They belong to the new breed of cautious Orkuters who either have said goodbye to networking or have got extremely careful with their communities and photographs.”
Better be safe than sorry.
“This February, the father of a South Delhi schoolgirl suffered from the fake profile of his daughter posted on Orkut that not only described the teenager as a ‘sex teacher’, but also contained obscene photographs and her contact details. He lodged a complaint with the Cyber Cell of the Delhi Police’s Economic Offences after his family started receiving calls following the appearance of the fake profile.
Can you imagine the father’s agony?
“There has been a spurt in Orkut-related obscenity cases in various parts of India like Bangalore this year. Cases of misuse on Orkut have been reported widely. In Bangalore, there have been eight to ten Orkut-related complaints concerning pictures of young girls that have been posted on communities with lewd allusions and a listing of the victims’ mobile numbers.”
The phenomenon is not restricted to any geographical regions, it is all over the country.
Some tips I gleaned from the article:
- Do not upload .jpeg, .epf, .pdf, and .tif photographs
- If you access Orkut from any Internet cafe, log out properly, and then close all browser windows
- If you find your privacy compromised in any way, don’t panic. Change your Google password as the first step.
- Use the features such as ‘Ignore User’ and ‘Report abuse’ if you ever get unsolicited invites or messages
Lastly, just like the child abuse statistics show, it is mostly acquaintances, not strangers, who are the culprits.
Akkunoor of India Forensic adds that normally users that abuse someone’s photo belong to acquaintances and not strangers. “It is mostly someone you already know. Chances of random offenders are rare.”
Read the full story here.