10 Ways in Which the Internet is Being Dangerously Misused

The internet is a phenomenon that is both a boon and a bane. It is a worldwide phenomenon that has constantly been a source of help, entertainment, and information for people of all ages. However, like everything good, there’s also some bad in it. The internet is used by people from all around the world. However sometimes, it is used as a way to cause harm and pain. Just as it has several uses, it also has several misuses. While some of these misuses could be harmless, others have to potential to cause serious damage. Read this article to know about ten ways in which the internet is being dangerously misused today.

  1. Porn

Undoubtedly, porn is the most prominent abuse of internet today. It is very easy for individuals to access pornography. This becomes a problem when it is especially discovered by minors who do not fully understand what they are watching. The negative effects it has on young children can go a long way in impacting their adult lives. They do not fully understand the ethical dilemmas of porn and often grow up never fully grasping them. Common problems as a result of watching porn at a young age or constantly watching porn are: porn addiction,  chronic masturbation, and an inability to develop and sustain emotionally healthy relationships.

  1. Hacking

Hacking is one of the most harmful threats of the internet. Hackers around the world can gain access to anyone’s personal details whether it is a Facebook password or credit card details. Hacking is one of the most widespread cybercrimes in today’s world and law enforcement agencies around the world are trying their best to protect internet users from it. In some cases hacking requires no special skills. People who leave their social media profiles accidentally open or share security details with multiple people often find themselves hacked. There have been several instances of people attempting huge felonies such as stealing from companies by hacking into their security systems.

  1. Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying is a nasty way in which the internet is misused. People create fake profiles in order to anonymously threaten or bully others on the internet. Victims of cyber bullying are deeply affected and often develop psychological issues. These issues directly impact and interfere with their daily lives, work routine, and social interactions. Research has shown that victims of cyber bullying are more susceptible to having low self-esteem and higher suicidal thoughts and tendencies. These victims are also more prone to developing depression, anxiety, and trust issues. The biggest problem with cyber bullying is that it is hard to track the bullies and punish them.

  1. Piracy

Piracy is also known as bootlegging. Pirating involves taking existing products that are available for a certain some of money and selling the same thing for free or cheaper than the original. It is the act of illegally copying already copyrighted material. While this provides the person pirating with huge profits, it causes damaging losses for those who have put in their time, effort, hard work, and money into their work. Piracy is most often seen in movies, video games, and music. While the common belief is that piracy is harmless, statistics have shown the opposite. According to research done a few years ago, the Indian piracy industry by itself makes about four billion dollars a year.

  1. Identity Theft

The internet has extensive amounts of information on each user. Whether it’s from social media or shopping sites, the internet database has personal information stored. While this by itself is not harmful, it is not very hard for the wrong people to lay their hands on this information. A prime example of this is identity theft on social media. There have been several instances reported on Facebook wherein users have found their profile replicated by someone else. Pictures from social media are misused in the worst ways on porn sites and the like.

  1. Spamming

Spam mail is a common threat that is faced by almost every single internet user with an email id. Spam mails are those that are sent out in bulk to large numbers of recipients. These mails often contain pointless information that the receiver has no interest in. the biggest threat of spam mail however is not that it simply consumes a lot of network bandwidth. It is that spam mails often contain viruses or malware that enter the computer system and cause damage.

  1. Waste of Time

This is especially seen in students, whether school or college. Surfing the internet is often considered the best way to procrastinate doing productive work.  It ensures that internet users will never be bored. There are several social media sites and other websites that have been created for this very purpose. While this could be harmless in small doses, excessively spending time on the internet has shown significant drops in the level of productivity and concentration.

  1. Addiction

Internet addiction is a disorder that is slowly claiming more and more victims each day. This disorder is also known as Problematic Internet Use (PUI). While this usually starts off with harmless internet surfing either on the phone or laptop, it can lead to it becoming an obsession and compulsion. People with internet addiction are characterised as being unable to go more than a few seconds without checking some form of social media. This happens so much so that it begins to interfere with their daily activities and social functioning.

  1. Source of Dangerous Information

While one of the biggest advantages of the internet is that it is easily accessible and provides information on every imaginable topic, this could very easily become a danger. Just like it is possible to find information on how to build a dollhouse from scratch, it is just as easy to find instructions on how to build a bomb. This information in the wrong hands can have horrific repercussions not only on an individual but on society as a whole.

Simply browsing on the internet can also have negative effects on people. It is very easy to find information that can be used to harm oneself. One of the most common examples of this is the number of results the internet throws at you when you search for ‘ways to commit suicide’. These results also give “easy, painless” ways of killing oneself instead of helping the individual change his/her decision.

There have also been instances wherein people have ended up on the wrong website unknowingly and this has resulted in trouble with law enforcement. This is particularly seen in the case of those who visit the dark side of the internet also known as the dark web.

  1. Pranksters

The internet is a place where some individuals derive pleasure by playing pranks on others. While these jokes may be funny for the prankster, they are often embarrassing and humiliating for the victim. A popular prank that has been doing its rounds lately is one that will now be shown as an example. Several e-commerce retailers such as Flipkart have noticed that products are being ordered on their website on ‘Cash on Delivery’. Most of these products are extremely expensive and valuable. The prankster doing this often refuses to pay the bill or to take the joke one step further, has the goods ordered on behalf of a neighbour or friend. The joker derives joy from seeing the shocked expression on the victim’s face when the order is delivered. To avoid being identified, these people often order these goods from internet cafes where they can’t be traced.

This article hopefully enlightened you about the different ways in which the Internet can be used. While these things are often done in order to profit oneself, it causes pain and harm to those around. Care must always be taken to ensure that the internet is used for productive purposes and for helping others. And it is good to remember that, ‘too much of anything is not good and can be harmful’.