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A study of awareness on cybercrime amongst senior college students of pune city

A study of awareness on Cybercrime amongst Senior College Students of Pune City


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ms.anisa khan

Asst. Prof., department of commerce

abedainamdar senior college”,

Camp, Pune 1.

Contact: +918806787535; Mail:


In this world of IoT (Internet of things), technology, speed & innovation are the key elements of every segment of life. Markets have now become intensely creative in their productions and offerings to face the demanding consumers. The world has changed tremendously in the way people live their lives in terms of communication, relationships, leisure occupancies and purchase decisions.

The youth today has to face lot of pressures created by the materialistic society where money is everything and everything is money. Sustaining this pressure is not possible for all and has adversely affected many of them. This resulting into increasing crimes being committed by youth day by day.

Cybercrime has lured the people hunting for easy money options as more and more people are spending money online. And initially internet had made it easy to keep ones identity covered while committing the crimes. Entertainment & enjoyment from multivariate directions has been the second attraction factor in pulling everyone towards this Cyberspace.

This research was conducted with the aim to study the awareness of Senior College Students of Pune City on Cybercrime. The tool used for the present study was ‘Cybercrime Awareness Questionnaire’, which was developed by the investigator herself. On the basis of the results of this study it is clear that the current awareness regarding the dangers of Cybercrime and its management is extremely low among the Senior College Students of Pune City and urgent measures are required to address this issue.

KEYWORD: Cyber-Crime, Internet, Awareness


Today, Internet has become an integral element of our day to day transactions. As per the statistics the number of internet users in India by January 2018 stands at 462 million. Moreover this number is expected to rise to 635.8 million by 2021.(statista, 2018) Safeguarding the Netizens is an important issue to be addressed by nations across the world. As reported by Symantec, a gigantic security & software firm, India ranked 3rd among the nations facing Cyber threats and 2nd among nations in terms of targeted attacks in the year 2017. (The Economic Times, 2018)

Cheaper data and availability of IT infrastructure has led to the rapid increase in the Internet Penetration in India by 33% to reach 560 million users as of September 2018. (entrackr, 2018)

What has led the world to this age of IoT is not just the use of technology but its association with every aspect of our daily lives. It is internet that has led to the convergence of our fantasies of the future world into a reality today. It has enabled every human to dare, aspire and reach his dream destination and thereby getting majority of the world population hooked on to it.

The technological upsurge in India has led to a tremendous increase in penetration of use of Mobile phone Internet from 18.5% to 23.93% in 2017 and is expected to rise to 34.85% by 2022. (statista, 2017)

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Indeed the digital gadgets like smart phones and those based on artificial intelligence have transformed the way we communicate and perceive the world today. Digital space and virtual lives have become one of the basic necessities of modern life.

Internet has broadened the horizon of our lives and so today our life is not just about living but about getting known globally. There has been a great shift in the skills needed for a successful life in the current times. Internet has entered every realm of life facilitated through smart phones and other devices. Jargons such as ‘google it, download, upload, apps, subscribe, like’ are used quite frequently by all. The most active segment of the digital population is the youth and also the most vulnerable to be attacked through cybercrime as victims. On the other side of the crime, its again the youth who are in majority as violators and attackers.

In this time of intense and unrestrained digitization of our lives, it is imperative to be aware on the various threats that one can face. Platforms offering online space and users of this space both share equal responsibility to protect the digital world. Thus the current study focuses in finding out if the college going Youth are aware enough about the problem and if not then the measures that can help to create this awareness.


Since the statistical studies have well reported the alarming rate of increasing Cyber-crime in India, the issue is being dwelled on greatly. But it is needed to know that to tackle this problem, awareness on it will play a key role. Today internet is used by many but known by few. Awareness about the internet related threats & crimes is very little even amongst the educated citizens.


· To study the awareness of cyber-crime among the senior college students of Pune City.

· To suggest measures and strategies to be adopted to create awareness amongst these Students as they are frequent internet users vulnerable to cyber-crimes and threats.


Following are the limitation to this research study

· No gender difference in this survey.

· This survey is a convenience survey.

· The researcher considers approach of the Senior College Students of punecity whereas approach of individuals, public & private companies, Government & non-government organizations are not considered.


The survey was conducted by using strategic random sampling method amongst the Senior College students of Pune city. Primary data was collected from the students of Senior Colleges of Pune city not including Professional Degree Colleges whereas secondary data is taken from internet. The sample group consists of 713 students within the age group of 18 to 22 years.

There were a total of 10 questions in the survey, of which 5 questions were to observe the awareness of cyber-crime and its types. 3 questions were used to obtain socio-demographic profiling, hacking, and pornography, one question about student involvement in social networking &one question about cyber-bulling. All the questions were multiple-choice questions. The questionnaire avoids open responses.


The questionnaires that were returned by the respondents were screened for discrepancies and the data from complete questionnaire was entered into database. Utmost care was taken to avoid data entry errors.

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The analysis indicates

that only less than 10 % youth are spending less time using internet. Major portion of youth are in the segment of 1-3 hours and more



more the



on internet


more the



encounter cyber crime.

) (

The analysis indicates

that only less than 10 % youth are spending less time using internet. Major portion of youth are in the segment of 1-3 hours and more

.The more the time on internet, more is the exposure to cyber

crime which increases the probability of victimization.

)[image: C:Userscomp1Desktopq1.jpg]



The analysis indicates

that close to 40 % youth are spending their maximum time o

n social networking which is the prime and one of the easiest

source for cyber criminals to targe

t individuals.

)[image: C:Userscomp1Desktopq2.jpg]



The analysis indicates

that more than 60 % youth have awareness regarding what is cybercrime. This ratio also shows resembles towards those youth who spend maximum time on social networking.

)[image: C:Userscomp1Desktopq3.jpg]



The analysis indicates

a partial swing between those who feel safe and those who either feel unsafe or are not aware. This percentage of unsafe or not known being high indicates opportunities to explore counter measures.

)[image: C:Userscomp1Desktopq4.jpg]



80 % youth have not yet been victimised, but either single times or multiple times close to 20 % youth has been victimised at


early of digitization. This 20 % number is expected to rise over a period of time.

)[image: C:Userscomp1Desktopq7.jpg]



The analysis indicates

that 35 % youth are maximum aware of hacking, piracy and phishing but the most sever threats like Trojans and Virus


can create extensive damage to data including identity crisis as well

are not known much by the students

. Upcoming cyber threats in form of terrorism, pornography and stalking awareness is still very low.

)[image: C:Userscomp1Desktopq5.jpg]



Only 21 % youth have

reported to have

good awareness about IT act but more than 50 % youth are not aware of IT Act 2000 which indicates higher possibility of getting trapped.

)[image: C:Userscomp1Desktopq8.jpg]



37 % of youth feels that awareness can prevent cyber




as law enforcement can also help in reducing cyber crime

is felt by some

. Better technology can also surely help in reducing cyber crime.

)[image: C:Userscomp1Desktopq9.jpg]

Suggestions and recommendation

1. Government:

· Execute awareness campaigns through all citizen touch points by displaying posters, banners.

· Provision of free information portal to all citizens which will share good computing practises, do’s and don’ts of using smart phones

· Provide email solutions through government controlled secured servers

· Government sponsored anti-virus at subsidised cost for non-professional cyber users

· Before any registration of user for transaction through BHIM or any other payment gateway user has to clear basic quiz on awareness of cyber crime

· Mandating cyber equipment’s like computers, laptops, Smart Phones to be covered under insurance and making insurance companies liable to educate their customer on cyber crimes

· Promote formation of NGO’s who can work for dedicated cause of enhancing awareness of cybercrime

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· Cyber cafe monitoring policy should be strictly implemented and all computers used in cyber café should have basic information displayed. Equipment’s used in cyber café should have anti-virus and other preventive tools as mandatory.

· LLB courses with specialization in cybercrime to be implemented. Dedicated cyber courts to be implemented for faster and effective resolutions.

· Explore and adopt global best in class practices proven in other countries.

2. Schools Universities / Colleges

· Cyber-crime & cyber security awareness should be mandated as one of the core subjects for all basic and advanced courses where the age of student is more than 12 years.

· Display posters throughout premises, display videos of cyber safe practices, distribute flyers

· Run standard quiz on cybercrime and initiate reward and recognition. Initiate involved communication by executing dedicated painting, art competitions on cybercrimes and cyber security.

· Promote ethical hacking courses to students

· Invite parents in cyber-crime awareness initiatives at school& college levels.

3. Corporates and companies

· Cyber-crime & cyber security awareness should be mandated as one of the core subjects for all basic and advanced courses where the age of student is more than 10 years.

· Display posters throughout premises, display videos of cyber safe practices, distribute flyers

· Run standard quiz on cybercrime and initiate reward and recognition. Initiate involved communication by executing dedicated painting, art competitions on cybercrimes and cyber security.

4. Professional organizations


· All banks should verify the awareness of Cyber-crime & cyber security of account holders before assigning online banking access.

· Password policies to be made stringent and based on volumes of transactions should mandate digital signatures of higher class which are hardware dependent.

· Upon log in all account holders should get periodic updates and communication related to cyber security.

· Implementation of information security management standards like ISO 27001.

· Equipment Manufacturers –

· All equipment manufacturers should be certified for safe design of hardware to prevent backdoor entry in the equipment.

· Tips and information has to be included in the product catalogues, user manuals.

· OS selected / recommended by the equipment manufacturer should be evaluated by the manufacturer itself.

· Implementation of information security management standards like ISO 27001.


The study has revealed that the awareness on Cybercrime among the senior college students of Pune city is very low. The study did not take into consideration gender difference while studying the awareness on cybercrime. Because Pune being one of the developed Cities of the Nation, gender bias does not prevail in the usage pattern of Internet. The study shows that Majority students are aware of only hacking, piracy & phishing as cybercrimes. The awareness on the other forms of cybercrime is very poor. Awareness on the various laws governing the Cybercrimes is also very low. Better awareness of consequences will help these students become better citizens.


· entrackr. (2018, December 28). Retrieved from ENTRACKR:

· statista. (2018, january). Retrieved from

· The Economic Times. (2018, 04 04). Retrieved from the economic times website:




· e-among-students

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