Blue Whale: A game that urges people to Suicide – How to combat?

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There’s a killer roaming around the cyber world, targeting innocent people by making them commit suicide. It is believed that there’s a gaming app exists by the name “Blue Whale” that urges users to harm themselves and eventually pushes them to the edge where they end their lives.

The Blue Whale game is an online challenge that is consists of series of disturbing tasks, given to users. Tasks begin from minor level of self-inflicting physical pain and mental torture such as carving phrases on the person’s own hand, visiting graveyard in the middle of the night and watch horror movies, waking up late night and go to the rooftop etc, leading to the major level where the tasks get life threatening. The game builds a connection between the player and its administrator in which both the parties remain in touch until the game is over.

It is also believed that by installing the game in your device infects it with certain type of malware that exposes the player’s personal information and data to the hackers, which is used to pressurize the player to continue playing the game.

Originated from Russia in 2013, this disturbing app has been penetrated into many other countries in the course of time and have victimized people severely. A psychology student named Philipp Budeikin claimed that he developed the game in order to “clean” the society by pushing to suicide those he deemed as having no value.

Later, Philipp was arrested and plead guilty to “inciting at least 16 teenage girls to commit suicide” and is now in jail, but unfortunately this evil app escaped and paved its way to other hackers who dispersed the game with other names, such as ‘Wake Me Up at 4:20AM’, ‘A Silent House’, ‘A Sea of Whales’ etc, renewing world-wide concern over the Blue Whale phenomenon.

Many cases have been discovered recently that are suspected to have a connection with the Blue Whale. Currently the game is spreading in India through a link sent to the random Whatsapp groups, victimizing young generation from small towns.

Although Indian government has banned the game and has given orders to cyber security agencies to keep strict eye on Internet and interrogate immediately if any suspicious activity is caught, but people have accessed the game through unknown hidden links, resulting in many suicide victims coming out in India lately.

How to stop Blue Whale?

Since Blue Whale has now been proved as real and not a hoax, people are looking for ways to keep their vulnerable kids and their devices safe from such threats. Apart from cyber security, Awareness and alerts are the strongest defense against such apps.

It has become a great deal of concern for the parents who don’t know how to teach their kids to combat the dark side of technology. It is high time now that awareness campaigns and seminars should be conducted in order to aware people about the hazards at cyber world.

Since the blue whale blackmailing tactics use the personal data of the victim to pressurize him/her in order to do the tasks, it becomes hard to get rid of once started. Which means people needs not to start the game challenge even out of curiosity or fun.

Smart phones these days contain almost every information one deems important. Installing suspicious apps maximizes the chances of that information getting out and reaching to wrong people. That’s where the devices get prone to the hackers.

Parents and teachers need to inform their kids that their personal information is at stake and can be misused if they download dangerous apps and open suspicious links on their phones or computers.

Also, parents and teachers need to be more attentive towards the behavior of their kids; same goes for colleagues or friends, people need to observe the behavior of the people around them.

If somebody is behaving unusual and looks uncomfortable, never hesitate reaching out to them and talk. People facing some kind of problems, insecurities or mental pressure might not open up at first and would be hard to help. But being friendly with them can help or at least informing about their unusual behavior to their family would be better than leaving them just on their own. Stay Safe!

 – This article is writer’s opinion based news story

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