Unhealthy content on cyberspace threatens Vietnamese users

June 22, 2021 | 09:48 am GMT+7

Many Internet users in Vietnam, especially young people, students and children are negatively affected by unhealthy information and images that are freely distributed in cyberspace.


Vietnam entered the top 50 leading countries for information security assurance of the Global Cyber-security Index 2018 - GCI 2018. 

Recently, the local media reported the worrying phenomenon that some Youtube channels with content that incites lifestyles that are contrary to ethical standards of society have attracted large numbers of followers.

Colonel Do Anh Tuan, Deputy Director of the Department of Cybersecurity and High-Tech Crime Prevention of the Ministry of Public Security, said that the agency had joined the Ministry of Information and Communications to control and minimize negative impact from toxic information and images on cyberspace.

Fake news on cyberspace is another problem. Even though it is just fabricated and unverified information, fake news has become a problem that many countries are facing. In Vietnam, many cases of posting fake news have been recorded recently, such as "a plane crashed at Noi Bai international airport in 2017", "catching wandering dogs in Ho Chi Minh City to feed lions", "children hospitalized because of food poisoning after eating pork containing tranquilizers", "proposal to ban all Hanoi civil servants from filling petrol at Nhat gas station".

Recently, the European Commission (EC) asked Facebook, Twitter and Google to take measures to prevent fraudulent information. Australia, the UK, and Singapore have developed regulations to prevent malicious and untrue information on social networking sites.

In 2018 alone, the Department of Cybersecurity and High-Tech Crime Prevention detected over 4,000 news sites and web portals with Vietnamese national domain names hacked and attacked.

Typical cases included 427,446 Facebook accounts of Vietnamese users who were exposed; 735,000 computers affected by the W32.CoinMiner malware; and 560,000 computers infected with BrowserSpy malware.

Online gambling, especially football betting, is rampant in Vietnam today. The number of football gamblers is up to thousands of people with an estimated amount of betting money of millions of USD per day, especially during major football tournaments. Online gamblers in Vietnam can bet on hundreds of websites provided by 30 international bankers, with servers based abroad.

According to authorities, online crimes related to the posting of books, films, pictures, and music, with content promoting a corrupt lifestyle that adversely affects morality and is contrary to customs and traditions, prostitution brokering, and sexual abuse of children are on the rise. It is difficult for the authorities to deal with this type of crime as the database of these websites is on servers overseas and the violators use high-tech to avoid being detected.

According to the Department of Cybersecurity and High-Tech Crime Prevention, online fraud and scams are becoming more and more complicated. Popular tricks are swindling via spam messages, pretending to be foreigners to date Vietnamese women, impersonating as police officers or officers of the procuracy, and pretending to be the court to ask people to transfer money to a banking account. In many cases, online criminals hijack social network accounts, then send fraudulent messages to people in the victim's friends list. In addition, there are many forms of swindling through online business and multi-level business.

The purchase of weapon and banned products online is also rampant. Just typing a few keywords on Google, people can order many kinds of weapons and support tools, from guns, bullets and electric batons to pepper spray and super bright flashlight with electric shock function on the Internet.

All of this shows that Vietnamese people are facing many risks in cyberspace, which now require far more efforts from authorities to deal with.