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Online harassment of women: what it is and how to avoid it

Online harassment of women: what it is and how to avoid it

Ground Report | New Delhi: Online harassment of women; When someone uses content, images or scenes from our private life published on social network accounts to harass or intimidate us, we are dealing with online bullying or cyberbullying.  Women especially suffer from it and here we give you guidelines to identify it, face it and report it.

What is cyberbullying?

UNICEF  defines  cyberbullying  as  a type of bullying that occurs through digital technologies  and that “can occur on social media, messaging platforms, gaming platforms and mobile phones.” That behaviour “is repeated and seeks to frighten, anger or humiliate other people.” It can be exclusively digital, but it can also happen as a complement to offline harassment (outside the digital world).

If at any time you have felt humiliated, intimidated or threatened in the digital world, that is online harassment and you can do something about it. The first thing is to stay calm and not get into the rag with the stalker, ignore him. Ignore it and talk to someone close to you about what is happening to you.

  • Posting defamatory remarks intended to harm a person’s reputation
  • Publishing private, explicit, or manipulated photos
  • Sending threatening messages
  • Posting false information or impersonating someone online

Online harassment of women

1.- Keep social network profiles private The first recommendation is to configure the profile or profiles of social networks. They must be in private mode. It is the most effective way of knowing to whom information is being transmitted. It is crucial not to accept requests from strangers and to have proper control of virtual friends and followers.

2.- Use passwords with a high level of security Having a good password is the next fundamental piece in cybersecurity. The so-called high-security passwords must include numbers or punctuation marks, insert lowercase and uppercase letters… and they are renewed on a regular basis. Having the same password everywhere is really not a good idea.

3.- Find out about the use policies published by each digital platform It is important not to get carried away by laziness and know what the rules of behaviour of each virtual space accept and what they do not. If there is disrespectful behaviour that does not comply with these rules, it may be reported to those responsible, moderators, administrators or service providers.

4.- Take advantage of the blocking function It is a constant in the different social networks and it allows prohibiting access to those users who send inappropriate or strange messages before the situation worsens or leads to another case of cyberbullying.

5.- Make sure you have a good antivirus and firewall Security also involves computer tools or software. Up-to-date antivirus and firewalls protect against exposure of personal data entered on the computer when the device’s camera is activated or against connection attempts from unauthorized devices. You should also try not to use computers that do not have this protection software.

6.- Use a camera model with a pilot light This small application will indicate when the device is recording or not. In this way, it will be possible to avoid the intrusion of third parties who may make unauthorized recordings.

7.- Be careful when sharing personal information on the Internet The safekeeping of personal data is essential, whether it is the address, telephone number, name or surname. This advice can be extended to graphic information such as photographs and videos whose resources can be used against whoever appears in them.

8.- Do not respond to provocations from a possible stalker The only exception is that it is to inform you that what you are doing is considered a crime. Above all, it is advisable not to enter the game, nor replicate their own actions as a response.

9.- Share concerns with friends, parents or even third parties It is important to explain and seek help if it is considered that a situation could trigger harm or a case of harassment. To tackle a situation in time is to avoid a problem.

10.- Save everything that is considered possible proof of cyberbullying Whether it is an email, a chat conversation or even an online publication. They could be helpful if you decide to report the facts later.

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