Internet provides immense opportunity to do business, social networking, and lot more. But it also provides a platform to perpetrators to prey upon people, especially women. Around the globe there is online violence, life threats, cyber bullying, revenge pornography, stalking, online harassment, etc against the women. So the Internet with its wide connectivity has not only made world a global village but also has made it even more unsafe for women.
Cyber bullying and Harassment
In today’s world no one is immune from cyber bullying and harassment, even celebrities like Leslie Jones are victim of it. In 2016, Jones was forced to quit Twitter because a slew of sexist, violent and racist comments were lobbed against her. And this did not stop there, someone posted a nude photo of her and called her an “ape”. This is an example of how the internet and social media platforms can become cyber bullying platform.
Domestic Violence which was earlier confined to four walls of the house has now evolved into Online Domestic Violence. Husbands, Ex-Husbands and Ex-Boyfriends use internet to bully, embarrass and humiliate their wife, ex-wife, and ex-girlfriends.
The perpetrators use Photo shopped images, private photos, and revenge pornography to threaten them. These acts scar the lives of women and makes it difficult for them to survive the harassment. This shows that domestic violence does not necessarily involve physical wounds and bruises but can be done virtually which can be even worse.
Stalking through Social Networking
Internet has also opened new avenues for stalkers through Social Networking websites like Facebook, Instagram, Quora, etc stalking has a different dimension and is even more dangerous. Stalkers can easily track the victim and hack her ID and get personal details. They also operate fake IDs. This has made women even more prone to get stalked.
Thus, Online Safety for Women is the need of the hour and some of the ways by which online platforms can become safer for the women are: by using anti-virus software, blocking people you don’t want to interact with, don’t share your password, don’t leave your webcam connected and change the password once in every 90-180 days.
Nikita Arora is a student of Satyawati College, New Delhi and this effort is a part of Google India and SheThePeople initiative Digital Trust Dialogues across colleges in India.