How best can women leverage the internet? How do we benefit from the internet while safeguarding our personal information? How can we protect children from the dangers of the internet? These are some questions our panelists answered in the third edition in Mumbai of Digital Trust Dialogues hosted by ‘She The People’ in collaboration with Google. This was at the SNDT College in Juhu in Santacruz suburb of Mumbai city.
Digital Trust Dialogues: The focus was on shaping role models, creating a creative atmosphere for people to flourish in and being aware of the many tools that help women stay safer online.
On a panel moderated by author and media expert, Anjali Kirpalani each of the panelists give us their take on how they have made use of the internet in their professions while being savvy when navigating. The focus was on shaping role models, creating a creative atmosphere for people to flourish in and being aware of the many tools that help women stay safer online.
It helped my startup reach a wide range of audiences, the beauty is it doesn’t require a hefty budget -Preeti Vyas
Preeti Vyas, Founder of FunOKPlease, a children’s publishing company that produces content for the curious young Indian noted her business would not exist without the internet. “It helped my startup reach a wide range of audiences, the beauty is it doesn’t require a hefty budget.” She tells us how she not only used the internet to create content and but also drive user engagement.
Ritu Soni Srivastava, founder of Obino a health-tech startup shared that through her online platform she was able to talk of something as personal as fitness in a safe environment. “Lakhs of weight has been lost by my clients through our online coaching program”. She also lends perspective on how to create secure systems from an app creators point of view, she explains that it’s each companies responsibility to safeguard user information.
She, then draws our attention to the flip side of internet usage particularly in the photo-sharing platforms and spaces, from social media to apps requesting access to your photos. Ritu points out the salient details revealed through pictures where viewers are able to derive a wealth of information about the subjects life. They are able to access where one stays, to where one spends their time, what their preferences are.
Style Coach and blogger and Aiana Jain strives to strike a balance with her profession and her personal life. She explained the need for her to be active on her on social media portals as it drives her followers. She relies on the internet as a liaison between her and her followers. Her approach to staying safe it enabling her setting to make sure no one is able to tag her in pictures without her consent. That way she is in charge of all the images that go up of herself.
Moderator Anjali Kirpalani asked panelists to share in what ways they find the internet to have transformative powers for young people and what their message to the youth would be.
“It’s a platform for your voice to be heard, in the years before one had to be famous in order to be heard,” said Preeti. "We find that the internet platforms have equalized the potential to have voices be heard from all over the country." With this being said, she also urges us to pay attention to what on the internet we are consuming, sharing and what goes viral: “It makes a very important statement”. “The internet can either be used to save lives or kill”.
Ritu put the lens on the importance of confidence of sharing personal information about their journey on health. The internet helps her reach out to clients and for them to develop a comfortable space wherein they can be honest about their journey to weight loss. She further explains, that It is challenging for people to discuss the weight without trusting the person on the other end, as it is an extremely personal issue.
Finally, Aiana Jain gave us some fabulous tips on maintaining a professional online persona while making sure you are protected:
- BE unique, BE yourself
- Make sure to be a positive role model
- You don’t need to always check your updates, likes, notification. Have a real life!
- Update your settings—no one should be able to tag and upload pictures of you without your consent
- Make sure to ask your friends permission before uploading pics
- Don’t retaliate to trollers and feed their need to start a conversation, always block them.
- “It's definitely cool to no share everything, take it from a blogger”
SheThePeople and Google conduct Digital Trust Dialogues across India in colleges in an effort to empower women with tools to a safer and positive internet.