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I was contacted with a request to share a link to a guide written by Sara Levavi-Eilat how women can protect themselves online. Upon inspection, this seems like a very useful resource and I am sharing an introduction to it, with a request that you read it directly on vpnmentor.com to learn more and share it on social media with your friends.
On to the post:
Have you ever been harassed in the street? Received a crass message on a dating app? Had a coworker make a comment about your appearance that just didn’t sit right?
You're not alone.
With the #MeToo movement, it’s easy to log onto Twitter or Facebook and see just how many women are victims of sexual harassment. Whether in person or online, women everywhere have experienced it in one way or another. And with all the new ways the internet has opened avenues of communication, online harassment is more prevalent than ever.
Women are often targeted simply because they are women. Attacks are often sexualized or misogynistic, and rhetoric tends to focus on their bodies and sexual violence. This is both physically and emotionally damaging, and women are often intimidated into silence, preferring to disengage rather than put themselves at risk.
However, there are ways we can protect ourselves.
This guide was written with the intention of empowering women to navigate the internet without fear. We discuss common occurrences in which women are subject to harassment in their daily lives – on social media, at work, while dating, and more – and give tips and advice on how women can take control.
It is important for us to note that some of the advice given here encourages anonymity, rather than risking being targeted. While this may seem to run counter to the idea of encouraging self-expression, we believe that every woman should be empowered to make that choice for herself.
Our job is to give you the tools you need to do that.
We hope this guide encourages women everywhere to defend and protect themselves, and to stand up to sexual harassment, both on and off the web.
The majority of online harassment takes place on social media, which makes sense given how much time most of us spend on these platforms. Broad social networks, often combined with anonymity, leads to a reality in which anything you post, tweet, or share opens you up to potential abuse.
Below, we delve into the most popular social media platforms, and show you how to protect yourself from creeps, trolls, and stalkers.
Due to its public nature, Twitter is one of the most notorious social media platforms when it comes to online harassment. And it’s not just celebrities and public figures who get abuse heaped on them. There are endless stories of regular people who have been attacked, often for simply speaking out about political or feminist issues.
How to Change Your Privacy Settings on Twitter:
Click on your profile and go into Settings and privacy>Privacy and safety>Protect your Tweets.
Making this change retroactively protects your older tweets too. That said, it’s important to note that since Twitter has no control over outside search engines, older tweets may still be visible on the wider internet. So if you want true anonymity, you should open a new personal profile and protect your tweets from the get-go.
Women are regularly sent abusive messages and unwanted dick pics, and instances of being tagged in degrading pictures or even having fake profiles created using their names and photos are far from uncommon.
How to Control What People See on Your Facebook Profile:
On your computer, click the upside down caret on the upper right corner of the page and select settings. On the panel on the left click Privacy. From here you’ll be able to manage exactly who can see your posts and how people can contact you.
Next, go to Timeline and Tagging. This lets you control who gets to post on your wall and who gets to see posts you’re tagged in. Here you can also change your settings so you get to review and approve any tags before they get implemented.
Instagram and SnapChat
By making your photos public, anyone can comment on your pictures. Although it’s hard to understand why someone would dedicate their time to being a troll, there are those who have a field day searching for photos to insult. Public body shaming comments and DMs (Instagram’s version of a private message) with explicit and vulgar language plague millions of accounts every day.
Besides trolling, many women are susceptible to revenge porn, dick pics, and other non-consensual nude photography.
How to Make Your Account Private on SnapChat:
Go to Settings>View My Story>My Friends/Custom. While you’re in Settings you can change who can contact you and who can see your location.
How to Make Your Account Private on Instagram:
Go to Settings>Private Account (slide right to enable).
How to Block People on Instagram:
Select the person you want to block, tap the three dots in the upper right corner, and then click block.
How to Block People on SnapChat:
Select the person you want to block, tap the three lines on the upper left corner, and then click block.
This was a short introduction to the really excellent article at vpnmentor.com, so please visit them directly and read the complete guide. When you're done please share it with your friends as well.
You know that I normally do not like the arguments that women should protect themselves very much, especially when these arguments try to shift the entire burden of safety from authorities to women. You do not see similar warnings after robberies or terror attacks usually. On the contrary it is said that the country will take care of it, protect you and make you feel safe. When these instances occur, there is usually not a peep about people having to change their own lives.
Sure, being prepared helps, but when the reaction of the press and authorities is just "well, prepare yourself" or "don't walk alone" then it is clear they do not care very much about women being raped.
However we all have to live in the real world and while abuse and rape are illegal (almost) everywhere in the world, the Internet is such a new thing that countries are still struggling to pass the appropriate legislation and in many cases they are not even sure what this legislation should be. So the current situation is that unfortunately all of us must take great care what to do about safety online. Not only that, but even in the above argument nobody is saying that you can leave the doors unlocked or wide open, but that countries and the rapist protecting culture should not cast ALL burden on women which is often the case.
Sure, the ultimate goal should be that we have a society where all these measures will be way less needed, but until then, this guide and similar like it are a real treasure. Make sure to visit the full version and share with your friends.
NOTE: Nothing has changed about this site's philosophy. I was not paid to share this link. I did it for free because empowering women is something I believe in. This is and always will be an ad-free site. Thank you.