Women’s safety on Social Media

In today’s era when this modern world is welcoming social media and remains online almost 24×7. Smartphones and the internet are just like our second life. Having accounts on different social media platforms is like an extension to our personalities. But as much as these social media applications made our lives easy by establishing our connection easily to all our friends, we are also exposed to the dark side of this virtual world. This world is not so virtual when it comes to cyber harm. It’s quite hard to recognize which age group is at higher risk from this cyber harm. But recently a series of incidents happened targeting women and their safety being compromised.

There was a case last year named as ‘Boys Locker Room’, Instagram and Twitter were flooded when this case was taken in cognizance of police. It was a group chat where boys of age group 17-18 were found sharing offensive pictures of girls and passing vulgar comments on them, objectifying them. Among those pictures, some are of minor girls as well. This group is allegedly one of many such groups that exists.

Due to family pressure of reputation in society and lack of awareness cybercrime victims do not come forth and register a complaint and if they do, they are not taken seriously. The girls are told to delete their accounts and not share their pictures to stay safe. This reaction is normal, and this approach is insensitive of not considering morphing someone’s pictures. This somewhere points to loopholes in handling a case of online abuse and increasing crime of cyber abuse. This is the reason that every sixth cybercrime is through social media as per NCRB reports.

Almost 50 percent of Indian population are accessing social media as per 2020 reports and it will keep increasing in future that is why it is very important to create awareness about these platforms and their safe usage especially to women who are the most vulnerable group to fall prey to these crimes. Best way to stay safe from these crimes is to have basic knowledge about these platforms.

Few things that women should keep in mind while using social media are:

1.It’s very important to know a person personally rather than virtually. So never allow a stranger to access your personal profiles ever.

2.Never share your passwords with your friends or with anyone. Also do not store them in any password manager.

3.Always think and then decide what should be posted because it did not take much time for people to judge you based on your posts.

4.Always check privacy settings of your social media accounts and keep location services turned off.

5.Always log off your account after using your accounts it is the most important measure one should take.

All of us have an equal responsibility to create a safe environment for safety, security of women. We should always try to create awareness among women regarding shielded use of social media. Also, if someone is going through any kind of cyber abuse, he/she should discuss it with the people around rather than escaping from it. There are always people around you who are willing to help you. Only your intelligence and presence of mind will help you to stay safely on social media.

Divya Kumari

Intern, Goa Chronicle
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