March 8th 2023
International Women’s Day
As we celebrate International Women’s Day this Wednesday 8th March, Get Safe Online reflects on ways women across the globe can empower themselves to be safer online. Whether you want to date online with safety and confidence or are concerned about actual or potential abuse via your everyday technology, Get Safe Online has a wealth of tips and advice to help you use the internet with confidence.
As we know, the internet has transformed our ability to obtain information, communicate with others, express our views, share our experiences and engage in conversations about any topic of our choice. Technology has made it possible to reach vast audiences at once, or just individuals or small groups. In turn, this accessibility and freedom of expression play a major role in enabling a wide range of human rights, including equality and respect.
However, the internet’s open and relatively ungoverned nature has resulted in high levels of harmful activity, with women, girls and sexual minorities being disproportionally targeted with online gender-based violence, trolling and other forms of abuse. If you feel you have been a victim here are some immediate steps you can take to help you.
Steps to take if you feel you have been a victim
- Do not respond or express a reaction to the perpetrator or those responsible for spreading the abuse, as this will only provoke further incidents including spontaneous intimidation.
- Block the perpetrator and those spreading the violence.
- If the violence takes the form of intimate content shared online, report it to the website or social media platform concerned, request that it is removed and the offending user blocked.
- Report online bullying, image-based abuse or other forms of online abuse to police and the platform where it appears.
Tony Neate, CEO at Get Safe Online, which comprises equal numbers of women and men, comments, “The internet is a brilliant place, providing all of us with convenience, resources and communication channels that we have never enjoyed before. However, for some of us, and women and girls are no exception, the online world comes with some risks. Online gender-based violence isn’t the only threat to women and girls online. Catfishing, revenge porn and risks from online dating are also possible threats when using the internet. So, this International Women’s Day, women and girls across the UK are encouraged to check out Get Safe Online and get themselves up to speed with the latest advice on how they can make themselves safer online. I hope you find it useful.”
Get Safe Online is an authoritative and widely-respected resource designed to help individuals and small businesses stay safe, secure and confident when using the internet. The information and advice provided – on its UK website at www.getsafeonline.org, social media channels, media activities, outreach activities and via its partner channels – is designed to be impartial, practical and easy to follow by all of its target audiences.
Get Safe Online also works closely with a number of banks, police forces, MOD organisations, regulators and private sector groups. It has also, over the last few years, established a network of websites and local representations in 26 countries, funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. Get Safe Online was established in 2006 and is a not-for-profit organisation.