How to protect yourself from online harassment

safety first

Internet trolls are a reality that is increasingly present and affects people of all ages, especially women. This forces us to find new ways to protect ourselves, both to prevent this type of situation and to respond appropriately if necessary. Thus, in this article we will discuss the importance of online safety for women and offer practical advice to be protected against Internet trolls.

Women are more likely to become victims of harassment and identity theft

On the Internet, women are particularly exposed to online harassment, a phenomenon which is also known as cyberbullying. These situations can range from identity theft to threats, online harassment and even undesirable messages. According to the study “Women and Online Harassment” published by the Pew Research Center in 2018, a 73% of women between 18 and 29 claim to have experienced any sort of digital harassment.

Safety tips to prevent online harassment

In order to be protected against online harassment, there are some safety measures that all women should consider. These include the use of safe passwords for your online accounts, checking the privacy settings on social media, not sharing personal or financial data, blocking or deleting users who are threatening or harassing anyone and reporting any suspected incident to the competent authority.

Identifying online harassment

Online harassment can take place in different forms, and sometimes it can be hard to detect. Visible signs include receiving threatening or rude messages, receiving offensive or insulting messages, becoming the target of mass discrediting campaigns and receiving requests to commit to illegal or inappropriate activities.

How to deal with online harassment

If you are a victim of online harassment, there are several ways in which you can deal with this situation. For instance, take screenshots of the messages that have made you feel threatened or intimidated, save those messages as evidence in case you choose to file a complaint, block the user who is harassing you and seek professional help if the harassment continues.

Resources and help for victims of online harassment

There are several resources to help women who are victims of online harassment. These include services provided by professionals –such as therapists and legal advisers specialised in gender violence–, non-profit organisations dedicated to the prevention of cyberbullying, free tools to identify and block hostile users, as well as government resources intended to tackle digital harassment, like the Spanish National Law against gender-based violence (Law number 11-358).

The Internet can be a wonderful place to connect with people around the whole world, but there are also trolls who want to take advantage of the vulnerability of users. In order to prevent these attacks, it is important for women to be aware of the risks and take the necessary measures to protect themselves. This includes using safety tools such as strong passwords, blocking unknown users and reporting any sort of harassment or threat to the authorities. If we take these precautions now, we can enjoy the Internet without fear of trolls.


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