Women and girls increasingly becoming targets of online harassment

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Women and girls are increasingly becoming the target of online harassment, including cyberstalking, revenge porn, name-calling and other forms of exploitation.

From searching to socializing, it’s all at our fingertips, but what you do here could put you and your family at risk.

A Pew Research Center study found that women are more than twice as likely as men to experience sexual harassment online.

To protect yourself, be very careful what you send to others. Remember, any message or picture you think is private may not be.

“A lot of people think that will disappear. Don’t, because it can be used to blackmail, and so many women’s lives have been ruined by that,” said Laura Frombach, technologist and author.

Google your name to see how much personal data you have and what you can delete.

Never share the names of the places you work online, and while it’s useful to have your tracking features turned on so loved ones know where you are, Frombach recommends that they’re turned off on all your social media accounts.

“Because you go on Instagram, you go on social media, and it will tell people where you are. Don’t physically share your phone or devices with others; they can put tracking apps on them that invade your privacy and possibly your safety. So no matter what you have your settings set at, that app will track your passwords, it will track where you are, and it will track what apps you use, and domestic violence abusers are using these to stalk women,” said Frombach.

And if a stranger asks to take a photo with your phone, think twice. They can easily get access to your apps and personal information.

Instead, swipe right for the camera while your phone is locked, and of course, it’s okay to say ‘no.’

Experts recommend that gamers don’t use their real names or photos that identify their gender.

If possible, report and mute players in the chat.

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