“Little Sheena, Little Sheena, Where have you been?
I was on Facebook, just signing in!
Little Sheena, Little Sheena, What do you plan to do there?
I’ll upload my b’day party pics, Mother Dear!
Sounds harmless enough, doesn’t it? It’s something everyone who has a Facebook account does at one point of time or the other. I used to do the same without blinking an eye. Never gave a thought to it. But today, I confess there are times I almost lose my cool, times when I realize what dangers I had exposed my daughter to by proudly sharing her photos and her activities on my Facebook page! (This was my pre-McAfee days when I was as ignorant of cyber dangers as many are today). So like many other Moms I know, I pooh-poohed the idea of there being any real danger online, I loudly announced on my Wall what my kids were up to, the picnics they were going to, the time they forced my Hubby and me to dine out and they bravely stayed at home. So many clues to their identity, their schedules! What was I thinking?
And then once I happened to chance on this video. Just take a moment to watch this video. I promise you all, it will send a chill down your spine! It’s about the consequences of your posts on Facebook. Watch it and share it widely with every person you know. Watch it and you will know what exactly it is that I feel concerned about.
Hence I would like to dedicate my Women’s Day in helping spread the knowledge and awareness of Cyber Stalkers. UN has designated the theme for International Women’s Day 2013 to be “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women”. Now who has to take the onus to make this happen? Us women, who else?
Women today don so many hats, multitask, pursue all kind of careers, participate in adventure sports, climb mountains, and single-handedly raise kids! She is truly gifted and a blessing to mankind. But there is one field where women generally lag behind and that is in the field of technology. Even educated, career girls shy away from technology, saying, “I don’t understand these gadgets. I leave it to my husband to fix things up. I don’t understand how to set security options” Or, worse still, “I don’t know how to monitor kids online. I’m technically challenged, never went online and trust my kids to behave themselves online.”
This behaviour has to stop immediately. Woman, you are the perfect housewife, the perfect colleague, the perfect Mother and the perfect companion; so you just need to extend that role to become savvy about social media. You need to be aware of the benefits as well as the risks. It is for your own safety and by extension, the safety of your family. If you have to fight online violence, you need to know the dangers, how to avoid them and what to do if you are ever faced with one.
Here are a few tips to transform you into a net-savvy woman:
- If you are already familiar with the PC, well and good, otherwise take some basic courses
- Ensure you have advanced security software installed on all your devices
- Don’t engage in light-hearted chit-chat with strangers. They might take it otherwise
- Don’t share posts/pics that may embarrass you or your acquaintances
- Read privacy policies of all sites you join. Keep privacy at maximum
- Keep records of all unacceptable messages, posts you receive. Share your concern with someone you trust
Surfing the social media can be fun, if done with proper precautions. It also gives an immense boost to your confidence and earns you new respect among your peers and family. And let’s face it; we also get to meet our long-lost friends. Go for it woman, you can do it!!
Here’s wishing you a Wonderful Women’s Day once again!