With more users now spending time online, the ways they can get compromised on the internet have gotten more numerous and sophisticated. From phishing to identity theft more people, especially women face a potentially huge cybersecurity problem.
Now, more than ever, it is important for online users to follow the best practices to give themselves the best chance of getting through life on the internet safely.
As part of ensuring women are staying safely on the net, DefendDefenders, a human rights defenders project from Uganda and Internews will be conducting an online safety workshop for aspiring female journalists at the Multimedia University of Kenya on Friday 8th. The purpose of the workshop, according to the organizers is to equip young the female journalists with the necessary skills and techniques on how to stay safe online.
‘’Technology has also been used to create spaces where women feel marginalized and threatened based on their gender, and there are numerous instances of extreme misogyny in cyberspace.’’
According to a 2015 Cyber Violence Against Women and Girls Report by the United Nation, cyber violence against women is emerging as a global problem with serious implications for societies and economies around the world. This, according to the report is due to the increasing reach of the internet, the rapid spread of mobile information and the widespread use of social media.
Research also shows that one in three women will have experienced a form of violence in her lifetime, and despite the relatively new and growing phenomenon of internet connectivity, it is estimated that one in ten women have already experienced a form of cyber violence since the age of 15.
The workshop will enlighten the female journalists on the importance of not leaving digital footprints when they are online.
The trainers will include Ms. Gloria Madegwa is a lawyer by training who has been working in the Human Rights sector for the past five years. Gloria is currently the head of the Capacity Building Programme at the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders-Kenya(NCHRD-K). In her position at NCHRD-K, Gloria oversees the skills development component of Human Rights Defenders on security management (physical and digital).
Others include Njeri Kimani, is media consultant based in Nakuru, Kenya. She is also a digital safety and security trainer, having undergone training under the IREX Kenya and Oakfield Safety and Security Training. In Partnership with the DW Akademie, Njeri has been conducting safety and security training for Female journalists all over the country, with a special interest in teaching them how to remain safe in their workplace. Cecilia Maundu a digital safety trainer who also works for the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation will also be among the trainers for the day. Cecilia is an advocate of safe online space and has been trained by iHub Uganda, Internews and DefendDefenders.
Access to the internet is fast becoming a necessity for economic well being, especial for developing countries in Africa and is increasingly viewed as a fundamental human right; therefore it is crucial to ensure that the digital space is safe and empowering place for everyone including women and girls.