2.3.5 Privacy and security concerns
Women may require extra privacy to feel comfortable using ICTs; in a conservative society, this might mean a women-only space. Women and girls should be able to have their own email accounts and be able to freely access information without surveillance, while having access to secure online spaces free of harassment and exploitation.
Women need to be made aware of the ”etiquette” of using the Internet, as well as the potential risks from ”scammers,” software viruses and other related downsides of internet use. They will need basic protection from cyber-crime. As technology evolves, so does cyber-crime. Cyber-offences can take many different forms, such as stealing personal information, exploiting the sale of innocent victims (as in the sex trade), and attacks on personal safety. Women and girls must be educated to understand the risks involved and how to mitigate harm. For example, passwords for email access should not be stored on a public computer, and users need to log out of their email accounts before leaving the public computer. This kind of training should be part of any digital literacy course.
The ITU has a set of on-line Child Online Protection Guidelines18 in six languages, identifying risks that children may face online and behaviours recommended for children to stay safe online. PLAN Canada19 also sets out child protection online safety rules for adolescent girls:
|Content example: PLAN Canada’s safety rules for adolescent girls