The Internet is a part of our everyday lives, whether we’re socializing with friends, applying to a school or looking for a new job. Now more than ever, it’s important to pay attention to what’s online about yourself and take steps to ensure a positive persona— both personally and professionally.
In India, as elsewhere all over the world, there is rampant online harassment, standing in contradiction of the internet’s promise for equal opportunity and neutrality. What we have today is a flawed internet that reflects the offline world we live in, where millions of women and members of marginalized communities are abused, harassed, threatened, stalked, and violated on a daily basis.
We must pause and reflect on the key issues that thwart women’s empowerment and liberation. Among these issues, safety and security, both, offline and online, continue to be the biggest roadblocks.
In a recent global survey conducted by Microsoft, it was revealed that 61% women in India had faced online risk personally, and around 65% reported that they knew of family or a friend who had been subjected to it. While 70% reported being highly concerned about online safety, it was very heartening to note that an equal percentage of women (70%) felt confident about managing the online risks. However, much as women intrinsically are strong and confident, the concern is that only 42% of women knew where to get help. And in fact, exhibited a greater propensity to lose trust both online and offline, lose sleep and become more stressed. The reaction to online harassment led to women increasing online privacy controls and also reducing the amount of information they shared online.
The data on online civility reflects what is usually observed offline in the physical world: high concern for safety and security, an initial confidence to be able to manage all kinds of issues, lack of awareness about help mechanisms when actually subjected to harassment, followed by, unfortunately in a lot of cases, social withdrawal.
While there are unlimited variables in an offline world that impact safety and security, many of which are not in one’s control, in the online world, there are a few good practices you can adopt to ensure that you remain safe online. One of the lesser known good practices is to ensure that you have a good operating system (OS) installed on your device.
Microsoft’s Windows 10 is an operating system that actively addresses modern security threats through strong identity protection and access control, information protection, and threat resistance. With Windows 10 you can feel confident of exploring the digital world without getting trapped in the dark corners of the internet and with ample protection from online risks. Some of the features that help in online safety include:
Windows Hello: It provides biometric (facial and/or fingerprint recognition) alternative to passwords to provide secure instant access to your device and online services. This way you ensure that there are no unauthorized log ins on your machine.
Microsoft Edge: It has been designed to be the most secure browser that Microsoft has ever released and it uses advanced sandboxing technology to isolate what you’re experiencing online from your personal information, data and of course Windows 10 itself.
Family features: If you are a parent/mom you are definitely concerned about your kid’s online activities so with just a few clicks you can help keep your kids safer online by blocking adult websites, helping you set good screen time habits for your kids, blocking age-inappropriate apps and games, and providing you a look into their digital world through activity reports.
SmartScreen: It helps protect you from phishing sites that may attempt to steal your identity and personal information. It performs reputation checks for each site you visit, and will block the malicious ones. It will also defend you against socially-engineered downloads of malicious software using a cloud based app reputation service that is continuously evaluating the billions of new apps that are published to the internet every year for malicious behavior.
Windows Defender: It is a robust anti-malware solution that is constantly updated to meet evolving threats as they are identified and is quick to detect and protect you against emerging malware, seen in the first critical hours. It uses a highly scalable and geo-distributed backend service in the cloud that leverages data from about one billion devices to draw lightning fast insights and respond in hundreds of milliseconds.
With Windows 10 you’ll always have the latest security protection when you are online. So, while you may not be able to curb the uncivility that exists online, you can certainly take proactive steps to ensure that you remain protected and secure.
This Women’s Month, we wish you a safe and secure digital life with Windows 10 ladies!