Cyberspace is as densely populated by women as men, but it need not always be a friendly space for women. Young women need to be alert as they make their way through cyberspace and be aware of the many pitfalls in the virtual world.
That was the message that Gender Park under the Kerala Social Security Mission and Society for Promotion of Alternative Computing and Employment (SPACE) here tried to communicate to students of the Government College for Women at a sensitisation seminar on Monday. “Just as a soldier and a terrorist put their weapons to divergent use, women should learn to use this powerful weapon of technology for their advancement and remain vigilant against getting trapped in disastrous situations,” said Susha Janardhanan, counsellor.
Technology, she said, is an ‘arbitrary benevolence’ where safe, secure and effective utilisation is of the essence. Social networking sites are essentially beneficial intermediaries between people. However, there exists a nemesis to each godsend. There are snares galore in cyberspace such as identity theft, morphing, phishing, hacking, fake images, unsafe chat zones, misuse of personal information.
“It is common knowledge that if any online service is available for free, then you are a product, not a customer. What a person searches for is perennially catalogued and vaulted in the clandestine chambers of the worldwide web. Deleted evidence or data can be traced and recovered. The Internet is not a gateway to anonymity. That is one lesson that everyone entering the cyberspace should remember,” she said.