CSP15: Talking about Cyber Safety in Islamabad

Alternative Title: How to Keep the Cyber Creeps Away

Good to be back on here! So let’s do a recap, shall we?I was invited to run a workshop on Cybersafety for Women and Children at the Cybersecure Pakistan Conference 2015 in Islamabad last month. 

I had a great time interacting with my workshop participants or as I like to refer to them, my Cyberwizards.  We covered the intricacies of online safety, password security, the prevalence of cyber threats and responsible ways to keep your information safe while on the web.

I also took time to talk about Trolling and Cyber-Bullying. We had a robust discussion about what constitutes Trolling, best practices to deal with a cyber-troll, and how to recognise a Cyber-bully when they surface on social media.

As a way to empower women in Pakistani Society, I take care to include one topic for a moderated discussion with my participants.  Bridging the conversation on why women are often singled out for trolling  and giving examples from the Gamergate issue internationally, I asked my participants ” As a professional, What do you think are some challenges that women face online?” and “Do you think Pakistani Women are leveraging Technology to their benefit?”.  What ensued was very robust conversation where we heard various perspectives, some blaming conservative mindsets and others blaming overly patriarchal societal values making some fear women who take part in conversations online as a threat.  The purpose behind such discussions is to trigger positive change through communal dialogue.

I am grateful to NUST School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences for hosting CSP15 and giving Catalyst Woman an opportunity to engage with your best and brightest minds!  I also want to give a big shout-out to the Ultra-Spectra Team for doing a fantastic job keeping all us geeks and techies on-schedule!  🙂