Protecting oneself online has been an essential part of a netizen’s day to day activity, the trail of data one leaves behind while using the internet is known as the digital footprint, it can be the websites you visit, the posts one likes, shares. Your digital footprint also includes the devices that you use to access the internet and articles you have written or were written about you. It literally encompasses everything that can be found about you online, even the information that is hard to find.
How does one develop Digital Resilience? This has been a commonly asked question to users of the digital space given the challenges that exists that later affect our mental health and work performance. Women at Web Tanzania program as part of the Women at Web East Africa supported by DW Akademie conducted a training specifically on digital resilience to 24 youth.
The thematic areas
Understanding digital resilience and how it is built, the term itself means the ability to withstand any digital challenges that a netizen may come across with, there are four pillars that come with the term one being the ability to know by examining how going online can influence the way we feel, think and act, to understand what digital resilience is, to devise ways to build your own digital resilience and support others.
Why it is important for a netizen to have digital resilience one is to have an understanding of when an individual is at risk online and can make informed decisions about the digital space they are in, two is to know the right source and what initiative to take when faced with digital challenges that threatens one’s privacy
Strategies for a netizen to be resilience
- Establishing basic capacities, such as the knowledge of how to create a strong password or how to protect your personal information online, are valuable parts of digital citizenship.
- Filtering the content consumed online, not all content requires one’s attention and is of benefit understand the kind of content that as a netizen you would want to consume that will be part of one’s growth in their career rather than focusing on unproductive contents.
- Taking part in physical exercises that help one’s mental wellbeing, during the digital resilience training the trainees took part in a yoga session, that started with the knowledge to understand the importance of eating healthy and how yoga contributes in renewing one’s mind to a healthy state
- Protect your passwords and use strong passwords, never share your password with anyone else, be it for work or personal purposes. If you can’t keep track of all your passwords, write them down in a notebook and keep a safe space.
- When one has experienced any form of online violence or someone, they know they need to aware of the right sources to report for such incidence so that action can be taken immediately.
- Always act professionally, keep in mind that anything you post online may remain there for a very long period. You can be yourself and voice your views, but make sure they are factual and something a prospective employer or admissions officer would not mind reading.
- Always keep your profile up to date, putting your best self forward is one way to control your digital footprint. Particularly for professional or job hunt websites, keep your online profiles updated. So that prospective customers or employers can get in touch with you easily.
Having a community of citizens with an awareness of how to safely navigate on the digital space will ultimately improve behaviors in online interactions, including fighting against hate content, fact-checking information consumed while online more regularly and increase critical thinking skills in an online context
While there are efforts being made to address Online Gender Based Violence, Women at Web acknowledges the scope of work still needs to be expanded to reach all netizens. There is a need for increased collaboration between government agencies, NGOs, donors, and other stakeholders to address this problem effectively.
To read more about what we do to enhance safe spaces for women and youth visit https://linktr.ee/WomenAtWebTZ