16 AUGUST 2018

#DigitalWomandla: preparing women for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Centurion – The digital space, and the power it provides individuals to create and distribute their own content, is a double-edged sword. It provides a proliferation of information today more than any of us know what to do with. On the other hand, there is an alarming increase in the number of lives that are ruined daily when this digital power is abused. Victims of cyberbullying and revenge pornography can attest to this from painful personal experience.

The Film and Publication Board (FPB), together with a coalition of stakeholders and supporters, will bring the digital dangers faced by women into primary focus this Women’s Month, as they create public awareness around cyber safety through the #DigitalWomandla campaign.

The digital revolution has led us to face large-scale disruptions in many areas of our work as a regulator, and is an area where women have a major impact to make. The Women’s Month campaign will provide practical tools for women to participate meaningfully and safely in the cyber space.

FPB Chief Operations Officer, Abongile Mashele, comments: “The online space is a focus area of the Film and Publication Board’s regulation role, as we work with South Africans to safeguard the most vulnerable in our society. Our primary beneficiaries are children, but especially in August we empower women to better protect themselves and the minors in their care in a world that is becoming increasingly digitised. Access to technology and infrastructure are developing at an exponential rate. We access the internet daily for information and knowledge. However, we need to be mindful of the double-edge sword, or the dangers that come with this platform. The growth of the cyber world is accompanied by cyber-crime, a specialized sector with highly sophisticated skilled criminals who are always taking advantage of women’s’ digital ignorance. Women have a role to play in fighting cyber-crime, but first they need to understand what it means. #DigitalWomandla is calling on the nation to empower women to live safe online,” says Abongile.

This #DigitalWomandla project is driven through a coalition of government and private sector organisations with a mutual interest in the cyber security industry. Initiated by SafeCyberLife, the group is made up of the Film and Publications Board, Department of Public Service Administration (DPSA), Kaspersky, Ngubane and Co, the South African Police Service (SAPS), and AlertingSA. Many more organisations will be joining in as this campaign grows into a movement, for the country and the continent, in the weeks and months to come.

#DigitalWomandla is a joint industry response to the need to digitally empower women. Ours is a journey where we will see women empowered with the right skills to live safe online and at the same time knowing what the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) means to them and how they must prepare for this 4IR beast taking over the world,” says Linda Khumalo, CEO of AlertingSA, the organisation that drives the SafeCyberLife service.

Cyber-crime and cyber security are two sides of the same coin, and these sides are at war with each other. On one hand are highly skilled criminals who use the technology for criminal activities and on the other side are individuals who are using technology to protect the public. The skill sets of these individuals are usually the same. Cyber criminals take advantage of the many “silly” mistakes people make.

Major questions to be asked are: How long will women be passive participants in this cyber war? Are women aware of this war taking place? Are women aware of their cyber vulnerabilities? More importantly, are women aware that living safe online is the foundation of their secure participation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

#DigitalWomandla has adopted the SafeCyberLife steps and encourages women to consider the following 12 Steps to Live a Safe Cyber Life. This campaign calls for women to consider these steps on a daily basis, and has scheduled a daily campaign update as follows during Women’s Month 2018:

  • Day 1: 9 August. #DigitalWomandla calls on all women and their families to spend the 9th August to Understand their technologies at home and for them to do a checklist of all technology at home. We encourage them to Prepare a list of these technologies and know what is connected to the Internet and what is not connected to the Internet. Prepare a list of all the technology owned by children and spend time in knowing what it does. This campaign calls on all those born before technology to conquer their fear of technology and start engaging on this topic. The country needs this change of mind.
  • Day 2: 10 August. #DigitalWomandla calls on all women and their families to Revisit and think about how they manage their passwords and have a clear password management process, with different passwords for different platforms and make sure their passwords are strong, with CAPITALS, numbers and special characters such as (%,^,& etc). #DigitalWomandla encourages Women NOT to use the same password on Facebook or social media for their work-related or private activities such as internet banking or even email. This is very dangerous.
  • Day 3: 11 August. #DigitalWomandla calls on all women and their families to make sure they have a reliable e-mail service for their personal and private use and they must understand the importance of separating their work and personal e-mail processes. Many free e-mail services are usually not permitted into major corporates due to their risk of introducing viruses, so women must make sure they have a reliable and secure e-mail service.
  • Day 4: 12 August. #DigitalWomandla calls on women and their families to make sure all their digital devices have an antivirus software, especially the mobile devices. Many phones these days are SMART phones, and as such they need to be protected online.
  • Day 5: 13 August. #DigitalWomandla calls on women and their families to ensure that they carry out the updating of the software on all their digital technology. This happen almost every 10 weeks (if not less) and these are designed to protect digital devices.
  • Day 6: 14 August. #DigitalWomandla calls on women and their families to spend time to understand the privacy settings in their services and technology. Everyone is encouraged to manage and implement the relevant privacy settings on their devices and begin to manage their personal information security.
  • Day 7: 15 August. #DigitalWomandla calls on women and their families to spend time to understand the parental controls in every device and service they have at home. Parents need to be empowered to understand their digital responsibility in parental controls.
  • Day 8: 16 August: #DigitalWomandla calls on all women and their families to know what every icon (software) is doing on their devices. They must make sure they also read and understand the terms and conditions on what they download on their devices. They must be very careful when downloading Apps and Software to their devices and must understand the implications of the Terms and Conditions, a lot is written and NOT hidden in there.
  • Day 9: 17 August. #DigitalWomandla calls on women and their families to live a proper Internet and social media life. They must be very careful on what they put on social media. They must always know that what they post online is viewed by other people, if not most of the people around them and far away. Women have been victims of crimes such as Revenge porn because of many people genuinely thinking this wont harm.
  • Day 10: 18 August. #DigitalWomandla calls on women and their families to establish a Cyber Health environment at home and make sure they manage interaction of family with the digital technology.
  • Day 11: 19 #DigitalWomandla calls on women and their families to understand the 4th Industrial revolution and what it brings.
  • Day 12: 20 August. #DigitalWomandla calls on women and their families to prepare themselves and their career for the 4th Industrial Revolution, especially for children. Careers of the future will be far different from today’s careers. So women must be ready to empower themselves and families for a better future being ushered by these new technologies.

 For any help, women can go to www.fpb.org.za or  www.safecyberlife.com


Issued by the Film and Publication Board

For media enquiries contact:

Lynette Kamineth

Communications Manager

079 279 5331 / 012 003 1400

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