Wesnet was excited to recently host a member-only webinar Keeping women safe in a digital world, featuring Mia Garlick, Meta’s Director of Policy for Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Japan and Korea.

With almost 200 people registering for the webinar, Mia and Wesnet CEO Karen Bentley discussed the challenges in keeping up with technology, and how the Meta-Wesnet partnership enabled the development of resources and tools to address the particular circumstances of women and children escaping violence.

Mia gave a good overview of Meta’s overarching approach to safety, setting out the framework of their multifactor approach involving the development of policies, safety tools and resources, including those developed in partnership with Wesnet. She also stepped through some of the key safety features of Facebook and Instagram.

Participants embraced the opportunity to ask a range of questions including:

What should refuges do to ensure apps are not leaking locations?
Are attempted breaches logged for criminal evidence purposes?
What can be done when an abuser creates a clone or locks out a victim-survivor from their own account?
What can parents do to protect young people?
How can profiles be locked down?

Karen raised the particular importance of helping women who are planning on leaving to undertake ‘housekeeping’ associated with technology safety including, very importantly, securing emails and changing passwords. Mia reiterated the critical nature of password hygiene: don’t share passwords, use different passwords, use two factor authentication, use security settings to ensure that no other devices have access to information, and ensure that account recovery can only be enabled by the owner.

As a member-only event, the webinar was not recorded but it will be a great source of inspiration for further tools and resources, and other webinars down the track. In the meantime, many of these issues are covered in existing Wesnet resources, including our survivor toolkit which is constantly being updated.