Written by STOPP Website Staff (02/05/2019)

Many victims of sexual trafficking are first approached online, because online, groomers can remain faceless and anonymous. This is true for even preteen children. In addition, many adult women are harassed online.

According to a 2017 study by the Pew Research Center, most online abuse occurs on social media, and women are more than twice as likely as men to experience sexual harassment. More than half the women ages 18-29 report having been sent sexually explicit images without their consent. Many women are intimidated into withdrawing into silenced disengagement.

The Empowering Internet Safety Guide for Women was written to empower women to navigate the internet fearlessly and safely. This information should be shared with your sons and daughters who are online, as well.

This information will be shared in our next three blogs, in three parts. On the blogs, we are offering only an outline of the information. Please go to the link below to read more detailed information.

Today’s blog will cover Harassment on Social Media. Most online harassment occurs on social media. Following are the most popular social media platforms:


Twitter is one of the most notorious media platforms for online harassment. Twitter’s response to online harassment has had a poor reputation, even after improving their response to reports of harassment. Here are 5 ways to protect yourself on Twitter:

  1. Use multiple profiles. Include a personal and a professional one.
  2. Report and block abusers. See the link as to how to report and block.
  3. Don’t Geotag. To geotag is to include the location from which your post was sent.
    Don’t use the geotag option, and do not include in the text where you are when posting.
    Do not open yourself to doxing or stalking, or worse.
  4. Prevent Doxing. Doxing is the most extreme form of online harassment. It involves publishing online a person’s contact and personal information, including address, workplace, banking info or family information, as a call to others to harass the person.
    This can result in rape and murder threats.
    To prevent Doxing:
    1. Google yourself and see what information is already online about you. Remove what you can.
    2. Subscribe to a service that will delete you from data broker sites.
    3. Check that your email account hasn’t been involved in a data breach. Use the tool: https://haveibeenpwned.com/
    4. Use a VPN: a virtual private network can encrypt your online activity to protect you from hackers.
  5. Prevent Hackers from taking over your Twitter account:
    1. Create a strong password.
    2. Enable login verification, entering a code that Twitter sends to you.
    3. Be wary of any third party app that requires access to your account.
    4. Watch out for shortened URLs and don’t click on links you see posted on other people’s tweets.


Every day, women are solicited by strangers amnd wonder what they did to cause it. There are predators on Facebook. Protect yourself from them:

  1. Control exactly who sees what. See the link below to learn how to customize options, letting you hide info from specific people.
  2. Don’t let potential stalkers know where you are. Do not geotag, and do not use the Check in option. Learn to delete your location history.
  3. Block harassers and put particular people in a restricted list.
  4. Report imposter accounts. Imposters use your photo and info to friend people in your social network, and then post harmful content about you. Use the link below to learn how to report a fake profile.
  5. Prevent revenge porn. Use the link below to learn how to remove nude photos from Facebook.

Instagram and Snapchat

By making your photos public, anyone can comment on your pictures, and there are people who search for photos to insult. Protect yourself:

  1. Check your pictures for indentifying data, such as indentifying where you are when you take the photo. Also, turn off the SnapMap feature.
  2. Don’t use your real information. When you sign up for SnapChat, don’t use your real birth date, phone number, etc. Create a new email address to sign up. Change your account from public to private.
  3. Block creeps on both Instagram and SnapChat.

We urge you to use the link below to learn more about this information. On the link, there are clear instructions on how to accomplish the suggestions listed above.