Do you remember what life was like being LGBTQ+ before the internet? Finding support and information was really hard – you had to know where to look as you couldn’t just Google for your closest LGBTQ+ group!
There’s no doubting that the internet has been wonderful for bringing support networks and resources to our fingertips, and making it easier to meet like-minded people however it can also be a dangerous place.
VpnMentor carried out a survey of 695 LGBTQ+ individuals worldwide about their experiences online. Some of their key findings were:
- 73% of all respondents in all categories of gender identity and sexual orientation have been personally attacked or harassed online.
- 50% of all respondents in all categories of gender identity and sexual orientation have suffered sexual harassment online.
- When it comes to sexual orientation, asexual people feel the least safe online, and gay men the safest.
- When it comes to gender identity, transgender women feel the least safe online, and cisgender men the safest.
- Transgender women are the most likely to be outed against their will online, while cisgender men are least likely.
As a result of their survey, VpnMentor have collated an article which details how you can stay safe online. It has useful advice on what you can do if you are a victim of cyberbullying. This includes:
- Blocking people and the different privacy functions available on a variety of social media platforms
- Tips for controlling your identity during and after transition
- Safety tips for online dating
- Steps to avoid getting hacked
- Tips for parents of LGBTQ+ youth
Even if you’re internet-savvy, it’s well worth taking the time to have a read through the guide and brushing up on your privacy settings. It’s hoped that by taking control of interactions online, you feel safer while at the same time empowering you to fully enjoy the digital aspects of your life.