@Hijab_House- Importance of internet safety

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Online safety is paramount.

The nature of the internet and social media means It is easy for individuals to fabricate their personal information, even constructing a fake identity to approach others for personal benefit or exploitation.

Hijab House, an Australian modest clothing store which sells headscarves and burkas/abayas, has had its name misused by a person posing as a worker for the company.

The unknown predator has been pretending to be affiliated with the brand and directly messaging underage customers asking them to send pictures of themselves for modelling purposes.

The account @hijab_house, with 525,000 followers, has seen around 900 of its young female customers targeted by the culprit, who promised them a modelling career in modest fashion. The predator has been asking for the underage girls to send pictures of themselves uncovered and in suggestive poses.

View this post on Instagram

To our followers, we really need your help. Please read: Recently there’s been a scam targeting young hijabis. An account has been pretending to work for us and has been manipulating young hijabis into sending inappropriate things via DM. They claim to work for Hijab House but they do not. Since we first found out about this issue, we have had about 900 girls approach us about it. Swipe to see some examples (warning: some explicit language). The account has been blackmailing young hijabis: forcing them to do things using threats, asking them for personal details, making stalking claims, intimidation, bullying and downright harassment including sexual harassment. If this is not enough to remove an account @instagram then what is? What’s worse is that the police won’t get involved because it’s “not enough”. What’s even worse than that is they’re using our brand name as a means of taking advantage of the followers we love the most (@instagram doesn’t seem to have a problem with this kind of impersonation). After hundreds of reports to @instagram, they still have not shut down the account and have not blocked the user from the app. The scammer is using multiple handles that constantly change so there’s no point in tagging them here because they’ll just change their account again. This also is not an isolated incident. It’s affecting thousands of young women, some experiencing severe anxiety and fear. So we need your help to spread the word. Share, tag, post to your story, do whatever you can to spread awareness about this issue. We’re using the hashtag #protectyounghijabis. Tell your friends, sisters, followers, everyone. The only way to stop this is if we get enough people to become aware of the dangers of cyber harassment and the dangers of this account. If you’re a parent, have a conversation with your children about staying safe online. If you’re a child, always be comfortable to talk to your parents about online harassment. If you’ve been personally affected by this account, please do let us know and we can try to help. No one messes with our followers. We won’t let that happen. Please spread the word. HH

A post shared by Hijab House (@hijab_house) on

 

‘Recently there’s been a scam targeting young hijabis,’ they explained. ‘An account has been pretending to work for us and has been manipulating young hijabis into sending inappropriate things via DM. They claim to work for Hijab House but they do not. Since we first found out about this issue, we have had about 900 girls approach us about it.’ ‘The conversations often go for weeks and they’re done in a way where trust is built up. It’s all tailored to each specific girl, her life, and her online presence. They pretend to be Hijab House, and they have a verification message from us that’s been falsely created to show that he’s a consultant for us.’

 

Here are some questions you consider when browsing social media

Do you really know everybody on your ‘friends’ list?

  • People on your friends list have access to personal information about if, if you choose to share it. Make sure you are aware of who can see what.

Do you know how to use and set privacy and security settings? 

  • Perhaps you want some people to be able to see where you study, or your location, you can control this from your privacy settings. Get to grips with how to navigate the security settings to secure your account and your own personal safety.
  • You often have the choice to block receiving messages from people who are not your direct connections, if you would like to stop people who do not know you from contacting you, you can control this through your privacy settings.

Do you ever get messages from strangers? If so, how do you handle them?

  • Be careful in talking to people you do not know on the internet. Perhaps they are not who they are portraying on their social media profiles. Do not agree to anything you are uncomfortable with, or reveal personal details.
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