IT security woman hits back at sexist trolls on LinkedIn

Graham Cluley

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UK IT security firm Foursys writes:

Should we police or dictate how our employees dress? Should we only allow them to represent our brand if they have a specific body type or sense of style?

What about internet commenters or trolls? Is it ok for them to bombard our employees with abuse?

Foursys is asking these questions after Jayde, one of its sales executives, appeared in a harmless social media post on LinkedIn – celebrating that the firm now had 500 followers on the professional social network.

The response on LinkedIn was ghastly, with many offensive, derogatory and often sexual comments made towards Jayde.

Jayde, however, has stood up to the bullies – making her own brave video response where she details some of the abuse she received:

“For all of those who say that I know nothing about IT security: Shame on you. I know more than 99% of people you’d meet on the street. I can tell you what a denial-of-service attack is, how SQL injection works, and how to your protect against ransomware. To be perfectly clear: Bullying and shaming people because of the way that they look or how they choose to dress is nasty, and I am not just going to take it – and neither should you.”

Hear hear.

I find it extraordinary that some people would make such hurtful and mean remarks… and particularly dumb that so many did so on LinkedIn, which details their real names, jobs and places of employment.

Seriously, the IT security world needs to grow up and stop thinking that women can be treated in such an appalling way.

Watch Jayde’s video response to the cyber-bullies on YouTube, and read more in Foursys’s blog post.

Graham Cluley Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

11 Replies to “IT security woman hits back at sexist trolls on LinkedIn”

  1. "Seriously, the IT security world needs to grow up and stop thinking that women can be treated in such an appalling way."

    Oh please stop this nonsense. Stop saying man this, woman that, stop seeing women as another type of species. No one should be treated in such an appalling way, no matter if it's a man or a woman. This is just like posts about the wage gap that doesn't even exist and posts about why there aren't many women in IT. It just spreads more hatred and causes more issues like this. Treat everyone equally and stop making excuses for women.

    1. I second that. Plus I would add they it's a bit presumptuous to assume that most of the people responding were actually in IT. The Internet is filled with trolls happy to jump on the hate bandwagon so it's hard to judge "the IT community" for this. For all we know, some SJW made a botnet to mass troll just for the purposes of generating publicit in these cases.

      1. On the LinkedIn page of the company, I'm unable to find any Jayde working there. I did find pictures of the woman who is supposed to be Jayde of Foursys on other websites and the way she dresses is really really really provocative. Now I'm not saying it justify's the reactions she received, but she could have seen it coming. I think both her outfit and the reactions are bad. I've worked for multiple company's where she would have been send home and asked to put on something else. If she was my employee, I would have done the same. I don't care if she's wearing a baggy slayer shirt or anything that's not totally revealing, but this outfit isn't suitable for a work environment. Might be nice for a club, not for the workplace. I've always learned that action is reaction and if she dresses like this, she can expect bad reactions from men that aren't gentleman. Her company also should have been there to protect her and advise her not to act and dress this way.

        1. You've missed the point. Women are fed up of being found attractive because they are wearing skimpy clothing. They want to be found attractive irrespective of the clothes they are wearing.

          1. Being found attractive is useless in the infosec world. On IRC, you are known by your IRC handle and your knowledge. You don't have to share your gender, race, age, religion, etc. None of that matters to the real hackers, but we do have a problem with people making drama about this.

  2. You are all prime examples of the problem, and there is a problem. The fact that none of you can see it is evidence of that fact.

  3. The wage gap does exist, and this affects predominantly women. As for what people wear: Why is it that if a male wears something "nice" then they get positive comments, but if a female wears something nice, then they get branded with all manner of epithets? Trolls survive in the net as well as the "real world" (or is that surreal world).

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