Tech Safety

If you think your activities (online and offline) are being monitored, you are probably right. People who are abusive are often controlling and want to know their victim’s every move and interaction. If this is something you are experiencing, it is important to think through how they might be tracking your online activity. These tips can help you understand how to access information online more safely:

  • If you are in danger, try to use a safer device that someone abusive does not have direct or remote (hacking) access to. It might be safer to use a computer or any device at a trusted friend’s house or in a public space like a library or a community center.
  • Be careful how you use your computer or other devices. If you are being monitored, it may be dangerous to change your normal online behaviors. An abuser might become suspicious if you suddenly start deleting your entire internet history if that is not your regular habit. It is not possible to delete or clear all the “footprints” on your computer or online activities. You may want to keep using the monitored computer for routine daily activities. Use a safer device to ask for help, research an escape plan, or look for new jobs or apartments.
  • Texts, emails and social media are not safe or confidential ways to talk to anyone about the danger or abuse in your life. This is true of any contact with a domestic violence agency. Messaging leaves a digital trail of your communication and can increase the risk that your abuser can learn who you contacted and the details of that communication.
  • Whenever possible, use a hotline instead and then delete your cell phone history.
  • Landlines are more private and secure and less easy to intercept than cell phones.
  • Uninstall any unfamiliar apps. If you think your cell phone is being monitored, check for any apps or settings that are allowing location sharing.
  • Call your cell phone provider to make sure that no other location sharing service is enabled. Remember, you can erase the history on your cell phone.
  • Reset usernames and passwords on phone billing, cloud and other connected accounts to prevent access by an abuser.
  • Remember your private information is stored on your devices, and it is going to stay there.

Adapted from the National Network to End Domestic Violence’s Safety Net Project

To talk to an advocate about your technology concerns, contact us.

If you are in immediate danger, please call or text 911.

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