DIGITAL SAFETY

If you are in danger, do your best to use a computer and secured wi-fi or mobile broadband network that someone abusive does not have access to.

  • If you suspect that your digital activities are being monitored, they probably are. Abusive people are often controlling and want to know your every move. You don't need to be a computer programmer or have special skills to monitor someone's computer and online activity - anyone can do it and there are many ways to monitor using programs like spyware, keystroke logging and hacking tools.
  • It is not possible to delete or clear all of the footprints created by your computer use and online activity. If you are being monitored, it may be dangerous to change your computer behavior. If your regular habits do not include deleting your entire internet history, do not begin doing it all of a sudden.
  • If you think you may be monitored on your home computer or mobile device, be careful how you use them because an abuser might become suspicious. You may want to keep using the monitored devices for activities that won't arouse suspicion like looking up the weather. Use a safer computer or mobile device to research an escape plan, look for new jobs or apartments, bus tickets, or ask for help (computers at a public library, a trusted friend's house, or other places that have public computers).
  • Remember that email, social media, instant messaging (IM) and text messaging are not safe or confidential ways to communicate about the danger or violence you are experiencing - they are much more easily monitored than phone calls or in person contact. If possible, please call a hotline. If you use email, IM or text messaging, please use a safer computer/mobile device and account that your abuser does not know about.
  • Computers and mobile devices store a lot of private information about what you look at online, the emails you send and receive, your IM conversations, your internet based phone conversations, any IP-TTY calls you make, any online shopping and banking you do, and many other activities.

You can visit the National Network to End Domestic Violence's Safety Net Project for more information and resources about technology safety.