Internet and Computer Safety
If you are in danger, please try to use a safer computer, such as one in a public library, a college library, or at a trusted friend’s house. If you think it will cause suspicion, you can continue using the computer your abuser can access, but do not use it to research anything that can cause abuse to escalate.
To ensure safer computer use:
- Don’t download documents from online. Downloaded files can be stored on your computer. If you delete any files, be sure to delete them from your Recycle Bin.
- Clear your internet history and cookies. Unfortunately, it is not possible to delete or clear all the “footprints” of your computer use. Also be aware that suddenly clearing your entire Internet history may be dangerous if it is not your regular habit. If you clear your internet history, you may want to visit some sites that you regularly visit, such as checking the weather or reading the news.
- Reset passwords to online accounts periodically. Use passwords that do not contain identifying information. Change security questions and answers to things that your abusive partner does not know. Once you have made these changes, only access these accounts from a safe computer.
- Turn off auto-remember when entering passwords and usernames into online accounts.
- Most internet browsers have a “private browsing” or incognito mode where your internet history is not stored.
- There are many types of spyware, keystroke, and GPS technologies that your abuser may have downloaded or attached to your computer, phone, or other online device. If your partner knows things about you or your whereabouts, your online activity could be monitored.
Visit the Safety Net Project through the National Network to End Domestic Violence for more information about technology safety.
Privacy and Safety on Facebook
The National Network to End Domestic Violence has paired with the social networking site Facebook to create a guide for survivors of abuse to maintain safety and control over their personal information when utilizing social media. The comprehensive guide was released on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 and can be viewed at the link below.
Privacy and Safety on Facebook: A Guide for Survivors of Abuse