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Computer & Phone Safety

Technology can be a powerful tool to help you leave an abusive situation. But people who are abusive often use technology to monitor and control their partners.

Computer + Phone Safety

It’s important for you to have an internet safety and cell phone safety plan. The following are some things to keep in mind as you use technology.

Computer Safety

Your computer might be monitored. Find a safe computer away from home such as the library, Internet café, friend’s house, shelter, or work. Always use safe computers when researching travel plans, housing options, legal issues, and safety plans. Read Be Safe for information about deleting your online browser history.

Your email account may be read. Open an email account your partner does not know about on a safe computer and use that account for safety planning and sensitive communications. Keep your monitored account active with non-sensitive emails to avoid suspicion. You will want to create unique passwords that your abuser cannot easily guess. Avoid using pet names, children’s names, important dates, etc.

Social media can leave you vulnerable. Check out your privacy settings and make sure they are set to the level of privacy you want. Keep in mind that even if you set your social network page to private, it doesn’t guarantee your information is completely private. Your friends’ friends can see your postings, and your friends may not be guarding their privacy as closely as you do.

Phone Safety

You can set your phone to E-911 location services only in the settings menu. Check with your service provider on what safeguards and controls they offer such as blocking incoming text, picture, or video messages from certain numbers or blocking email messages or domains.

Your cell phone calls and texts may be monitored. Cell phones are like a GPS device, tracking your exact location in real time. Call and text history can also be retrieved by an abusive partner. Consider purchasing a pay as you go phone that you keep in a safe place to allow you to make sensitive calls. Don’t let your abuser track you by phone.

The ability to maintain your privacy plays a huge role in keeping yourself safe. Be careful when using technology to be sure it works for, not against you.