Access to technology is important for those who are abused.
They can use it to look for resources that can help, connect with loved ones, or simply use it as a window to the outside world if they’re being isolated. Abusers know this as well, and they can use technology to spy on their victims, manipulate them, and escalate the abuse.
If you are in an abusive relationship, there are ways to stay safe while using technology.
- Always clear your browser history of content that you don’t want your partner to see, including this website.
- Do not use a home computer to research resources like housing options. Use a safe device instead, like a computer at the public library or Saint Martha’s Drop-In Center.
- Frequently change the usernames and passwords for online accounts, including email, social media, and bank accounts.
- Create a private email account that they don’t know about on a safe device. Use it to communicate sensitive information. Keep using your regular account for non-sensitive emails.
- Never share personal information on social media. Be mindful that what you post may be used against you or give away your location. Ask people not to post photos or check-ins of you. In your settings, set your privacy to the highest level, and disable people’s ability to tag you in posts.
Cell Phone Safety
- If you are able, buy a pay-as-you-go phone and keep it hidden. Use it for private calls.
- Change your phone’s password frequently.
- Call instead of text for sensitive communications to avoid leaving a message trail.
- Erase any text or voice messages that you don’t want your abuser to see/hear.
- Go to your phone’s settings and decide which permissions you want disabled or enabled.
- If you suspect your phone is being monitored, take it to a cell phone service center to have it scanned for spyware that your abuser may have placed on your phone.
If you feel like your physical location is being tracked, check your purse and car for GPS tracking devices, which can be as small as a quarter.
Being hyper-vigilant and constantly covering your tracks is exhausting. To speak to someone who can help you stay safe online and in-person, call one of our advocates at 314-533-1313.