Internet Safety

  • If you are in danger, we encourage you to use a safe computer that cannot be directly accessed by an abuser.
  • If you think your 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 internet activities - anyone can do it and there are many ways to monitor with programs like spyware, keystroke loggers, and hacking tools.
  • It is not possible to delete or clear all the footprints of your computer or online activities. If you are being monitored, it may be dangerous to change your computer behaviors, such as suddenly deleting your entire internet history, if that is not your regular habit.
  • If you think you may be monitored on your home computer, be careful how you use this computer, because an abuser may become suspicious. Keep using the monitored computer for normal activities, such as checking the weather or researching recipes. Use a safer computer to research an escape plan, look for new jobs or apartments, purchase bus tickets, or ask for help.
  • Email and instant / text messaging (IM) are not safe or confidential ways to talk to someone about the danger or abuse in your life. If possible, please call a hotline instead. If you use email or IM, please use a safer computer and an account that your abuser does not know about or have access to.
  • Computers can store a lot of private information about what you look at via the internet, including emails and instant messages you send, internet-based phone and IP-TTY calls you make, web-based purchases and banking, and many other activities. It might be safer to use a computer in a public library, at a community technology center, at a trusted friend’s house, or an internet café.

Be aware that you may not be able to reach 9-1-1 using an internet phone or internet-based phone service, so you may need to be prepared to use another phone to call 9-1-1 .