The Internet can provide a wealth of information about Domestic Violence and how to get help if you are a victim. Unfortunately, if an abuser can access your computer, he/she can determine which web sites you have visited, what e-mails you have sent, what documents you have downloaded. An abuser may even install a monitoring device in your computer. Protect yourself.
Steps to take:
- Use a friend's computer, a workplace computer or a library computer.
- Use a free web-based e-mail service such as Yahoo Mail or Hotmail which requires a password to access. Programs such as Outlook Express, Netscape Mail, Thunderbird, and Eudora are stored on your computer and can easily be opened.
- Do not store files on your computer that you do not want your abuser to see. Store them on a disk or remote drive that is kept in a safe place. You can also store your files on the Internet and use them from any computer. Some of the companies that offer this service are iBackup and Hyperoffice.
- Erase your Web browsing history. Every time you use the computer to research information, your operating system keeps track of your activity. The procedure to erase this history depends upon which browser you are using. Use the link below provided by Boutell.Com, Inc. for information on how to clear your browsing history:
- DO NOT post personal information – including photos with friends and/or known locations – on MySpace, Facebook or other social networking sites. You can be traced this way!
- More Internet Safety tips from from the National Violence Domestic Hotline:
Cell Phone Safety
- DO NOT use electrical devices such as a cell phone or a vehicle with a GPS navigation device as that can track your location to within a block!
- DO NOT use a cell phone where the abuser has access to the bill. The abuser can trace telephone numbers called and can enroll the cell phone in a service that tracks your location. Get a new cell phone, preferably with a number unknown to the abuser.