The following information is a small collection of information to consider when experiencing the dynamics of power and control from an abusive relationship. Please consider your safety and leave this page if you suspect your browsing might be being monitored. Return to it from a safe computer or call our crisis line for more information.
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Changing your PATTERNS
If you think you may be monitored on your home computer, smartphone, or tablet, be careful how you use them since an abuser might become suspicious if you change your patterns of online activity. You may want to keep using the monitored device(s) for innocuous activities, like looking up the weather. It might be safer to use a computer in a public library, at our advocacy center, a trusted friend's house, or an internet café to research an escape plan, look for new jobs or apartments, bus tickets, and finding help.
Email and messaging
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 your abuser does not know about.
There are now applications that can be installed on your phone with or with out your knowledge that track your location and send this information to another person. We have seen this abused by people asserting power and control over another person. If your abuser has ever appeared unexpectedly somewhere that you were, its possible that they are using this sort of tracking system. It may also be possible for this to be going on through standard apps such a “Find my iPhone” and others and it’s important to consider that you may have not seen any signs that this is occurring. Talk with one of our advocates to help deactivate these apps and get you set up with a temporary phone to that you can safely make calls and plans from with out detection.
Computers can store a lot of private information about what you look at via the Internet, the emails and instant messages you send, calls you make, web-based purchases and banking, and many other activities. It is virtually impossible to completely erase all the history or "digital 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.