If you feel your internet activities are being monitored, then they probably are.

Here are some of the ways you can use your computer or phone safely.

  • Don’t change your computer activities suddenly
  • Continue to use the monitored computer, or phone, for harmless tasks, like checking the weather
  • Use a safer computer to research an escape plan or ask for help
  • Safer computers can be found in libraries, internet cafes or at a trusted friend’s house
  • Email, text and instant messenger accounts can be easily monitored, so use different accounts that the abuser isn’t aware of

Navigating violence, abuse, and stalking can be very difficult and dangerous. Contact your local domestic abuse service who will be able to tell you about options and help you create a plan to stay safe.

Anyone can do it

Computers and phones store lots of information about how they are used. You don’t need to have special skills to monitor them. Anyone can do it, using tools like spyware, keystroke loggers and basic hacking techniques.

Deleting is not enough

It is not possible to delete all the “footprints” of your online activities. Even if you delete your entire browsing history, there are other ways to see what you were looking at.

Use a helpline

Email, text and instant messaging apps are not safe ways to talk to someone about the danger you are in. If you use them please use a safe computer and an account your abuser does not know about. If possible, please call a helpline instead.

Sudden changes

If you are being monitored, it may be dangerous to change your computer behaviour suddenly. For example, abruptly deleting your browsing history may cause further suspicion if that isn’t something you don’t do regularly.

Instead, continue to use the computer or phone that is being monitored for harmless activities, like looking up the weather. While using a safer computer to research an escape plan, look for new jobs or apartments, bus tickets or ask for help.

Safer computer?

It might be safer to use a computer in a public library, at a trusted friend’s house, or an internet Café.

Find out more about how you can get help.

This information was taken from NNEDV who have carried out considerable work on safety and technology.