If you are currently being stalked or abused, we recommend that you use a computer that your abuser does not know about – at a public library, a trusted friend’s home, an Internet café or at a community technology center.
Emergency Escape Button: The top of every page of this website contains an orange “Escape This Website” button. Use this button if your abuser enters the room and you need to exit the page in a hurry. When you click on this button the page you are viewing is automatically redirected to the Google website.
- Computers record everything you do. It is IMPOSSIBLE to clear your tracks completely.
Your computer stores hundreds of bits of information about everything you do with your computer, including information about which websites you’ve visited, your passwords, and what your emails say. Your abuser can readily track the websites you visit or read your email messages. Using a separate computer is best, but you can protect yourself at home by familiarizing yourself with processes like private browsing, deleting your browser history, clearing your cache and deleting cookies.
- If you suspect 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 activities – anyone can do it and there are many ways to monitor your activities – even without having direct access to your computer.
- Email is not a safe or confidential way to communicate.
Sending email is like sending a postcard through the mail. Anyone along the path can read what it says. If you need to talk to someone about the danger or abuse in your life, if possible, please call a hotline instead.
- If you must use email to discuss your situation we suggest you use an account that your abuser doesn’t know about.
Set up a new account with a free email service like hotmail, yahoo, or gmail. DO NOT use a name or password that contains any identifying information (no names, nicknames, initials, birthdates, zip codes, etc.) Instead use a name and password that contains a random mix of letters, CAPITAL letters and numbers (for example, HJ3v67Tn) – Make sure you can remember the user name and password! If you must write it down somewhere, put it in a place your abuser is unlikely to find it. If the computer asks if you would like it to save your password or login information tell it NO.
- If you must use a computer that your abuser knows about, we suggest “safer” Internet surfing.
For example, if you are planning to flee to California, don’t look just at California web pages for jobs, apartments, bus tickets, etc. Look for the same information in at least a half dozen other states too.