woman with dark skin typing on a laptop

Online Safety

Plan for your safety

If you think someone is monitoring your computer or phone, they probably are. Be careful. You may want to keep using your main/home computer or phone for regular, everyday activities, like looking up the weather. Use a safer computer or phone to research an escape plan, look for new jobs or apartments, bus tickets, as well as research or to ask for help.

Email and text messaging are not safe

Email and text messaging are not safe or confidential ways to talk to someone about the danger or abuse in your life. If possible, please call a crisis line instead. If you use email or text message, please use a safer device and an account your abuser does not know about. It might be safer to use a computer in a public library, at a community centre or at a trusted friend’s house.

Privacy Tips

iPhone     Android

Cover your email tracks

  1. Be sure to delete any outgoing and incoming emails or texts. Be sure to empty the deleted items/trash folder also (this action more completely deletes the emails).
  2. Change your passwords often (at least once a month).
  3. Print all threatening and harassing emails to use as evidence of criminal activity and store in a safe place.

Private Browsing

InPrivate Browsing is an option on many web browsers. However, using another computer is still wise.

  • In Windows/Internet Explorer, go to the Safety menu and select InPrivate Browsing. When done, close the browser window to complete your InPrivate session.
  • In Mozilla/Firefox, click the Firefox button (Tools menu in Windows XP) and select Start Private Browsing. To end a Private Browsing session, click the Firefox button (Tools menu in Windows XP) and select Stop Private Browsing.
  • In Google Chrome, this is called Incognito mode. To activate, Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar and select New incognito window. A new window will open with the incognito icon in the corner. You can continue browsing as normal in the other window.

Cover your Internet tracks by Clearing history and Cache Files

If you have visited this and/or other websites you will have left a trail that allows others to see which websites you have visited. Clearing your browser’s history and cache files may help, but this does not guarantee that information will not be left on your browser.

Be aware that an empty history can look suspicious (though it is better than an abuser seeing what sites you have been on, such as this one). As much as possible, use a safer computer.

Text adapted in part from OAITH. Thank you OAITH!