Computers create records of everything you do on the computer and on the internet.
If you are in danger, try to use a safe computer where someone abusive does not have direct access, including remote (hacking) access. For example, it may be safer to use a computer in a public library, at a community technology center (go to www.ctcnet.org for a national directory), at a trusted friend’s house, or at an internet cafe.
If you think your activities are being monitored, you are probably right. 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. There are many ways to monitor activities that anyone can easily access and use.
Computers can provide a lot of information about what you look at on the internet, the e-mails you send, and other activities. It is not possible to completely delete or clear all computer “footprints.”
If you think you may be monitored on your home computer, you might consider no home internet use or only using your home internet to surf for things that are more “safe.” For example, if you are planning to flee to California, don’t look at classified ads for jobs and apartments or bus tickets for California on a home computer or any other computer your abuser has physical or remote access to. Use a safer computer to research an escape plan.
Remember, e-mail is not a safe or confidential way to talk to someone about the danger or abuse in your life. Instead try to use a “corded” phone to call 911 or a domestic violence hotline. Corded phones are more private than cell phones. The Minnesota Domestic Violence Crisis Line number is 866-223-1111; the National Domestic Violence Hotline number is 800-799-SAFE.
Your phone’s location is trackable. To turn off location services on your phone, go to settings and turn off “location services.” This may look different depending on your phone. If you are unsure of how to disable location services on your phone, contact your phone provider and they can walk you through the process, step-by-step.
From Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, Internet Safety for Battered Women.
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