Safe Use of Technology
The development of technology can be a great way for victims of abuse to gain information, advice and build supportive social networks. However it can also be used as a means to continue the abuse. It is essential that anyone being abused takes steps to keep themselves safe when using technology.
As well as the information below make sure you read our information on COVERING YOUR TRACKS.
Change as many accounts as possible
It is better, wherever possible, to change your accounts and passwords. Even if you do not think that your abuser knows the details, it is better to be cautious. Make sure when choosing passwords you choose one that the abuser will not be able to guess.
It may be a hassle but it is better to also change mobile and landline numbers.
Be cautious when putting anything about yourself online. Avoid using your name, or that of family and friends; do not give your address or details of any other location that you will be at; do not give out phone numbers or any other identifiable dates. Be careful of photographs that could identify your location.
Be aware that some social networks can pick up where you are when you post and automatically display this location. This is called ‘location functionality’ and can be turned off. Ensure when posting from a mobile that the Bluetooth function is also turned off.
Friends and Family
Remember it is not only you who may give information away regarding your location, personal life and activities. Make sure your children, friends and family are equally cautious about anything they put on the internet.
Even very innocent comments and photographs could put you in danger.
Be aware of information about you that is available through your employer – do you have an intranet? Are your contact details available online? Are details of meetings you attend available online and include you as an attendee? Do they give dates of future meetings?
Schools, colleges and universities may also have online information that may put you at risk.
If someone sends you threatening or harassing messages by email or any other way, these can be saved, printed and used as evidence of the abuse if needed.