With so much reliance on technology for everything from using rideshare apps to performing our work, to socializing, it is important to consider your tech safety.
If you are concerned that your tech safety has been or is actively being compromised, we urge you to connect with us or someone in your support network to discuss a personalized tech safety plan and reduce your risk.
Here are some safety tools for several tech areas:
General Internet Safety
Your internet search history is stored in the computers and devices you use (smart phones, tablets, etc). It is difficult, sometimes impossible, to erase your search history. If you have concerns that someone is checking your internet search history:
- Try to access a safe computer (one an abuser would not have access to) for all your searches related to domestic abuse, sexual assault and/or resources to help. You can find safe computers at local libraries, your work, an advocacy center or shelter (like Ozaukee’s), or at the home of someone in your support network.
Smart Phone Safety
Smart phones can be a lifeline to safety. They can also be a tool for abusive people to exercise stalking and controlling behaviors. Here are some things to think about:
- Location settings: Many smart phones automatically enable location settings or have apps that provide your location in real time (ex: Find My/Find a Friend), you can turn off those location settings. We can assist you changing those settings to enhance your safety.
- Saved Materials: Many smart phones auto save photos, documents, links, videos etc. into “cloud” storage. We can help you turn off that “cloud” access
- Phone Plans: Many people share their phone plans with their abuser, giving them access to phone logs and text historys. If possible, it may help to purchase a prepaid phone or use a safe alternative phone similar to a “safe computer:” a phone located at work, with family members, or with someone in your support network to make calls or text/share information related to safety, leaving or accessing services.
*NOTE: For iPhone users, Apple provides privacy and safety setting information. Click HERE for more information Apple Product Privacy and Safety Setting Information For Android and other smart phone brands, ask your provider about any specific settings or privacy tools they provide.
Social Media & Email Privacy
Social media platforms have a lot of positives–they connect us with loved ones and those in our support network, they help us share information. Unfortunately, they can also serve to track your whereabouts, generating a timeline of your location, routines, and activities. Because many of us make posts in real time about what we are doing, who we are with, and where we are, those details can be used in service of stalking behavior, they can also be used against individuals in a future instance. The good news is that there are options to support safety that we can help you with such as:
- Blocking other users
- Changing privacy and location settings
For information on safety and privacy measures for specific social media platforms, click on the appropriate links below:
Location Settings in Facebook – Blocking a User in Facebook – Privacy Settings in Facebook
Location Settings in Instagram – Blocking a User in Instagram – Privacy Settings in Instagram
Location Settings in Twitter – Blocking a User in Twitter – Privacy Settings in Twitter
Location Settings in Snapchat – Blocking a User in Snapchat – Privacy Settings in Snapchat
Similarly, our email accounts archive conversation histories between people. If an abuser has access to your passwords, those conversations could be read. You can create a new email account, using a safe computer or device, where you communicate with safe and supportive others about domestic abuse, sexual assault, and resources related to safety, leaving or accessing services.
Password & Account Privacy
We all have the right to keep account information like passwords and usernames private. If you believe your abuser knows your passwords for social media, email, smart phone or other private accounts, changing them could enhance your safety. We are ready to help you reset and develop secure passwords for account privacy and further tech safety.
- 24 Hour Hotline & Shelter
- Domestic & Sexual Violence Safety
- Counseling & Support Groups
- Digital Safety