If you are experiencing violence and researching or reaching out for support please use a computer, phone or device your offender does not have access to such as a library computer or a friend or family member’s phone or computer if at all possible.

Remember that computers, phones, tablets and devices used to access the Internet store private information about your online activities including your emails, texts, instant messages, online banking and more and that information can be monitored by spyware, keystroke loggers and other hacking tools. In addition online email accounts that can be accessed via a password are not secure.

It’s impossible to completely clear all data related to your computer activity and if you suddenly change your online behavior, such as deleting your entire search history, it can send red flags and increase safety risks.

Trust your instincts, if you think your activities are being monitored they probably are so be careful not to arouse suspicion with your online activities. Continue to use your computer and devices for regular activities that anyone monitoring you would expect to see but use a safer computer or device when researching support for women, children and youth experiencing violence.

Emailing, texting and live chatting are not safe or confidential methods of communicating. It’s best to either use a safer computer when you are reaching out about violence you are experiencing or call emergency contacts from a safe phone. If your email or texts are automatically synced with your computer, tablet or other device that your offender may have access to, do not use them.