If you are in an abusive relationship and suspect that your internet activities are being monitored, you’re probably right. It is not uncommon for an abusive person to want to know their partner’s every move. Your partner may be checking to see what sites you are visiting and who you are communicating with. You don’t need to be a computer programmer or have special skills to monitor someone’s computer and internet activities. Anyone can do it and there are many ways to monitor with software such as parenting surfwatch, Spyware, keystroke loggers and hacking tools.
Computers can store a lot of private information about what you look at on the internet, the emails and instant messages you send and receive, IP-TTY calls you make, web-based purchases and banking, and many other activities. Please realize it is not possible to delete or clear all your online activities off your computer or hand held device. In fact, if you delete your entire internet history, this will send up red flags to your abusive if and when your history is checked. This can put you in danger.
If you think you may be monitored on your home computer, limit your online use to safe activities like looking up the weather, or going to neutral sites. Don’t send emails to friends and family from a monitored device, and don’t discuss your activities or plans to leave the relationship on any device that could be monitored. This can put you at serious risk. Use a safer computer, such as those at a library, to research an escape plan, to look for new jobs, apartments, or bus tickets, and to seek help.
Email and Instant/Text Messaging (IM) are not safe or confidential ways to talk to someone about the danger or abuse in your life. SAFE NEST WILL NOT RESPOND TO EMAILS ASKING FOR ASSISTANCE. If you need help, information, or referrals, please call Safe Nest’s 24-hour hotline at 800-486-7282 (local 702-646-4981) or call us during business hours at our main office: 702-877-0133.
For more information regarding Internet Safety visit the National Network to End Domestic Violence (http://www.nnedv.org/internetsafety.html)