What is Electronic Safety

If you think your activities are being monitored, they probably are.
 
Man peering through binoculars
 
Batterers are often controlling and want to know every move the victim makes. Some of the ways batterers do this is through monitoring the victim's computer use, internet searches, emails and instant messages sent, social media activities (including location), internet-based phone calls made, and web-based purchases and banking activities. It is also important to be aware that batterers are capable of pinpointing the victim's exact location using G.P.S. technology and the victim's own smartphone or cellphone.
Extreme caution should be taken. If you think you may be monitored on your home computer, be careful how you use your computer since an abuser may become suspicious. You may want to keep using the monitored computer for everyday searches, like looking up the weather and the news. Then use a safer computer to search for jobs, apartments, tickets, to ask for help and make a safety plan.

It is not possible to delete or clear all computer activity or all computer "footprints." There are hundreds of ways that computers record everything you do on the computer and Internet. The abuser does not need to be a computer programmer or have special skills to monitor computer activities.

Use a Safe Computer: computers in a public library, computers in a community technology center, a computer at a trusted friend's house, or a computer at an Internet Café. If you cannot use a safe computer, then it is possible to erase internet history, cache and cookies. Please see "Basic Steps to Protect Yourself from Computer Monitoring."

The “Quick Escape” button on each page of this web site is to ensure privacy. However, the button does not ensure safety from someone who might monitoring online and email activities. For example you want to quickly close the site while working from a “safe” computer in the library and a friend stops by to chat.

Please, don’t depend on the “Quick Escape” button to delete “footprints” that can be traced by your abuser to the Program web site. Your abuser will know that you are reaching out for help and your actions may further compromise your safety.

Document Created By: CASA - Community Action Stops Abuse (2015). 


Basic Steps to Protect Yourself from Computer Monitoring*
Abusers who have computer knowledge may be able to track the web sites that you visit and the documents that you open on the computer. However, there are some basic steps you can take to keep your abuser from knowing what sites you have visited.

What is Internet history?
Your Internet history is a list of the different URLs (or websites) you have visited. Erase your internet history so that nobody who uses your computer can see what web pages you visited or documents you viewed. See below on how to do this.

To see your history on a Mac , press Apple + H.
To see your history on a PC , press Control + H.

 
Image of partially closed keyboard with multi-color lights on the keys
 
What is cache?
The cache is an area of the hard disc where web pages are stored when a page is downloaded from the Internet. It allows for recently viewed pages to be viewed more rapidly or even offline.

What are cookies?
Cookies are storage files that collect personal information that you have provided to particular vendors on the internet (e.g., your name, address, phone number, things you have ordered, etc.).

What are the steps to erase internet history, cache and cookies?
Select your browser below for instructions

For Mac:
Safari FireFox
 
For PC:
Internet Explorer Fire Fox PC
* Document Created By: Arkansas Legal Services Partnership.

For information regarding Safety and Privacy in the Digital World please visit the National Online Resource on Violence Against Women. Also see, Smartphones are Used to Stalk, Control Domestic Violence Victims on All Tech Considered: Tech, Culture and Connection.