DVRP | Article

Internet and Phone Safety

Close monitoring and surveillance is a controlling tactic that many abusers use.

Internet and phone activity can be tracked through many ways and there is no sure way to eliminate the record of all the activity from a computer or telephone records. Therefore, you should take precautionary measures when using technology such as computers or phones.

For internet:

  • Computers can provide a lot of information about what you look at on the Internet, the emails you send, and other activities. It is not possible to delete or clear all computer “footprints.”
  • If you feel that your internet activity could be tracked with your computer at home or at work, you might consider no home Internet use or try using computers in a public library, at a Community Technology Center (CTC), a trusted family member, co-worker, or friend’s computer, or go to an internet café.  (Example: Use a safer computer to research an escape plan or avoid researching jobs for California if you are planning on moving there and the abuser has access to the computer.)
  • Do not store passwords to automatically sign into an email account, on-line banking account, or other log-in accounts that require passwords.
  • Consider clearing your ‘temporary internet files‘ (browser cache)
  • Save harassing emails as evidence.

For phones:

  • Avoid using cell phones or cordless phones because it is easier to track caller history. Try using “land lines” or phones that are “corded” into the wall.
  • If you use cell phones or cordless phones, delete numbers by going to through the caller history on the phone. (However, this does NOT delete caller history from phone bills.)
  • If you dial numbers to hotlines or domestic violence agencies, dial another number right after calling so that anyone who presses “redial” will not reach that number.
  • If you want a cell phone that can only be used for emergency purposes to call 911, some domestic violence agencies, such as DVRP, have donated cell phones to give away.