Internet Security

Never assume you are not being watched

Computer use can be monitored.  The tracks you leave are impossible to clear completely. If you are afraid your internet and/or computer usage might be monitored, chances are they are.  Please use a safer computer. Some suggestions would be your local library, a friend’s house, or place of work.

Be Safe

Unless you know your account is secure and you change your password frequently, your abuser may be able to access your incoming and outgoing mail.  Also, email messages can also be intercepted in transit.  If you are at risk, make sure your emails are encrypted.  A basic internet search will tell you how to encrypt your messages for the email software application you use.  Be sure to delete sent messages from your sent folders and also from your deleted messages. 
Instant Messaging
Anyone with hacking skills can access your instant messaging communications and capture your text exchange. Additionally, some applications leave logs on your computer that can be read after the exchange is over.
Password security
Change your password to your email and other online accounts often.  If your computer asks if you would like to save your password or login information, always choose “no”.  When composing a password, be sure to use a combination of letters, numbers and special characters that others will not be able to guess. And, above all, do not write your password down in a location your abuser will look.  The first places one searches is in your checkbook, wallet, calendar, and on or around your computer.
Without your knowledge, spyware can be installed onto your computer and give your abuser ways to track and monitor your computer activities.  Be aware.
The sites you visit are captured in your computer’s history and/or cached files.  In most cases, it is nearly impossible to completely and safely remove all traces.  Again, it is better to use a computer at the library, a friend’s house, or at work. 
Cell phone/text messaging
Both your cell phone and text messaging can be monitored. Eavesdropping is made easy by someone tapping into the microphone on your cell.  Plus, those text message you delete - they can still be read.  It only takes a few minutes for someone to install software to record your messages and watch your every move. Also, a global positioning system (GPS) can be placed on your car, in your purse, or in your cell phone. GPS tracking will let your abuser track your location step-by-step. Is any phone safe? As far as your mobile/cell phone is concerned, there is not much you can do to safeguard yourself. Look for traditional land lines and corded phones (not cordless) as they are more private, therefore, safer.
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Please note that communications over the Internet are not confidential and can be traced. If you are in danger of being monitored, please use a safe computer. For more information on Internet Safety, click here.

If you need help, call The Julian Center 24-Hour Crisis Line at (317) 920-9320.