|Technological Abuse is an emerging form of abuse that is linked to stalking, psychological abuse and other forms of violence. This form uses technology to directly or indirectly intimidate, harass, monitor or stalk victims. Victims may not even know that this form of abuse has been occurring for some time (e.g. Personal information posted on websites, tracking devices in cars). Some examples are: use of telephone, email, GPS, spyware, listening devices, hidden cameras, keystroke logging hardware, websites & social networking sites. |
Using the Internet Safely
There is a lot of useful information on the internet about domestic violence. It can help you to identify abusive behaviour and get information about ways to stop the violence. However, if your abuser uses the same computer as you, they may be able to find out what web pages you have been looking at! The best way to avoid this is to use a different computer - perhaps at a friend's place, work, an internet cafe or a public library. To keep emails secret, create a new email account and only use this account at a computer that your abuser can't use. If you choose to use the home computer, there are steps you can take to make it harder for someone to know what you are doing.
- Change your login password, and the password on your email account regularly, and make sure it is a password that your abuser can't guess (it should have letters and numbers in it). Make sure the box that says "remember my password on this computer" is not ticked.
- When you have finished using email, click the sign out button.
- Your internet browser keeps a list of sites recently visited, and someone who uses the computer after you can look at this list. The links below give instructions about how to delete the list. You need to delete the list every time you use the internet.
Internet Explorer: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/ie6/using/howto/customizing/clearcache.mspx
- Use a different browser. You can download browsers, such as Opera (http://www.opera.com/) or Firefox (http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/), for free.
- Save the program in a folder, and don't put a shortcut on the desktop.
- Someone who is very determined to know what you are doing with your computer could install "spyware" or key logging software on your computer. This software records everything you have typed and every webpage you have looked at.
Some anti-virus programs protect against spyware, but the best way to protect yourself is use a computer that your abuser cannot use. All browsers automatically collect and save details on sites you have visited on the Internet. A person who knows how to read your computer's history or cache file (automatically saved web pages) can access the resulting files to view your Internet activities.
The safest way to surf the Net without risk of your abuser tracking your Internet activities is to do so at a public library, a friend's house, or at your workplace. If using your home computer, delete the cache files in your computer in order to prevent other people from discovering your Internet activities.
To delete all records of history of activities from your computer, carry out the following steps:
- Go to Start Button
- Open Windows Control Panel
- Click on Internet Options
- Click on General
- In this Menu Box - click on delete files
- In the Same Menu Box- click on clear history