can be very helpful to victims of domestic violence, sexual violence,
and stalking, however it is important to also consider how technology
might be misused.
1. Trust your instincts.
If you suspect the abusive person knows too much, it is possible that
your phone, computer, email, or other activities are being monitored.
Abusers and stalkers can act in incredibly persistent and creative ways
to maintain power and control.
2. Plan for safety.
Navigating violence, abuse and stalking is very difficult and
dangerous. Advocates at the National Domestic Violence Hotline have
been trained on technology issues, and can discuss options and help you
in your safety planning. Local hotline advocates can also help you plan
for safety. Call our 24-hour Hotline at (503) 842-9486.
3. Take precautions if you have a "techy" abuser.
If computers and technology are a profession or a hobby for the
abuser/stalker, trust your instincts. If you think he/she may be
monitoring or tracking you, talk to a Crisis Line advocate or the
4. Use a safer computer. If anyone abusive has
access to your computer, he/she might be monitoring your computer
activities. Try to use a safer computer when you look for help, a new
place to live, etc. It may be safest to use a computer at a public
library, community center or a restaurant that offers Internet access.
5. Create a new email account.
If you suspect that anyone abusive can access your email, consider
creating an additional email account on a safer computer. Do not create
or check this new email from a computer your abuser could access, in
case it is monitored. Use an anonymous name and account: (example:
firstname.lastname@example.org, not YourRealName@email.com) Look for free web-based
email accounts and do not provide detailed information about yourself.
6. Check your cell phone settings.
If you are using a cell phone provided by the abusive person, consider
turning it off when not in use. Also, many phones let you to lock the
keys so a phone won't automatically answer or call if it is bumped.
When on, check the phone settings; if your phone has an optional
location service, you may want to switch the location feature off/on
via phone settings or by turning your phone on and off.
7. Change passwords & pin numbers.
Some abusers use victim's email and other accounts to impersonate and
cause harm. If anyone abusive knows or could guess your passwords,
change them quickly and frequently. Think about any password protected
accounts – online banking, voicemail, etc.
8. Minimize use of cordless phones or baby monitors.
If you don't want others to overhear your conversations, turn baby
monitors off when not in use and use a traditional corded phone for
9. Use a donated or new cell phone. When
making or receiving private calls or arranging escape plans, try not to
use a shared or family cell phone because cell phone billing records
and phone logs might reveal your plans to an abuser. Contact the Women's Resource Center to learn about donation programs that provide new cell
phones and/or prepaid phone cards to victims of abuse and stalking.
10. Ask about your records and data. Many
court systems and government agencies are publishing records to the
Internet. Ask agencies how they protect or publish your records and
request that court, government, post office and others seal or restrict
access to your files to protect your safety.
11. Get a private mailbox and don't give out your real address.
When asked by businesses, doctors, and others for your address, have a
private mailbox address or a safer address to give them. Try to keep
your true residential address out of national databases.
12. Search for your name on the Internet.
Major search engines such as Google or Yahoo may have links to your
contact information. Search for your name in quotation marks: "Full
Name" Check phone directory pages because unlisted numbers might be
listed if you have given the number to anyone.
24-hour helpline: (503) 842-9486 or toll free in Oregon 1 (800) 992-1679
Tillamook County Women's Resource Center, 1902 2nd Street, Tillamook, OR 97141 (503) 842-9486 ♦ 1-800-992-1679 ♦ TTY 1-800-877-8973 Office Hours: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday