Social media and technology have changed the way we interact and conduct our routine business. Unfortunately, abusers and stalkers often use technology to abuse or control a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
You can be abused or stalked through social media, texting, email, and more.
Trust your instincts. If you think you’re being harassed or stalked through technology, you’re probably right.
Get help at Susan B. Anthony Project 860.482.7133, or call one of the national hotlines listed here:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline 1.800.799.7233
- National Sexual Assault Hotline 1.800.656.4673
- National Human Trafficking Hotline 1.888.373.7888
Look for patterns to identify misused technology. Carefully try to figure out which technology is being used to harass, stalk, or monitor you. Is someone watching you at home? In your car?
Document incidents of stalking or harassing behavior. Always be sure to save or print any evidence of stalking or harassing behavior on your phone or computer.
Report the incidents to law enforcement. Keep a detailed log of your reports to authorities, including the date, time, and name of the person you spoke with when making your report.
General safety tips: Is someone monitoring your computer? Online accounts? Your cell phone? Your location?
- If you suspect you’re being watched on your computer, do not use that computer. Use another one.
- Regularly change the usernames and passwords on your online accounts. Create new accounts with complex passwords. Do not use the same password on multiple accounts. Consider creating a new email address.
- Check your cell phone settings. Turn off bluetooth and location.
- Make sure you know what each of the apps on your cell phone is. If you don’t recognize an app, delete it. An abuser or stalker could have downloaded an app on your phone.
- Get a new cell phone and put a new passcode on it.
- Have your car checked. If your abuser knows where you are at all times, it may because your car has a hidden location device on it.
- Limit the information you give out about yourself at stores, businesses, and online. Abusers will use your likes and interests to attempt to manipulate you.
- Get a P.O. Box or check on address confidentiality programs. Susan B. Anthony Project can help you with this.
- Check your house thoroughly for hidden cameras. If your computer or tablet has a built-in camera, consider disabling or covering it.
- Do not respond to messages asking for nude or sexual images. Block and report that individual. Screenshot the messages if you choose to bring them to law enforcement. Sextortion is a crime, as is eliciting nude images from a minor child.
- Make your online accounts private. Only accept requests from accounts you recognize.
Read more about technology safety from National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV).