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Internet Safety

CAUTION!

If at all possible use a computer that your abuser won’t access: perhaps one at a library, your work, a friend’s house, a family member’s house, or an internet café.

Computers leave many digital traces of your activity in the form of “cookies” or “cache”, as well as your internet browser history. These traces are nearly impossible to remove completely, and can easily show which sites you have visited. However if you must use a computer that your abuser has access to, the following will give you some measure of protection.

What You Can Do

You can delete many traces of your web browsing. However, files can be recovered even after they’re deleted.

Also, your abuser might notice that you’ve deleted them and become suspicious or angry. You can say you've heard or read that temporary history files slow your computer and waste space. While this is generally true, it might not be a convincing excuse.

Rather than relying on these techniques, we recommend you use a safe computer if at all possible.

Deleting Some Traces of Your Browsing

Toolbars

Other Security Features

Most browsers provide other security and privacy features. For example, some let you:

It's worth getting familiar with your browser's special features. You can normally find these on the Tools menu under Options, or on the Edit menu under Preferences.

E-Mail Safety

For your safety, if you are emailing about domestic violence, do not use an email account that your abuser has access to or you think he/she may try to access. Your abuser may be able to see the emails you have sent, and even may recover emails that you have deleted. If you need to email about domestic violence, if at all possible create a new account that your abuser doesn't know about, and access it on a safe computer. Be sure to pick an email name and password that your abuser won't be able to guess. If an abuser sends you threatening or harassing e-mail messages, they may be printed and saved as evidence of this abuse.
Be aware of how records of your emails can be accessed: