Online Safety

Each page of this website has a ‘Safety Exit’ button at the bottom right of your screen.  If you need to leave the website quickly click on this button and your browser will redirect to the Google home page.

Staying safe on social media

Keeping your details and whereabouts restricted can be difficult especially if you use social media to share information or photos.

To avoid unintended sharing of information about you on social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat you need to:

  • Ensure you do not have location services switched on in your phone or iPad or any other device that you use to photograph, make calls or send messages
  • Ensure your privacy settings are set appropriately on Facebook so that you cannot be tagged in photos without your permission and your posts shared to people you do not want
  • Do not accept friend requests from people you do not know or do not know well
  • Speak to people that you are friends with on Facebook and tell them what you want and block people who are not willing to meet your requests
  • Logout every time you access social media and do not share your passwords with anyone.

Maintaining your privacy and safety

Keeping your new location private and undisclosed

Some women who have left a violent relationship may choose to keep their new contact details private. This may increase their sense of safety and security. If this is what you want, it is important that you explain this to all the people that you share your new details with and ask that they respect your need for privacy. You may choose to use a post office box address for your mail and on documents. You can also apply to have your address withheld on the electoral role.

Safety tips for smartphones

Your mobile phone is an important safety device. We suggest you have your phone fully charged and with you at all times. However, your phone can also be used to track your location, to listen in on your conversations and to eavesdrop on your text messages and emails.

To help you stay safe:

  • Lock your smartphone and do not give the PIN to anyone.
  • Turn off the GPS (location settings) on your phone and Facebook.
  • Turn off Bluetooth on your phone when not in use.
  • Avoid buying or using a “jail-broken” phone as this phone will be more vulnerable to spyware.
  • Talk to close friends and family members; ask them to have their phone on standby in case of an emergency call. You may want to have a ‘safe’ word/phrase to let them know you’re in trouble.
  • Memorise useful numbers such as DV Connect (1 800 81 1 81 1 ), DVPC (07 5532 9000) and those of your close friends and family members. Remember, your phone is usually the first casualty in a violent struggle.

Smart phones with internet capability are the most vulnerable to being used to spy and monitor you. Spyware can be installed on a smart phone with relative ease and will enable another person to track calls, location, conversations, emails and browsing history. Spyware can also turn your phone into a microphone, allowing the perpetrator to hear everything you’re saying…even with the phone turned off.

If you are concerned that your phone has spyware installed take the phone to your service provider and ask them to investigate for you.

If you do want to be certain that a conversation is not recorded or overheard you should remove the battery, if possible, from the phone or leave it at another location.

Old fashioned mobile phones without internet capability are still available and cheap and allow you to receive and make calls and are not able to be tracked or hacked.

If you suspect that your partner is monitoring you, DON’T suddenly change your phone or computer habits. For example, don’t erase your entire browsing history on your computer. Instead, you can browse for jobs, housing or DV support in “incognito” mode, meaning that internet sites your visit will not show up on your history. You can temporarily go “incognito” by pressing CTR SHIFT N on your computer (CMD SHIFT N on a Mac).

Technology Abuse Wheel

Adapted from:
Domestic Abuse Intervention Project
Duluth, MN 218/722-4134