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May 21, 2012

Safety on the Internet for Abuse Victims

Safety on the Internet for Abuse Victims.............
  • First, insure that whatever e-mail address you use do NOT use your real name, birth date, or even town or state if you are being stalked by an abuser.  An abuser can put your name into google, and find many of your public postings, information, and e-mail addresses this way.  Make up a name!  Whatever name you've always liked!  Skimp on your age a little, wouldn't you love to be a little younger? Use this e-mail address ONLY in safe non-public groups and NEVER give this e-mail address to your abuser or anyone that knows your abuser.  Use another account for that if need be.
  • There are hundreds of ways that computers record everything you do on the computer and on the Internet.
  • If you are in danger, please try to use a safer computer that someone abusive does not have direct access, or even remote (hacking) access to.
  • It might be safer to use a computer in a public library, at a Community Technology Center (CTC) www.ctcnet.org (national directory), at a trusted friend's house, or an Internet Café.
  • If you think your activities are being monitored, they probably are. Abusive people are often controlling and want to know your every move. You don't need to be a computer programmer or have special skills to monitor someone's computer activities - anyone can do it and there are many ways to monitor.
  • Computers can provide a lot of information about what you look at on the Internet, the emails you send, and other activities. It is not possible to delete or clear all computer "footprints".
  • If you think you may be monitored on your home computer, you might consider no home Internet use or "safer" Internet surfing. Example: If you are planning to flee to California, don't look at classified ads for jobs and apartments, bus tickets, etc for California on a home computer or any computer an abuser has physical or remote access to. Use a safer computer to research an escape plan.
  1. Do not store passwords, as it makes it extremely easy for the abuser to access information.
  2. If emails are sent, delete them from the send box and then delete the email from the deleted items box.
  3. If harassing emails are received from abuser, save them as evidence.
  4. Use a web-based email services, like Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail.  Try to use a web-based e-mail service that the abuser doesn't know you use.
  5. Choose passwords that are not easy to guess, such as a combination of letters and numbers.
  6. Keep all personal files on a disk and make all files password accessible.
  7. Empty "Recycle Bin" before shutting down the computer. The Recycle/Trash Bin holds all deleted files until it is manually emptied. Until it is manually emptied, the abuser will be able to see files, which have been deleted, since they have not permanently left the computer. Emptying the Recycle Bin permanently deletes all items.
  8. Make sure the "Use Inline Autocomplete" box is NOT selected. The function will complete a partial web address, giving the abuser the entire address the victim has visited. If using Internet Explorer, this box can be found on the MS Internet Explorer page by clicking on the "View" icon at the top, then "Internet Options" and the "Advanced" tab. About halfway down, there is a "Use Autocomplete" box that can be checked and unchecked by clicking on it. Make sure it is unchecked.
History / Cache file: if an abuser knows how to read your computer's history or cache file (automatically saved web pages and graphics), he or she may be able to see information you have viewed recently on the internet.

You can clear your history or empty your cache file in your browser's settings.*
  • Netscape:
    Pulldown Edit menu, select Preferences. Click on Navigator on choose 'Clear History'. Click on Advanced then select Cache. Click on "Clear Disk Cache".
    On older versions of Netcape: Pulldown Options menu. Select Network Options, Select Cache. Click on "Clear Disk Cache".
  • Internet Explorer:
    Pull down Tools menu, select Internet Options. On General page, under Temporary Internet Files, click on "Delete Files." If asked, check the box to delete all offline content. Still within the Temporary Internet Files section, click on Settings. (This next step may make it harder to navigate pages where you'd like your information to be remembered, but these remaining cookies do show website pages you have visited. Therefore, use your own judgment as to whether or not to take this next step). Click on "View Files." Manually highlight all the files (cookies) shown, then hit Delete. Close that window, then on General page under History section, click on "Clear History."
  • AOL:
    Pulldown Members menu, select Preferences. Click on WWW icon. Then select Advanced. Purge Cache.

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