Your ex-partner may be using technology to monitor, stalk, harass or threaten you. Sometimes you won’t know this is happening.
The safest thing you can do is use a device the abusive person cannot access.
But sometimes that’s not possible.
Steps you can take to keep safer
1. Change the “history” and remove “cookies” on your device:
- Devices use “browsers” to look at websites.
- Browsers keep a record of all the websites you visit. These are kept in the browser’s “cache.”
- Common browsers are Chrome, Safari, Edge, Internet Explorer, Firefox.
- If you can, delete only those activities you do not want your partner/ex-partner to see.
- Learn how to change your history: https://www.wikihow.com/Clear-Your-Browser’s-Cache
2. If you worry a message you have sent might be seen, you can:
- Delete texts. To find out how, search online for “how do I delete a text from my phone.”
- Delete emails from your “sent” folder.
- Remember, a copy of emails might be kept with your internet provider or webmail hosting service.
3. Change the passwords for all your accounts, including business, banking and social media:
- Choose passwords he will not likely guess.
- Don’t allow your browser to save your passwords.
4. If you shared a phone/internet provider/cable account before you separated:
- Remove your ex-partner’s name from the account so that he cannot get access to your records.
- Change your passwords.
- Even better, get a new phone and internet provider if possible.
5. Update privacy settings on your social media accounts and on your browser. For more information about how to do this, visit the Tech Safety Website.
6. Lock up and log out:
- Lock your phone.
- Log out of your accounts on your phone and computer.
- Some web accounts, like Gmail, may not automatically shut down.
- Change the settings so they do.
- Remove apps from your phone that won’t allow you to log out.
7. Hardware and software:
- Set up a firewall, install anti-virus and anti-spyware protection and keep software updated with help from tech-savvy friends or your local computer store if necessary.
- If possible, get a new computer and/or phone.
8. GPS on phones:
- If you turn off the GPS function on your phone, your ex-partner can’t use it to track you, but this also means that emergency responders won’t be able to use your phone to locate you.
- A GPS chip can be added to a phone, but it will drain the battery. If your phone battery dies quickly, a GPS or other spyware may have been installed on your phone.
- Contact your phone company or cell phone retailer to see if your phone has GPS. Consider asking them to remove it, or take your device to the police station and ask whether your ex-partner could be using it to stalk you. Make note of the officer’s badge number and response.
9. Be cautious about what you post online or send as a text or email:
- Your ex-partner could find out your plans by reading email and texts.
- He could try to get you to say things he can use against you in court.
- While your ex-partner may not be able to visit your social media page or account, other people may share this information with him or with people he knows.