Internet and Computer Safety

If you are in danger or need crisis intervention, please:

  • Call 911
  • Call your local hotline
  • Call a national hotline:
  • Call the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), 1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673) which automatically connects you to a local U.S. rape crisis program near your phone number's area code.
  • Call the National Center for Victims of Crime Victim Service Helpline, 1-800-FYI-CALL or 1-800-211-7996 (TTY/TDD)
  • Remember that “corded” phones are more private and less interceptable than cordless phones or analog cell phones.
  • Be aware you may not be able to reach 911 using an Internet phone or Internet-based phone service. So you may need to be prepared to use another phone to call 911.

If you are in danger, please try to use a safer computer that someone abusive does not have direct or remote (hacking) access to.

  • If you think your activities are being monitored, they probably are. You don’t need to be a computer programmer or have special skills to monitor someone’s computer and Internet activities.
  • It is not possible to delete or clear all the “footprints" of your computer or online activities. If you are being monitored, it may be dangerous to change your computer behaviors such as suddenly deleting your entire Internet history if that is not your regular habit.
  • If you think you may be monitored on your home computer, be careful how you use your computer since the person that is tracking what you do might become suspicious. You may want to keep using the monitored computer for activities like looking up the weather. Use a safer computer to research finding services or asking for help.
  • Email and Instant/Text Messaging (IM) are not safe or confidential ways to talk to someone about the abuse in your life. If possible, please call a hotline instead. If you use email or IM, please use a safer computer and an account your abuser does not know about.
  • Computers can store a lot of private information about what you look at via the Internet, the emails and instant messages you send, internet-based phone and IP-TTY calls you make, web-based purchases and banking, and many other activities.
  • It might be safer to use a computer in a public library, at a community technology center (CTC) at a trusted friend’s house, or an Internet Café.

For more information about internet safety, please read Some Safety Considerations around Using Technology.