Internet & email safety
Always keep in mind that a computer might be monitored when you use it and be careful with what you send others or post. Computers store information about the websites you visit, meaning bills you pay, purchases you make, and emails you send can all be retrieved.
Using safe browsing practices (like using a VPN) can help prevent people from tracking your history. You can also access safe computers at local libraries or shelters, but avoid using shared computers when researching things like travel plans, housing options, legal issues, or safety plans. Also be careful with what you send others.
It’s essential to document abuse when it happens, especially if it takes place over the phone or online.
Your partner may admit to abusive behaviors or reference them in a message or online post, but since digital evidence is often fleeting, it’s important to secure documentation quickly. Print out emails, text messages, or screenshots that contain evidence like admissions of abuse, threats of violence, or pictures you didn’t consent to, and if possible, record voicemails onto a digital recorder with the time and date included.
Be sure to keep everything you document somewhere that your partner can’t access. It can help to create a secret email address specifically for the purpose of documenting abuse with a password only you know, or to keep everything hidden in a place they never go.
Email is one of the most common ways to keep in touch with trusted friends, family members, and others: chances are most of the people in your life use email to some degree. Partners who are abusive often know this and exploit it to their advantage. They may have access to your account or send or delete emails without your knowledge.
If you’re concerned about your safety, consider opening a new email account that your partner doesn’t know about on a safe computer and use that email for safety planning (including documenting abuse) and sensitive communications.
Try to establish several different methods of communication to contact people so you’ll know if they tried to reach you elsewhere.
Keep monitored accounts active with non-critical communications so your partner won’t be suspicious. Encrypted email services may also offer an extra layer of security.
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