Protecting Yourself Online

Staying safe while accessing information online

If you are worried that your partner is or may be monitoring you online, or that your phone activities may be monitored, you need to protect yourself.

Abusive partners will often try and monitor everything you do, offline and online, in order to keep you under their control and restrict your access to support and help.

If you can, try to use a computer or phone that your partner does not have direct or remote access to.

If you are planning on leaving an abusive relationship, this safety planning guide has some practical advice on how to leave safely.

Using your phone and email

If you can use the phone of someone you trust to access information and services relating to your situation, this may be safer than using your own phone.

If you can only use your own phone or computer:

  • Avoid using emails to talk to someone about your situation. They are easy to access even after deleted and can be hacked. If you can safely call a helpline or someone you trust, do that instead.
  • Delete any incoming and outgoing calls from your recent calls that might put you at risk.
  • Delete any text messages you have sent or received that may put you at risk of abuse.
  • Try to memorize helpline or support numbers instead of storing them in your phone. If you have to, save them under a safe name – make one up or use a family or friend’s name.

Even if you delete calls and messages, your partner may still see them if he has access to your phone bill for instance. So the safer option would be to use a phone your partner has no access to.

Online Safety

If you are worried that your online activities are being monitored, try to use a safer computer that your partner does not have direct or remote access to.

This could be in an internet café, a public library or the phone or computer of someone you trust.

Even after you clear or delete your browser history and online activities, it can still be easily accessed and your partner may still be able to find out what you have been accessing online.

Someone does not need to have special IT or computer skills to monitor another person’s computer or internet activities. There are so many ways one can monitor your online activities, even without having access to your phone or computer.

For free and confidential support Call our Domestic Abuse 24/7 Helpline