On every page of this website, there is a button that says ‘Exit this site NOW’. Click on this button if anyone (particularly your abuser) enters the room while you are using this website. It will close this website and redirect your browser to a neutral web page.
Abusers often use ways of controlling or monitoring their victim’s actions, which can include their online activities. Internet browsers generally record the websites that an Internet user has visited, and ‘spyware’ and ‘keylogging’ programs can allow a computer user’s actions to be tracked without them being aware of it.
If you are in an abusive relationship, there are some precautions that you should take when using the Internet.
- Clear your Internet history. While it is difficult to completely delete your Internet history, you can make it less readily accessible. Please read instructions for Windows, Mac and iPhone.
- Use a safer computer. If you need to use the Internet, try to use a computer at work, a public library, community centre, a trustworthy friend’s house, an Internet café, or a women’s refuge. This is particularly important if you are looking at sensitive websites. It is safer to use a computer that is less accessible to your abuser.
- Be careful when communicating online. Because messages sent through email accounts, social networking sites (such as Facebook) and instant messaging services can be tracked and recorded, it is preferable to use other ways of seeking help, if they are available to you. These could include telephoning a domestic violence helpline, women’s refuge or the NSW Police Force. After communicating online, always ensure that you properly log out of websites.
- Create an alternative email account. Do not create or use an alternative account on any computer that your abuser may have access to. Create an anonymous user name and account you can use on a safer computer, but do not provide detailed information about yourself.
- Protect or change your passwords. Choose passwords for your email and other online accounts (such as online banking accounts) that would be difficult for your abuser to guess, particularly by avoiding personal details such as birthdays, nicknames or family details. You should also try to avoid sharing your passwords with other people.