Technology and Stalking
Abusers often limit victims’ access to transportation, monitor telephone calls and letters, and engage in stalking to track the victim’s location. As technology has expanded to include cell phones, internet, email, and GPS devices, abusers have found ways to use these tools to frighten, stalk, monitor, and control their victims.
You don’t need to be a computer programmer or have special skills to monitor someone’s computer and Internet activities – anyone can do it and there are many ways to monitor with programs like Spyware, keystroke loggers and hacking tools.
It is not possible to delete or clear all the “footprints” of your computer or online activities.
Did you know?
- Someone can monitor your computer use with your knowledge
- A “history” on your computer cannot be completely erased
- Your cell phone use can be monitored
- A global positioning system (GPS) tracker can be placed on your car, in your purse, or on your phone
- Email is like a postcard and can be intercepted
- Remember that landline phones are more private and less prone to interception than cordless phones or cell phones.
- Be aware you may not be able to reach 911 using an Internet phone or Internet-based phone service. You may need to be prepared to use another phone to call 911. Also know that any cell phone, even those without minutes or a contract, will still call911. Contact the YWCA to learn about free cell phone donation programs.
- If you receive harassing emails, save them as evidence.
- Use a web-based email service like Yahoo or Gmail. Choose passwords that are not easy to guess and change passwords often.
- Do not let your computer save your passwords.
- Keep your files on a removable disk and put passwords on them to deter access.
- Be sure your surfing history remains as confidential as possible.