Technology tips for domestic violence and stalking victims

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We love technology. So it’s disturbing when it’s used to threaten or harass people – especially domestic violence and stalking victims.  

With computers and mobile phones, abusers have more tools for stalking. They can install spyware to hack into your email, use Bluetooth or GPS to track your every move, even secretly turn on your device’s camera or microphone to watch and listen to you.

Online safety is important for everyone but for domestic violence victims, these tips may be particularly useful: 

  • Use strong passwords and change them frequently. Make sure you have passwords on your phone, computer and all online accounts. Keep your passwords private.
  • If you think someone may be monitoring you, then try to use a safer computer – one that the abuser does not have access to. It’s especially important to use a safer computer if you are researching an escape plan, new jobs or a place to live.
  • Change usernames and passwords of your online accounts on the safer computer. Then, don’t log into those accounts on any computer that you think is monitored.

Abusers may not stop at your computer. If you’re using a mobile phone, here are a few more things to consider:

  • Know where your phone is at all times. Malware, spyware and tracking apps can be installed in just a few minutes.
  • Check your phone’s settings. Bluetooth and GPS can be used to track you. A victim advocate can help strategize a specific tech safety plan for your situation.
  • If you think your phone is being monitored, get a new one. The safest thing is to get a new phone with an account that the abuser does not have access to. Remember to put a password on your new phone, then disable Bluetooth and GPS.

Additional information and resources on domestic violence are available through the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE. If you think you may be in danger right now, call 911.

Comments

Is there a way of knowing if your devices have been hacked?

Unfortunately, there is no good way to know for sure if your devices have been hacked. In fact, many stalking apps are specifically designed to be hidden and unrecognizable. That’s why the best advice is: if you think someone may be monitoring your device, then try to get a new one or use a safer one – one that the abuser does not have access to.

Yes my phone was compromised. I need to either buy a new one or change my number.Technology is great but it also allows wackos to trace you.

Yes, my abuser and his mother have played a huge role in hacking me, my close friends, family member's and co-workers It's been ridiculous replacing phone's and even desktops and laptop's. It's scary, been embarrassing, and dangerous for us. Not only have i replaced device's several times, we have had to relocate alot.sometimes,purchasing another device doesnt always do the trick. Changing e-mails, losing touch w/ friends & family because they are afraid to communicate because of these ppl. Being so dangerous. Their has been 2 deaths now in the hands of this family. It Hurts and it's exactly what they wanted. Im dealing with 2 abusers. 1 has been physically and mentally abusive, & stalking the other just a stalker with several aliases it's not safe to have a Facebook account-thats too easily able to be hacked. My abuser openly admitted how they know how to jail break phones & bragged how easy it is to hack Facebook's & they showed us by hacking in the middle of a conversation These ppl have violated ppo orders. Im keeping you in my prayers this isn't the case for your circumstances. Charges couldn't be pressed due to the grandmother's main residence being accross state lines. I think it's SAD how the system works! They are here in my state, same county. I will never understood how ppl like this get away with these bad behaviors...plz do yourself a favor and wait to use gour devices for nothing more than strictly ohine calls. It's appalling what these new hack apps go to our abusers. There is 0 privacy

I think my phone has been hacked and my computer and my tvs he. are tbey even play songs for me on my smart tv and he listen to me through my tv and my computer Why I don't know

I need a victim advocate to help find a secure, safe place to live. I would like it to be in the town/neighborhood I have lived in for the past 5 years for a temporary plan. (I know a few wonderful families in the development I live in now.)Mostly know through teaching and previous jobs. I do not have current phone #'s anymore due to ID theft, work, other family stuff, etc. I thought I was following the guidelines of govt church, family. etc. to better myself and in help better my son to make his adolescent/young adult years easier and less confrontational. IT BACKFIRED ON ME. My son is a smart, responsible, hard working young man caught in the middle of a horrific divorce and will pay the price forever. It was my first marriage and I waited until I was financially secure to have a child. I love children and spent many years raising other family's children. For several summers I was a nanny to 9 children. I have taught in pre-schools, etc. I love my son and just want peace and honesty for him and our families. Chase is great.

Hi i hope you got help. I need to meet connect with people like you. My stalker will not stop and has abducted my don eventhough I have a custody order. He brought my son. If you still come to site please list any national groups that may help.

Is it possible if your home have a renovation and required electrical wiring for new electrical outlets for appliances ,such as landline tel. outlets it can be hacked? And can be connected to a hackers Computers remotely monitored,the home owner activities inside the house,

I tried to add number to do not call registry but was unable to do so because the call was placed from my own phone number. I know this has to be a scam and would like to report it. Please note that this is not the first call I have received from myself and know of others who have had the same exerience.

Sounds like someone is tapping into your phone line to call you from your own phone. And for them to do that they would have to either be some where in your house, out side your house up on the telephone pole or at the main telephone box that control all the phones in your area. I would contact the telephone company and have them invwestigate it. It could be one of their workers for them to have that knowledge. I know this because my father was a electrical engineer. And he taught me stuff like this.

Scammers can fake the caller ID information that you see on your phone. That's called caller ID spoofing, and new technology makes it very easy to do. The fraudulent telemarketer may want you to think the call is from your bank, or another place you've done business with. Sometimes, the telephone number may show up as "unknown" or "123456789."

I will talk now

NONE OF THE ABOVE DOES ANYTHING TO STOP THE STALKER AND WHATEVER EVIDENCE YOU HAVE IN WIRTING FROM THE STALKER IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR PROSECUTION. a LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL HAS TO HEAR THE STALKER SAYING HE IS GOING TO KILL YOU IN FRONT OF THEM AND THEY MIGHT TALK TO HIM BUT THEY WILL NOT ARREST HIM BECAUSE IT IS A MISDEANOR TO THREATEN AND STALK SOMEONE AND THEY CANNOT BE BOTHERED WITH MISDEAMEANORS

That's the fn truth I'm gonna be dead before he stops and we have proof. Apple AND VERIZON!! I have an op and he is destroying my life. Apple helped, Verizon helped, I got new routers and accounts it doesn't matter unless they stop and no one believes it or cares. Basically if this is your life you know that death will be the only stopping

I'm going through the same things. I moved and switched to sprint. I'm totally being cyber bullied and no one believes me they think I must be crazy and on drugs. I feel so alone.

he's been doing it for over 16 yrs, the audio recordings from my cell now replay for friends/fam, they think im crazy and i've never called them, the home phone the cell phone, every pc i use, every call i make, he interrupts them with a digital/human voice, frightens fam

Did he have to have possession of your phone in order to do this? Because 2 of my phone calls have been interrupted by a demonic sounding voice. One, I wasn't even near my home?

We've had a hacking that we have not been able to stop. Changing passwords adding more verification, didn't work. We got another new computer and router. Set passwords. Installed trusted security software. And this it seems only slows at best we believe it all started around 9 months ago. I think from the mobile device that received a virus and from there it spread. And in only a weeks time our memory was just about full. Also my husbands apple account began having activity not him. Other emails were created and services my husband never enabled with Apple, Yahoo and Google. I see some of what they are doing but still not positive. Seems like its social but we see micropayments and commerce sites. Im at a lose. All new everything and still it starts all over.

My ex is very tech savy and has access to my personal inforamation without my permission and knowledge. My personal computer has been doing weird stuff with information just disappearing as I try to view it, my curser being moved to a different part on the page, and files being open up or closed without my doing. I don't know how to get it stopped but I am tired of this blantant violation of privacy and harassment. My cell phone is no better. I have gotten a basic phone, one that does not have GPS and internet on it to hopefully have a more secure line, but I have come to realize that a hacker especially a motivated one, will stop at nothing to harass. Do you have any suggestions on how I can make my technology more secure. Financially, I can replace the phone, but not the labtop too quickly. Thank you for your assistance.

If your computer is acting up and you’re worried about malware, read this article with tips about how to detect malware and get rid of it. You can find more information about computer security at onguardonline.gov.

My cellphone is being tapped by my next door neighbor and also he can see everything that goes on in my apartment, he doesn't mind letting me know these abilities he has on spying on me. The land lord knows exactly what's going on because he's in my neighbors apartment sometimes when the spying is going on, I hear them laughing about certain activities that goes on in my apt. I've called the police say they're going to talk with the neighbor, but nothing ever changes instead it gets worse.

If you think your phone is being monitored, get a new one. The safest thing is to get a new phone with an account that the abuser does not have access to. Remember to put a password on your new phone, then disable Bluetooth and GPS.

Check the settings on the phone you have now. A person could use Bluetooth or GPS to track you. Disable the Bluetooth and GPS. A victim advocate can help strategize a specific tech safety plan for your situation.

Some one has been stalking me for about 8. Months they hacked my computer and tvs tbey listen to everything I say in my home they even have a tracking on my phone and app so tbey know where I am I wrote a letter to tbe police department months ago they even listen to my phone calls and read my text I was told tbat it under investigaion but it is still going on I am not trying to cause any one trouble but I don't want to be stalked tbey even watch me I reallg don't know why someone would do all of this lleass check into it

Where or to whom would one report internet stalking?
I have been stalked by someone who is not only doing this to me but others as well and I am certain that the Feds could make light work of putting him away.

You can report it to your local FBI field office.

My hacking has started since 2012. My husband told me, he met a man by the name of Chris... In his words.. "Oh my god, babe,.. I met this guy. His name is Chris and he's a God on the computer. He took my computer and liked it down so no one can penetrate it." I looked at him as to what does he have on the computer that needed so much security?... Soon after this. We broke up! Then, the hacking started. They atacked my company's register. Where I can no longer ring up sales and credit cards were being declined. Even a black American Express Card. They atacked my cell phone. I would go to the police station to complain and all they would do is throw there arm around me and say.. " Honey, we don't even have computers in our car, how are we supposed to help you?" That was their response. I went and purchased new equipment. Only, for it to happen AGAIN. I went back to the police and they looked at me and treated me like I was crazy. I did a little history research on my computers cookies, and kepted finding the certain companies which supposedly help retain your data privately. When I went to investigate who owns these companies... and guy name Chris and now. I have his last name as well. My husband smokes pot. So, the dealer he gets it from is part of a new crowd my husband is hanging out with. So, I asked the dope dealer if he had Chris's number because I was having computer problems and Chris was helping me. The dealer was a little skeptical and he asked me... "Ahhh how do you know Chris? Thru Kelly?" I said duh... And he said.. " but, you know you can't call him at this hour? (10pm eastern time) I said I know... Then he proceeded to give me Chris's cell number. Now, I have collected. This hackers first and last name, his cell phone number, his picture from linken, his relatives, his businesses which match my cookies and so on... By the time,..to make a long story short,.. I finally got the police involved. I have gone thru. 21 cell phones. With different carriers and different names, 4 laptops, 5 iPads and numerous desktops ALL HACKED! I went to the mayor for help, the FBI, the local authorities, and even secret service for help. When secret service confirmed to me this Chris on my phone lines. However, since my company wasn't a Fortune 500 company secret service bounced me back to local authorities. I even contacted FCC. You name it? I've called it, and with no help in sight. By now.. I have lost my company. My means of income were attacked first, causing a dominos affect. I then, had to sell off little by little all my assets in order to survive. They hacked everything. My tv's, bluray players, even my Mercedes. Unlocking it everywhere I went. I even caught a guy on my Google +1 account where he works for Oracle in Chicago. I have all of his information as well. They would even come by my home at 4am and wake me up, with the dogs barking and when I would go outside. They would hide. I mean, a full blown attack. By now, I'm suffering from hypertension blood pressure, and my nerves were and still are completely broken down. I went from 154 pds. to 112 and still no help. To the point where my local authorities threaten me to baker act me. If I called them one more time. My story goes on and on. I even got punched in the stomach by a guy who I caught turning off my television at 11pm when I chased him down. My life will never be the same. I have lost everything and still no help from no one. The police finally took my case and out of 15 hard drive, they kepted 5 as evidence, and yet,.. Till this day no one has been caught. I am practically homeless with no where to go. My friends and family pushed away because anyone that would try to help me, would get hacked as well... Please my story goes on and on. Just like a movie plot. I can literally write a book. The security vulnerabilities are NONE. These super hackers are a company which you pay for them to seek out an all out war against anyone you want, with no end in sight. I even went to my state attorney's office. Where they explained to me that I have multiple felonies cases, and yet, no help. Please I have so much evidence I have collected thru out the years and no one will take my case. I seriously need help. I feel like my life is in danger, with threats I have received from these hackers. An all out war against me. Simply because I caught the main hacker, and this hacking project became a personal matter for him. Some one... Anyone... Please... I am begging. Please help me.

Similar and some of the same bad experiences here in orange county.

I don't know where to begin so many awful things have happened to me and my blood family through my smartphones being stolen, swapped, cloned , hacked, tracked. I have been harrassed, vandalized, robbed, stalked, my life and my families lives threatened. Going back to 2010 I found out my phone had been swapped and stolen again recently with extremy valuable photos docs on it & sentiment and financial. I have gone through roughly 2 dozen phones in last 3 to 4 years. I did not ever even know there was such a thing as an almost identical clone phone. I found out that my Father who was so kind to give me his old phone in 2013 when I was in between contracts was stolen and swapped for a look alike same brand name almost completely identical that I used for almost two years except the one my dad originally gave me ended up back in my house and I found it just a few months ago the look alike phone that I did use disappeared. My Dad and Mom own a medium size successful business 300+ employees and one of my brothers and my getting much older Dad still run it. I used to work there for over a decade had same phone number during that time. There are Lots of stresses as it is running a company and headaches in business normally than to have to deal with the crap that I did not consent to being put thru which unfortunately included my Dad mostly but Mom too and my brothers one who even has of recent few years done work for homeland security. I had a libelous flyer made about me mixing in truths with details of my physical description the car I drive license plate number and it mentioned my families busines which my father spent blood sweat and tears building sacraficed his life to meet many a payroll Mom too both brothers built too. Most people want a job and if offered their choice to usually happily take it or not. The flyer that was wrote about me was full of lies saying im a prostitute and a drug dealer and that i drive a pedophile around in my car. NOT TRUE! I had a composite sketch of me posted to local Facebook alleging I tried to rob a woman with a knife! NOT Ever! Also a sketch with a man holding a knife to my neck appeared on website. Upon my phone logs showing clearly my phone at the time was hacked again and showing my Dad and Mom the sketch of clearly my face with man holding a knife to my neck my family said upon my Mothers urging that all this stalking and harassing on me needed to stop and my family said they would get me an affadavidt. My Dad had just been deathly sick with an excuriatingly painful infection and he almost died. In my fathers PRIVATE hospital room where it was just me my very sick Dad (Mom was at home) and him His Doctor nurses there were specific medical details that were said by his Doctor and some of those details were repeated back to me and my Dads pain was mocked by a dangerous criminal confidential informant types who live in Anaheim. These people and their handlers continue to get away with ALL these crimes on Innocent good people and NOTHING happens to them!!! I have been continually fearful of my safety and life. I'm afraid to use a phone afraid to contact authorities stressed out trying to protect and warn my family about all these AWFUL incidents (I have most all the evidence in safe places far away from where I live.) My house has been continually robbed my 8k wedding ring stolen, my 2 BMW car keys stolen, phone after phone after phone stolen. My Facebook accounts hacked. Fake facebooks made using my name my pictures, my email accounts hacked with account I had for over 10 Years also hacked. My parents house robbed my brothers house robbed His neighbors house robbed. I had cops show up at my house on fake calls. I have to take my purse and backpack with me EVERYWHERE I go. I Constantly fear my latest cheap downgraded phone will be stolen again and the other fake clone phones I still have for evidence i fear will also be stolen. I bought a heavy big safe for my house and told NO ONE the combo other than registering it on another new gmail account but somehow one of the so called genius privacy thief hacker cracked my safes combo and got in it to steal a few of my phones I had been keeping for evidence in event the worst happens I die or if or when s these crimes got to court. My iPad husband gave me was hacked monitored gps tracked video photos taken audio recorded as alot of my phones and families have. The extents this bully gang has gone to discredit, ridicule and character assassinate me and my reputation and brainwashed my blood loved ones in to believing I had absolutely no idea what I was talking about regarding my phones as if I made it all up and that was strongly implied that Im the problem that I'm a bad person that its my criminal friends that did all these terrible things and I'm to be blamed when that is Not true st all. The psychological game playing, torment and phone thefts and hacking has effected my Entire life. I'm lucky to still be alive and my Dad too. Grandpa he went a year ago March and he was very mentally sharp but very old. I believe he had a few more years.
I now fear that those that read this that are part of the group to harrasss me will go to the worst extents to cause more problems for me to distract and deter focus away from the real root of problems and people and just like most often put it all on me as if im always the bad one. If I'm such an awful terrible person and if others think I'm ugly and the worst kind of person, Then why the Hell the continuing of wasting so much time on me or even being near me or around me associating with me or even married to me?? Power, control, sadistic fetish, for money to pay others to harrsss? For a sick twisted game with other good peoples lives? Know anyone who has extra time on their hands a really big cush retirement cash flow? Wonder if those types would ever be so kind to assist and loan a few bucks to meet pay roll every now and then on pay days! I doubt it. The vacation and sick day pay outs and pension spikes on top of nice salaries are not and were never enough. Ironic how I know many many people including myself who'd take and do the same jobs with NO Complaints and not even take sick or vacation spikes and be paid HALF the salaries and do Same jobs NO COMPLAINTS!!! These people continue to get away with crimes, stealing innocent peoples privacy, harrassment attempted murders intimidations and even murder! Accountable to who? Using criminals to do their dirty deeds as scapegoats and innocent good peopke ose the most!!! And the handlers some politicians some few not so good law enforcement officials snd heads of county local and state are unscathed and left to be perfect pristine untouched. As some are laughing all the way to their bank accounts domestic and probably foreign or sent to their equals in blood relation and in greedy mean spirits who live near the state capital. Some Love nothing more than to overlook murderous, rapists thieves robbers and hackers and criticize hard working people who provide many jobs for others who try to be smart to try save few bucks. And automatically just because people have stayed true to their political party then they are vilified labeled with lies of racism made out to be the WORST people to exist when Really bad bad people who committ the worst crimes are ignored or for Pete's sake they are given compassion and felt sorry for and given excuses as why its always the truly good peoples faults so let's hang them and abuse them and cause them harm bully them garner groups of people to stalk harrasss and character assassinate turn as many as possible against them. Personal vendettas and disgusting saw an ad to hire a hacker to destroy another persons life with starting price $200. Sick sad twisted people in this world. Don't get me wrong I have great respect for most law enforcement officials as always have always will however seems more not so good ones are around and the use of criminals by thise in law is rampant in orange county and Los Angeles. Upon my personal experience and from what I have read heard and seen Im going with mostly supporting the FBI in the most current events as in my opinion FBI is correctly taking legal sction s for the overall betterment for the public and for society as a whole. I would feel comfortable if I was in any way able to get help from a female agent.

I'm going through it, too. Only Authorities are aware and believed me from the start. An officer knew who it was, what was going to happen in the future and the prosecutor couldn't get a case. There's been a death over this, already. My stalkers paid neighbors off, friends and family backed away, same reason: they were being hacked and stalked. I have 3 stalkers that I'm aware of, our stories are quite similar. They have threatened me, beat me, I had a stroke, suffer high blood pressure. It has affected not just my life, but my family that won't leave my side

I have been a victim of this stalking harrassment as well. Unfortunately, most of the people I would seek help from (friends/family) either don't believe it is really happening, are victimized themselves and don't know it or are willing participants of the criminal activity.

Am a physician stalked since 2009. Police did not help or even take reports at times. Want to reopen practice but sure he will destroyy finances and life if I do not change my name and ssn. Hope I can. Am on SSI with ptsd due to his harassment. DA not savvy on computer hacking. His specialty. May start anti stalking blog if change name to help others. It's tough. Lost work, possessions. Missed father's illness and funeral because after getting new phone number he acquired mine and my brother called the stalker to inform on illness. Not enough laws protecting women/ men against this common life-ruining crime. Current president unlikely to help anyone e but the stalkers!! Stay safe. RAINN legal depth was more helpful than Safe Horizons with advice. Hang in there, justice delayed is not always justice denied. But am an optimist and utilize denial effectively.Happy Christmas to us all and better years ahead!

Hi I can relate to your story. Its hard to find someone that gets it. I worked for my degree my house and family.Everything stolen and I dont know if changing my name makes my degree go away. Gang stalking ex brother in law in law enforcement..etc. i have an endangered Autistic son who remembers everything this mam did to us. Money brought the judge,clerks,denied me legal....my son thrown in mental insitution because this pedophile said so. We were safe for over 3yrs eventhough I suppected stalking. Am some kind of criminal because I was battered...i paid the money through taxes for some of officers that helped this healthcare professional. id fraud mail fraud this guy is a cyberhacker and few people care its not their lives. 1st Xmas without my angel . My abuser slept with a social (CPS)worker(s) to get what he wanted. I see no justice.

OMG I am scared not only has my daughter admitted X and abuser has used resources but also, attorneys cower to the arena! After a loaded 9mm in my stomach and my brother stating he broke open a door and took an AR I did not know about ... What next! Mechanic found GPS wired into my electronic system of car. I have reported all the identity theft / fraud ; however, not a single entity will do anything! My grandson and single mom daughter live with me. This is all political as X has defended child porn indictment for officials and law enforcement! Very sick corruptive stuff! I am not part of it nor do I know whom what when ! Please pray for me and send help if anyone knows how to help me!

When someone knows something bad about a major company or unity with financial means, they can become a target if they ever talk about it to anybody. Hacking, Stalking, and Poisoning is what will happen to you.They want you dead, or to move away and stay silent. Do it and they will leave you alone if they never hear from you again. Stay and try to think "Good wins over Evil" and you will keep getting hacked,stalked, and poisoned. Sad the times we live in when the gangs run this country with the help of corrupt political and law enforcement agencies. Only way to not get hacked, and stalked is to move, get offline and change your name. Hell has a special place for Evil people who do this. Find a new life and keep you past a secret.

somebody please help me I am being cyber stalked for a year now I don't know what else to do. my fifth phone in a year.

I've had 9 phones the past year and 2 home computers my soon to be ex husband will not stop,he works for Lockheed Martin 30 years of computer training on military Jets!

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