Technology tips for domestic violence and stalking victims

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.

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.

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.

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.

Leave a Comment

Comment Policy

Read Our Privacy Act Statement

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.