Internet and Computer Safety

If you are in an abusive or controlling relationship, please use a computer that your partner does not have direct or remote access to.

  • If you think your computer activity is being monitored, you are probably right. Trust your instincts. Technology has evolved in ways making it extremely easy to track someoneÕs internet activity through spyware, keystroke loggers and other means.
  • If your partner has direct access to the computer you are using or you believe has installed software enabling them to remotely monitor your activities, do not use the computer to research help and options available to you. Use a safer one at a friend or family memberÕs home or at a local library. Continue to use your own computer for things such as news, weather, sports, etc.
  • Do not use passwords that are obvious to anyone, i.e., birth dates, names of children, names of pets, etc.
  • Do not disclose the details of your situation to anyone via email. If you need assistance, please call the 24-hour hotline at 631-666-8833.
  • Do not discuss your situation on any social media pages even if your partner is not linked to your page through their own. It is possible for mutual friends to disclose to them what they've read without realizing they are placing you in danger by doing so.
  • Make sure all of your social networking pages have privacy settings in place so you can control who has access to your page.
  • If you are in immediate danger, call 911. If you'd like more information, please call our 24-hour hotline at 631-666-8833.

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    Telephone technologies, such as Caller ID and Call Return, allow your abuser to keep track of who you call and who calls you. Therefore, you should think about steps you can take to prevent this from happening. Additionally, learning about these features can help you plan for your safety.

    If you live with your abuser, and your telephone has the Caller ID feature, your abuser can track who has called you. If you live separately from your abuser, you can use the same Caller ID box to make sure the caller is someone you want to speak to, before answering the phone. If you have Caller ID, you can also get Anonymous Call Rejection Service. This service prevents an incoming call from ringing at your home if the caller has blocked their number to prevent it from being displayed on the Caller ID box. The caller will reach a recorded message saying that the call will not be accepted unless the block is removed.

    Call Return Service (*69) allows you to call back the last number that called you, whether or not you answered the call. In some areas, a recording will give you the number you are attempting to call back, even long distance numbers. If you would like to prevent your abuser from knowing who the last person that called you was, in addition to clearing the memory from the Caller ID, you can press *89 after you end the call. This will prevent Call Return from working.

    The re-dial button on your telephone also allows your abuser to call the last number you dialed. This could jeopardize your safety if you have contacted a domestic violence hotline or friends and family members that your abuser does not want you speaking with. After hanging up from such a call, you may want to dial the telephone number for the weather or some other "safe" number.

    An answering machine is another good way to screen your calls. If your abuser leaves a threatening message, be sure to save the message. Do not record over it. These types of recordings might be helpful to the police if you report the incident.

    If you use a cell phone, be aware there are numerous ways an abuser can use cell phone technology to overhear your calls. Use a cell phone only if you do not have access to a regular phone. Also remember that the phone number of all outgoing calls placed from your cell phone might appear on the monthly bill. If your abuser has access to the bill, do not make any calls from the phone that might place your safety at risk.

    **Do not assume these features are currently available on your telephone. Please contact your local telephone company for more information on how to add or access these features.**

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    The most emotional and frightening time for you could be when an incident has just occurred and the Police are called to your home. You may be in need of medical attention and will experience a wide range of emotions such as fear and uncertainty.

    The following list of suggestions could assist you when the Police respond to your home:

    • Although it is a frightening time and you are in the midst of an incident just occurring, try to remain as calm as possible.
    • State to the Police Officer a clear description of what has happened.
    • Listen to the questions the Police Officer is asking you and answer to the best of your ability.
    • If you would like charges pressed against the abuser; clearly state that to the Police Officer and they will determine if charges can be pressed.
    • Prior to signing the Domestic Incident Report (DIR), read it over carefully. If something is not clear, ask the Officer to clarify it for you. If something is missing ask the Officer to ad it to the report.
    • You will receive a gold copy of the DIR prior to the Police leaving your home. If it is not given to you, ask for it.
    • When the Officer leaves your home, call the Precinct and ask to speak to the SCCADV advocate, or call our 24-hour hotline at 631-666-8833.

    >> Read/Print A Personalized Safety Plan (pdf)

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