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 are in immediate danger, call 911. If you'd like more information, please call our 24-hour hotline at 631-666-8833.
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.**
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:
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