What can you do if you’re being stalked or harassed by your partner via technology?
Document the Abuse
You can find a free Stalking Incident log. It’s recommended to record all communication with and from the stalker, and be sure to keep all harassing voicemails, texts, e-mails, and online messages. You can take a screenshot of e-mails and online messages using the Print Screen button on your computer and paste them into a Word document to save. Make sure you save all of your documentation, especially police reports and legal documents. Make copies of all of these materials and give the copies to someone you trust.
On The Phone
- Get a new phone and keep the number confidential. Keep your old phone to document the stalker’s calls or texts.
- Research your privacy settings on your phone and apps that track your location.
- Turn off location services for phone apps under Settings —> Privacy —> Location Services.
- Report threatening calls to your phone company or the police.
On The Computer
- Many social media platforms have tracking functions. Check to see if they are on. Keep in mind that someone else may have turned on the tracking without you knowing.
- It is possible that your personal computer has been hacked or hijacked. Find a safe computer at a friend’s, at work, or at a library.
- Purchase anti-virus and anti-spyware for extra protection. There are lots of low-cost ones on the market.
- Use strong, complex passwords. Use a different password for each account. Avoid personal information such as your real name, birthday, or location. You can also purchase programs like Last Pass and Keeper to add extra password protection.
- Do a web search for your information. If you find information about yourself online that you don’t want public, you can request that the sites remove the information.
- Be aware of what you post and share online. Even if you delete something, it can stay online forever.
While at Home
- Apply for a free, confidential mail-forwarding service. The Maryland Safe at Home Address Confidentiality Program, which helps you keep your address confidential. Contact a local domestic violence agency to learn more and apply.
- Install a security system, home camera, or motion detection lights.
- Change the locks on your home or car and keep your doors and windows locked at all times.