We like to say it’s important to practice “Safe Surfing”! If you are using a computer, tablet or smartphone to learn more about domestic violence and help, you should be aware that your searches and browsing history can be monitored by others. If that concerns you, here are important steps you should consider taking.
The safest way to learn about domestic violence and ways to get help is by using someone else’s computer, tablet or smartphone, such as those available at a workplace, public place, or belonging to friends and family and away from your abuser or household. This decreases the likelihood that an abuser would discover your interest in finding resources and help.
If you are using personal devices to visit doemsticshelters.org, clicking on the “Leave Site” button in the upper right hand corner will redirect you to weather.com, in the event you’re surprised by someone and need to quickly change what you’re viewing.
If you conduct searches using Google, Yahoo, Bing or other search engines, it is important to know that these services learn your search tendencies and make future suggestions based on your prior queries. Thus, someone using the same computer and browser may come to realize what types of information you have been seeking. Learn how to clear your search history after each session at Google, Yahoo and Bing.
The web sites you visit are tracked by your browser, as well, unless you manually turn off the tracking or you clear your browsing history; learn how to turn off the tracking or clear your browsing history at Chrome,Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Toolbar.
Most web sites drop “cookies” into your computer; they are small files that hold a modest amount of data that help tailor the use of a web site during future visits, such as pre-populating fields to save you time. Here you can learn how to delete cookies on your computer.
Your smartphone is essentially the same thing as your computer. This article contains excellent ideas that prevent others from accessing information on your smartphone. You should also consider deleting browsing history, cookies and search history from your phone.
If you happen to have a tablet, you’ll want to take similar steps with the settings and browser, as have been recommended above. Here is information on how to do so on an iPad, Kindle, Galaxy Note, Surface andGoogle Nexus.