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The Internet and Computer Safety

Safety Alert:
Please make sure you are looking at these pages on a safe computer. It is impossible to erase the tracks of all the web pages you have visited. If you are in danger, call 911 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE. If you are not in immediate danger, you can phone SafeLink 1-877-785-2020, the Massachusetts domestic violence hotline, or Casa Myrna Vasquez 1-800-992-2600. If you are on a safe computer, learn about the Internet and computer safety.

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Created March 2009

If you are in danger, please:

Email is not a safe or private way to talk to someone about the danger or abuse in your life, please call a hotline instead.

Traditional “corded” phones are more private than cell phones or cordless phones.

There are hundreds of ways that computers record everything you do on the computer and on the Internet.

If you are in danger, please try to use a computer that an abusive person can get to at all - even by "hacking" into it.

It might be safer to use a computer in a public library, at a community technology center (CTC) www.ctcnet.org (national directory), at a trusted friend’s house, or an Internet Café.

If you think someone is watching what you are doing on the computer, you are probably right. Abusive people are often controlling and want to know your every move. You do not need to be a computer programmer or have special skills to find out what someone is using a computer for. Anyone can do it and there are many ways to find out how a computer is used.

Computers can tell a lot of information about what you look at on the Internet, the emails you send, and other things you do on them. It is not possible to delete or clear all computer “footprints”.

If you think someone is watching who is doing what on your home computer, you might think about not using the Internet at home or only looking at safe web pages on the Internet.

Example

If you are planning to run away from Massachusetts, don't look at classified ads for jobs and apartments, bus tickets, etc for California on your home computer or any computer an abuser can get to. Use a safer computer to find out about and plan your escape.

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Created March 2009

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