In a world where stalking is common — according to the Stalking Prevention, Awareness & Resource Center — learning technology safety can be a vital tool during frightening situations.
During their lifetime, 1 in 6 women and 1 in 17 men will experience stalking, according to SPARC. In our own community, DOVE Center has seen more than 20 percent of the survivors we serve experience stalking, and it’s almost always someone they know.
Stalking can leave survivors feeling afraid, helpless and alone. Because stalking can be easily facilitated through technology, we hope this post will be useful in helping survivors in our community identify ways to be safe when using technology.
A common way perpetrators misuse technology to stalk their victim is by spying and eavesdropping. This can look like tracking your location, recording your calls and texts, and keeping tabs on what you search on the web.
Here are some privacy and safety tips when using technology:
- When creating email addresses and usernames, don’t use personal identifying information.
- Never use the same password for your different accounts that contain sensitive information.
- When you use websites like social media sites, remember to logout before you walk away & opt out of having websites remembering your login information.
- Become familiar and use anti-virus software to regularly scan your devices.
- Go through all privacy settings in each of your social media accounts to be informed about what content is visible and accessible.
- Be in the habit of regularly deleting your history, temporary files and passwords from web browsers.
In addition to learning how to safely use technology, it’s important to set boundaries with your friends and family — like letting them know what they can and can’t post about you on social media or telling them not to give out your personal information.
To learn more about safety tips on technology, you can visit techsafety.org. If you are a victim of stalking and would like to learn more about our services, please call our 24-Hour Helpline at 435-628-0458 or visit dovecenter.org.