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Website Safety: What you need to know to protect yourself

Updated: Mar 18, 2021

The internet is a powerful tool, especially for domestic violence victims trying to seek help. Important resources like the Family Abuse Shelter website, along with reaching out to friends, family members, advocates, and service providers, can all be quickly done online. The problem is that this information can be monitored by an abuser that can have access to website browsing history, emails, and more personal information online.

Here’s what we know…

  • Victims of abuse need to know where they can get help.

  • Abusers can lash out when they discover their victim is trying to leave.

  • Not all information online can fully be erased.

So, how can someone in an abusive situation go online without their abuser finding out?

Follow these tips to protect yourself:

  1. Clear your browser history and cache. Here’s how.

  2. Use Incognito mode in Chrome or Private mode. This creates a copy of the caches needed and deletes them when the browser is closed. iPhone/iPod instructions

  3. Always open and close the browser. Fully close out of all windows and quit the browser after each session.

  4. Note the location of any quick Exit buttons on the websites you’re visiting and use them.

  5. Use webmail only, an email service that can be accessed using a standard web browser. Select the option for “this is a public computer.”

  6. Do not save any passwords. Here’s how to clear them.

  7. If possible, use a friend’s computer or go to the library to use a public computer if yours isn’t safe.

  8. Need a cellphone? For around $30, you can purchase a TracFone, a prepaid cell phone available at major retailers and grocery stores. Do NOT get an activation card or minutes. You can stream free wifi using the phone at a coffee shop, fast-food restaurant, library, or even a neighbor’s wifi.

If you or a friend is involved in a domestic violence situation, please talk to them about taking these precautions when going online. It's also a good idea to create a Safety Plan. Help is here.


If you have an emergency, call 911 for help.

Access our Get Help page for resources or reach out to us:

Family Abuse Shelter of Miami County

530 Crescent Drive, Troy, OH 45373

Daytime Phone: 937-339-6761

After Hours: 1-800-351-7347

***If you have an emergency, call 911 for help

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