Whether you choose to stay or leave the relationship we can offer you support to keep you and your children safer.
Covering Your Tracks Online
Keeping Safe On Social Media
Covering your tracks online
WARNING: If you are worried about someone knowing you have visited this website please read the following safety information.
How an abuser can discover your internet activities online
Please take a few minutes to read the warning below and to take steps to increase your safety when visiting this website.
As a rule, internet browsers will save certain information as you surf the internet. This includes images from websites visited, information entered into search engines and a trail that reveals the sites you have visited. Please follow the instructions below to minimize the chances of someone finding out that you have visited this website.
If you know what browser you are using, then skip to the relevant instructions below. If you do not know the type of browser you are using, click on Help on the toolbar at the top of the browser screen. A drop down menu will appear, the last entry will say About Internet Explorer, About Mozilla Firefox, or something similar. The entry refers to which browser type you are using you should then refer to the relevant instructions below.
Exit site button
The yellow Exit Site button on the right of the Women’s Aid website will quickly hide the page but you will still need to delete your history fully cover your tracks.
All leading web browsers have a private browsing mode that, once enabled, stores nothing about your activity on your computer in that browsing window. This won’t stop online services from seeing what you get up to, but it won’t leave any traces of your activity on your computer (no history, web cache or anything else) and so it’s always a useful first step to take.
Internet Explorer: Go to Safety Tools in Private Browsing.
Firefox: Click the Menu button with three horizontal lines New Private Window.
Chrome: Click the Menu button with three horizontal lines and select New Incognito Window.
Similar options can be found in Opera and Safari.
It is also best to double check that nothing has been stored by following the steps below
Click on the Tools menu and select Internet Options. On the General page, under Temporary Internet Files, click on Delete Cookies and then OK. Click on Delete Files, put a tick in the box labelled Delete all offline content and click OK. Under History, click on Clear History and then OK. Now look at the top of the window and click on the Content tab, select AutoComplete and finally, Clear Forms.
Click on Tools and then Options, then click on Privacy. Click on the Clear button next to Cache and Saved Form Information.
Deleting your browsing history
Internet browsers also keep a record of all the web pages you visit. This is known as a history. To delete history for Internet Explorer and Firefox hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard, then press the H key (Ctrl, Alt and H for Opera).
Find any entries that say www.wa-rct.org.uk, right click and choose Delete.
If an abuser sends you threatening or harassing email messages, they may be printed and saved as evidence of this abuse. Any email you have previously sent will be stored in Sent Items. If you started an email but didn’t finish it, it might be in your Drafts folder. If you reply to any email, the original message will probably be in the body of the message print and delete the email if you don’t want anyone to see your original message.
When you delete an item in any email program (Outlook Express, Outlook, etc.) it does not really delete the item it moves the item to a folder called Deleted Items. You have to delete the items in deleted items separately. Right click on items within the Deleted Items folder to delete individual items.
Toolbars such as Google, AOL and Yahoo keep a record of the search words you have typed into the toolbar search box. In order to erase all the search words you have typed in, you will need to check the individual instructions for each type of toolbar. For example, for the Google toolbar all you need to do is click on the Google icon, and choose Clear Search History.
Don’t forget to log off
Don’t forget to log out of your account when you have finished your browsing session so no one else can log in as you.
If you do not use a password to log on to your computer, someone else will be able to access your email and track your internet usage. The safest way to find information on the internet, would be at a local library, a friends house, or at work.
All of the above information may not completely hide your tracks. Many browser types have features that display recently visited sites. The safest way to find information on the internet, would be at a local library, a friends house, or at work.
Making a safety plan
- Plan in advance how you might respond in different situations, including crisis situations.
- Think about the different options that may be available to you.
- Keep with you any important and emergency telephone numbers (for example, your local Women’s Aid refuge organisation or other domestic violence service; the police domestic violence unit; your GP; your social worker, if you have one; your children’s school; your solicitor; and the Freephone 24 Hour Live Fear Free Helpline 08 08 80 10 800.
- Teach your children to call 999 in an emergency, and what they would need to say (for example, their full name, address and telephone number).
- Are there neighbours you could trust, and where you could go in an emergency? If so, tell them what is going on, and ask them to call the police if they hear sounds of a violent attack.
- Rehearse an escape plan, so in an emergency you and the children can get away safely.
- Pack an emergency bag for yourself and your children, and hide it somewhere safe (for example, at a neighbour’s or friend’s house). Try to avoid mutual friends or family. See the suggestions below on What to pack if you are planning to leave your partner.
- Try to keep a small amount of money on you at all times – including change for the phone and for bus fares.
- Know where the nearest phone is, and if you have a mobile phone, try to keep it with you.
- If you suspect that your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower risk area of the house – for example where there is a way out and access to a telephone. Avoid the kitchen or garage where there are likely to be knives or other weapons; and avoid rooms where you might be trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.
- Be prepared to leave the house in an emergency.
Below are some useful tips to keep yourself safer when using twitter
Passwords – never tell anyone your password and always make sure you logout after using your account.
Disable your location – if your tweets have a location added it may be easier for the perpetrator or their friends and family to find you. To check your location settings and to turn it off here’s how:
- In the Tweet compose box on twitter.com, click the button with your location.
- Select Turn off location from the dropdown menu.
- The Turn off location setting will be saved, so next time you compose a Tweet on twitter.com your location information will not appear.
How to block someone – blocking someone is quick and easy. Just follow these easy tips
How to report abuse – If you are receiving abusive messages or see abusive posts online you can report it. You can report it to twitter by using this form.
Use your report as evidence – if you have reported someone for being abusive you can also download and email your report to use as evidence for the police or other agencies.
It is important to remember that Twitter has certain rules and policies which it asks everyone to follow. These are in place to stop people being abused online. Here’s how to make reporting to police easier
Like Twitter, Facebook also has rules and policies in place to stop people being abused online.
Below are some useful tips and links to keep yourself safe online.
Passwords – never share your password with others. If you think someone may know your password you can change it by
If you know your password:
- Log in to Facebook, then go to your settings
- Click Password
- Type your current and new password
- Click Save Changes
If you don’t know your password:
Below are some of the main ways of keeping safe on Facebook. There are other tools that can be used as well and these can be found on Facebooks safety center.
- Unfriend someone
- Block someone who is being abusive or harassing you
- Report someone who is being abusive or harassing you
You can take the Facebook security check-up to add additional security to your account. Learn more
You can also download your Facebook data into a PDF and use it however you want. This could be for the police as proof of online abuse or for other evidential requirements.
To download your data from your Facebook page:
- Click at the top right of any Facebook page and select Settings
- Click Download a copy of your Facebook data below your General Account Settings
- Click Start My Archive