PSA: Domestic Violence and Mobile Technology
Do yourself, or anyone you know who is in an abusive relationship, male or female because men do get abused too despite the article’s title, a favor and go read this article about how tracking software can easily be used to locate people.
Go ahead, I’ll wait….
Now, let’s talk about mobile technology. You know that cool little iPhone feature that let’s you find your phone if you misplace it, or let’s you know where your kids are? Or the one that let’s you know which of your friends is close by, or what restaurants is within walking distance? Pretty cool and useful stuff when used for those purposes. Yes, if your estranged spouse has access to it, they can use it to find you. For your own safety, if you are in the process of trying to leave a violent situation, stop a minute and think about the technology you have with you, and recognize that any technology that the person you are trying to get way from setup for you, or had access to, may be compromised. Leave it behind.
Then, go change all the passwords on your email accounts, your social media accounts, anything that you accessed from one of those devices. Lastly, if you shared access to any sort of cloud service account with that person, think about starting a new one instead.
Perhaps, if you must contact people through email, it would be best to go access a computer the person you are trying to get away from has never touched and setup a new email account, then never log into that account from one of your current devices!
Remember, if they’ve been controlling, violent, abusive, etc. there is no reason to think that hasn’t extended to your devices and online accounts. Do not trust those things, do not use them to communicate your whereabouts, and above all else, do not take the phone with you unless you absolutely know with 100% certainty that they have never had access to it. If in doubt, leave it behind. Your safety depends on getting this right.
If you know anyone who is trying to escape an abusive situation, please share this knowledge with them, or bookmark it in case you ever do know someone in that situation. Thanks!
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Ugh. More ways for bad people to harm others. Good advice.
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