In our interconnected, technology-driven world we are constantly sharing without knowing how far our information goes, and who is watching. For victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, online security and privacy are critical to their safety. Offenders may take advantage of technology to harass, abuse or harm their victims. The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) has created an Online Privacy & Safety video series to help victims of domestic violence create a higher level of privacy and online security. While these measures may not prevent abuse or stalking, they will help to enhance the safety of victims and survivors.

Protecting online privacy and security can also prevent internet surveillance that can lead to fraud, identity theft and compromised safety. In addition to the Tech Support Series, check out these other tips and services to enhance your internet safety:

* Prevent websites from tracking what you do online, including socially sensitive communication such as chat rooms and web forms, by using a free service like the Tor network to keep your location and browsing habits anonymous.

* Don’t include your date of birth in your social media profiles

* Make sure the websites you visit are encrypted and begin with HTTPS not HTTP, especially if you are entering personal or credit card information

* Use a search engine that does not save your search history, like DuckDuckGo

* Create strong passwords with a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers Check out the NNEDV’s Technology Safety blog for more great tips about online security.

Sources:

Naughton, J. (2013, September 16). Internet security: 10 ways to keep your personal data safe from online snoopers. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/sep/16/10-ways-keep-personal-data-safe

Lee, K. (2015, October 12) Stop. Think. Connect. [Web log post] Retrieved from http://techsafety.org/