Technological abuse (also called digital abuse) is a form of dating abuse. It is a pattern of abuse in which any form of technology (cell phones, computers, tablets, etc.) are used to control, coerce or intimidate another person. Abusive partners may use technology by itself or in combination with physical or emotional violence to try and control you.
You may be experiencing technological abuse if your partner or someone else:
-constantly calls, emails or texts you asking you questions like where are you, who are you with or what are you doing
-gets angry when you don't pick up or respond immediately
-leaves you messages that make you feel scared or feel bad about yourself
-accesses your private online accounts (such as facebook, twitter, emails)
-makes a virtual profile about you on a social network
-posts embarrassing or sexual information about you online without your permission
-records you or takes photos of you without your permission and posts them online or send pictures to others through texts
Types of technological abuse:
1. Phones can be a tool to harass or stalk you when your partner or someone else:
-Calls you repeatedly to threaten or insult you
-Sends threatening or insulting texts
-checks the private messages on your phone
-sends photos of you through text or email without your permission
-sends you demands via text or emails
2. Internet/Computers store a lot of private information. An abusive partner or someone else might:
-change your password on computers or websites
-access your emails or social network accounts
-delete, intercept or send emails from your account
-create fake online profiles of you on social network sites
-post sexual images or content about you
-put spyware on your computer
3. Spying/Tracking Technology can be used to track where you've been or where you are going. You can be followed or monitored through:
-GPS on your cell phone devices that show your location
-Webcams that take videos of you
-Social networking sites that ask you to "check in"
There are hundreds of ways that computers record everything you do on the computer and on the Internet. If you are in danger, please try to use a safer computer that someone abusive does not have direct access, or even remote (hacking) access to.
It may be safer to use a computer in a public library, at a community technology center, at a trusted friend's house, or an Internet Café.
If you are in danger, please: Call 911 / Call our Hotline: 845-628-2166 If you think your activities are being monitored, they probably are.
Abusive people are often controlling and want to know your every move.
You don't need to be a computer programmer or have special skills to monitor someone's computer activities - anyone can do it and there are many ways to monitor someone. Computers can provide a lot of information about what you look at on the Internet, the e-mails you send, and other activities.
If you think you may be monitored on your home computer, you might consider no home Internet use or "safer" Internet surfing or social networking.
Example: If you are planning to flee to another jurisdiction, don't look at classified ads for jobs and apartments, bus tickets, etc. for that jurisdiction on a home computer or any computer an abuser has physical or remote access to. Use a safer computer to research an escape/safety plan.