There is much more to intimate partner violence than physical abuse, we have discussed it for you to read here. Intimate partner violence is centered around power and control, through physical, emotional, etc. Now that we have reached a time where technology is everywhere, abuse can take form with power and control of this technology. It is important to remember that you are allowed to have personal privacy.
Here are some tips for privacy and safety with your smartphone.
1: Use a passcode
- This is the easiest way to ensure that another person cannot get into your phone when left unattended. While people in relationships share their passcodes, it is not mandatory, and your partner should allow you to have privacy.
2: Turn off location sharing
- This not only helps the battery life of your phone, but it also allows you to be in control of who sees your location. Location settings can be found in “settings” under privacy.
3: Log out of accounts when you aren’t using them
- While it is convenient to open any application or browser and not have to enter your information, this also allows others to access your accounts without your permission.
4: Check the applications on your phone
- This is often found in the “settings”, there are applications that can be downloaded to track others which is a violation of your privacy. If you see an application that you did not download yourself, it is best to uninstall it.
If you are a survivor of intimate partner violence it may also be beneficial to use a virtual phone number such as Google Voice (https://voice.google.com/u/0/about). This allows you to create a free phone number that can be changed if needed and is not traceable. You also manage the calls you want to receive and block any that you don’t. You can also remove your caller ID information when you make phone calls by changing your settings.
There are many other steps you can take to be safer online and with your smartphone. Contact The Shelter to speak with a trained advocate about creating a personal safety plan.