Technological and Cyber Abuse:

This type of abuse encompasses the following:

  • Abusive messages or calls
  • Someone taking over your online accounts or locking you out of them
  • Being sent (or being threatened with) abusive and/or inappropriate images or having intimate images sent without consent
  • Fake social media accounts that are created for the sole purpose of stalking, harassing, threatening or abusing someone
  • Being tracked through a phone or other device and using tracking techniques and spy-ware to track where you are

What are the warning signs?

Your partner/ex-partner:

  • Seems to know when you are online/what you are doing online when they normally don’t have access to this type of information
  • Seems to know where your children are or turns up unexpectedly to the place you are at
  • Has access to your phone or computer and requests passwords and pin numbers
  • Constantly checking social media activity and call logs
  • Taking control of your devices when you try to access them
  • Send unwanted texts or calls that abusive or silent
  • Posts defamatory comments about you online to humiliate you or start rumours
  • Constantly sending you messages about where you are, what you are doing and who you are with
  • Starts contacting family and friends to check on you or to spread damaging information about you
  • Pressuring you to send intimate photos or threatening to share these photos without your consent
  • Controlling finances by restricting bank access and access to online accounts
  • Setting up a new camera or security system that seems unnecessary

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Have my passwords stopped working?
  • Have any of my online accounts suddenly become restricted?
  • Have my children been given new electronic gifts by my partner/ex-partner that they seem insistent on them using?
  • Am I receiving abuse emails, texts, etc. from strange or anonymous senders?
  • Have I found a fake social media account set up in my name?
  • Have I found evidence of unusual activity in my email account?
  • Have my devices slowed down or stopped working properly?
  • Are there unknown financial transactions in my bank account?
  • Have the lights, locks, air conditioning, television, fridge, internet, music systems, etc. been unexpectedly turning off, slowing down or not working properly?

What can I do if I am experiencing technological or cyber abuse or think I am at risk of abuse?

  • Set strong passwords and change them frequently
  • Turn off location services
  • Set up new accounts and reset your device to its original factory settings
  • Be aware of your privacy when posting online (e.g. don’t post information that might give away your whereabouts or any personal information)
  • Use social media accounts safely (i.e. block people you don’t know/people who are abusive, set your accounts to the highest privacy/security levels)
  • Double check the apps on your device and delete any apps that you did not download yourself
  • Be careful about opening attachments in emails and messages in case they contain malware or scams
  • If you are worried that your computer at home is not safe enough, use a computer elsewhere (e.g. public library, at the home of a trusted friend)
  • Trust your instincts when/if you feel that something is not right

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