Safety Planning

Jennifer Perry from the Digital Trust has provided the information below

If you are planning on leaving the most urgent things to do so you aren’t tracked

Monitoring and tracking often starts before a woman leaves her home. All victims should assume that their mobile and computer is being monitored.

Don’t use your smartphone. The most secure mobile phone is one that can’t connect to the Internet. Buy a cheap mobile phone and add your key phone numbers in it. You can get them for £10 at a supermarket.

When you leave, don’t use your smart phone. The easiest thing to do is to put in a metal box like a biscuit tin until you can get to a safe place and have the time to secure it.

Check your car. Is he tracking your car? If he seems to know where you’ve been and not sure how then it could be there is a tracker on your car. If you plan on leaving in your car, check for a GPS tracking device. Around the wheel or bumper is the most common place to hide a tracker. Consider using a taxi/bus or meet a friend in the next road. If you continue to use your car the abuser may try to find the car and you. If you are going to a friends or relatives think about where you can park that isn’t obvious.

Once safe

Do not use your computer until you have run some anti-virus scans. You can use a friend’s refuge, or library computer if you need to get online.

Create a new e-mail account. Use a safe computer to set-up a brand-new e-mail account. Use this new email to update your key online accounts, until you are confident that your computer and mobile are secure.

As soon as possible, use a safe computer to change the password on your mobile and old e-mail account(s). Use the new email as your new user name (he will know your old username). Use a password manager like LastPass, it generates passwords and stores them securely and can automatically login you in. Password managers do make life safer and simpler. Here is a Youtube that explains how it works https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbiVWRKxwTQ

While you are updating your username and passwords, add two-step authentication. If you type in two-step authentication to the help pages you will get instructions. Two step authentication means that besides using a user name and password you will also be text or emailed a PIN. Use your non-smart phone as your two-step authentication until you know your smartphone is secure.

You will need to do this for all your accounts. You don’t have to do it all at once, but you should immediately change username and passwords for any website or apps that you use more than 2-3 times a week.

Securing mobile phones

If he pays the bills for your smartphone, try to contact the phone company and get the account put into your name. If he pays the bills, he will be able to access the online account. That means he will be able to monitor your and find you.

Always use a PIN or some other form to lock your mobile when you aren't using it. Activate your phone security settings so that after a minute of non-use, you must put in a PIN before you can use the phone. Choose your PIN carefully, don’t use your birthday, anniversary, child’s birthday, 0123 or 9876 – they are easy to guess.

Remember to call your mobile phone company and change the security PIN/passwords to your account so no one can call the mobile company and try to change the account.

Mobile security software Invest in security software. Companies like Kaspersky offers packages that protect both your computer and your mobile. In this situation it is important that you pay for good protection, think of it like have a good lock and lights at your home so you are safer. Especially if you suspect that the perpetrator had access and could have put spyware or some type of monitoring software on the mobile.

Once you buy the software and install it run the scans. Now that you have the software it should block spy software will prevent spam and virus software on your mobile. Most of them provide call blocking and other useful features.

Apps Delete all apps that you are 100% confident that you put on your phone or know what they do. Also block all apps that tell you where you are: maps, photos, check in, find my phone etc. You can reinstall the apps you want again later when you feel safe. When installing apps pay close attention to what you are allowing them to do. If the app asks for administrator access, say no.

Understanding geolocation Learn how to turn on and off your wi-fi, GPS and geolocation services, and change the default so that geotags aren’t added to photos or online posts. You don't want to give away your location. If in doubt, stick your phone in a metal box, because the phone signals can’t go through metal.