West Mercia Women’s Aid
Be aware of your digital footprint and educate yourself on how to stay safe online.
- If somebody appears to know too much about your routine or online conversations they may be using spyware or monitoring your online activity. If you think this is happening be careful about what you are sharing or try using an alternative device and seek advice from your manufacturer.
- Consider setting a regular reminder to change your password on all your apps – think about online shopping accounts, streaming services or bank accounts as well as social media. Remember these apps hold personal information such as your address, bank details and phone number.
- Have a secure password on your mobile phone/computer or tablet and change it regularly or use face/fingerprint ID and add a screen-lock timer to auto lock your device after a set amount of time. Do not let other people input information into your phone – always do it yourself.
•Do not use the same password for different apps and try to make your password difficult to guess by using a mixture of words, numbers and symbols.
- Be aware of all the apps that you use that have GPS tracking or location services and check on them individually in your settings and turning them off if you are not using them. This includes switching off integral satellite navigation systems in cars and checking which phone systems are connected to them, as they can also be used as a tracking device.
- Check regularly in your settings and on your location sharing or family sharing apps to ensure you know who is accessing your information remember to change passwords for these regularly too.
- Log out of apps if you are not using them.
- Use anti-virus or anti spyware software – check your settings or complete an internet search for your handset or computer to become familiar with your devices settings.
- Make yourself aware of new updates for your devices.
- If you have concerns about your safety and would like to wipe all the information on your phone you can reset your phone to factory settings– ensure you know how to back up important information before doing this.
Social Media Safety Tips
- Try doing a search on your email, social media name or phone number and see what comes up – you can try and minimise this information by increasing your privacy settings or deleting online information or unused accounts.
- Check all your security and privacy settings and educate yourself on what the different settings mean and how to change them – share this information with your friends and family.
- Regularly check your ‘friends’ on social media to ensure you are aware of who is seeing your personal information.
- Do not post your location or plans online and never post personal details such as contact number, email, address or place of work.
- Think before you post about your children online – are you posting their school logo or location without realising? Check individual photo privacy settings before sharing them online.
- Educate your children on online safety and regularly monitor their privacy settings and online friends.
- Ask your friends or family to check in with you first if they are going to post photos or tag you in plans or locations.
- Never share your passwords and consider having an alternative photo as your profile so not to give away your identity.
- If you are being harassed, threatened or stalked online save the messages safely as you may need them if you decide to proceed with criminal charges. You can save them to a safe email (ensuring this is password protected) or store them on an alternative device.
Remember you are the expert in your own situation, always consider your personal safety first before you take any action especially if you fear there may be retribution. If you need safety advice or would like further support call the WMWA 24 hour helpline. In an emergency always call 999
Looking for help?
24HR DOMESTIC ABUSE HELPLINE
Herefordshire & Shropshire:
Call 0800 783 1359
Telford & Wrekin:
Call 0800 840 3747
Call 0800 980 3331
We also have Livechat available from 9am until 5pm, Monday to Friday for those who want to contact our helpline silently or who prefer to text rather than talk.
If you are in immediate danger please call 999
Help For Others
If you are worrying that someone you know or care about may be experiencing abuse, we can help.