Keeping Safe in a Digital World

Keeping Safe in a Digital World

Approximately one in four stalking victims report some form of digital stalking, and with updates, new features and apps it’s difficult for professionals to keep on top of the safety advice. However, with a bit of brushing up, and by using our guides, you can make a real difference to someone’s safety.

In this BBC report with Refuge, Euleen and Beth talk about their experiences of stalking and the use of technology to further the abuse they were experiencing. Employed to monitor victims' lives at home and work, to give a sense of powerlessness and paranoia the use of technology is a new weapon for perpetrators of domestic abuse. Its use is pervasive too: a 2016 survey by Comic Relief found that four out of five women who experienced abuse said their partner monitored their activity.  

A lack of tech literacy is leaving clients at risk. Did you know that the Frequent Locations system on iPhones pinpoints the places you go on a map, how many times you’ve paid a visit, and the exact times of your arrival and departure? Anyone with access to your phone can set up Find My Friends and view your every move. Thankfully, there are ways to disable this, in the Frequent Locations menu, it’s possible to clear your history, and stop your iPhone from logging these details in the future.

Snapchat also lets users track each other’s movements in real time via Snap Maps. When users first use the feature, they can select whether they want to make their location visible to all of their friends, a select group of connections or to no one at all, which Snapchat refers to as “ghost mode”. Letting children and young people know about the dangers of these features allows them to make more informed choices and keep safe.

To help you keep on top of this we’ve created a Guide to Digital Stalking and a Digital Stalking Checklist, that cover these and other methods of digital stalking, and how to keep safe.

Please share this with others who might find this information important to safeguarding their clients.