TECHNOLOGY AND VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE AND STALKING.


Technology is moving fast and for most of us, it has a positive impact on our lives. However, if you’re being stalked by an abusive partner, or ex partner, that same technology can be life threatening.


I recently shared an article that I had seen online, (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/woman-stalker-app-car-phone-domestic-abuse-australia-a9197186.html) where a guy had hacked his ex partners, “in car apps,” to track her and to interfere with the car’s functionality while she was driving.

I have to be honest, I didn’t even know, until I read this article, that this was possible. Phones, yes. Cars, no!


Those of us working to help sufferers and survivors of domestic abuse, must move with the times and keep up to speed with how technology is being used to negatively impact victims. And we must consider the technology that sufferers and survivors use (sometimes without knowing it) when we create our safety plans.


There are some very good and very informative articles online and I’ll put links to those at the end of this post.


For now, here is some basic information to consider:


How to stop apps from tracking you on your iPhone:

Open Settings.

Tap "Privacy.

Select "Location Services.

If you want to completely stop all apps from using your location, turn Location Services off. If you want to manage settings app by app, tap each app and choose "Never" or "While Using.

Make sure apps that don't need your location, like most games, are set to "Never.

Other apps should be set to track your location only while you're using them.

There's no reason an app needs to track you all the time.


How to stop apps from tracking you on your Android phone:

Android phone makers often have custom menus, so the process for doing this might be different on a Google Pixel versus an Android phone made by Samsung or LG. But, it should be relatively similar across devices running Android P, the latest version of Android. Here's how to stop apps from tracking you on Android:


Open Settings

Tap "Advanced.

Choose "App permissions.

Select "Location.

You'll see a list of apps that have access to your location.

Turn off the apps that you don't think need to know where you are.


If you’re in any doubt about the security settings on your phone, please visit your provider and have them do it for you.


What make and model of car do you have? Is your abuser able to use the car’s technology to track you?


Vice magazine states:

“In an email to Motherboard, a Ford spokesperson said that a car owner can erase their location history by doing a “master reset,” which returns the car to its factory settings.

“Once a master reset has been done, that person has the power to grant access to the system to others but nobody else can connect without them knowing about it and giving approval. Others can request access but they have to receive approval before connecting,” the spokesperson wrote. It isn’t possible to manually delete individual locations entered into the app or navigation system, the spokesperson added.”


As with your phone, it’s important to check with your car manufacturer, to ask them how to protect yourself in these situations.


Related articles:

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.standard.co.uk/tech/abusive-partners-use-home-technology-to-stalk-and-abuse-women-study-shows-a3921386.html%3famp


https://www.wired.com/2003/02/stalkers-use-gps-to-track-victims/


https://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2011/10/27/scary-stalker-husband-in-the-legal-clear-to-track-wifes-car/#6505dca73da5


https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/mb5bnp/privacy-laws-arent-ready-for-connected-cars-canada-us-eu


https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qbxkv7/social-workers-warn-mobile-phones-could-be-putting-women-in-danger


https://owner.ford.com/support/how-tos/sync/sync-3/setup/how-to-do-a-master-reset-with-sync-3.html


https://www.techsafety.org/blog/2017/5/22/technology-facilitated-stalking-what-you-need-to-know-1


Thanks for reading.

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Telephone: + 44 (0) 7853 621303

Email: robert@d-a-b-s.co.uk

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