Computer Safety tips for teens. 

Safety, equality and respect are important, even with online relationships and social media followers. Learn more about searching, browsing and connecting safely.

If you need help now, call 911.

WARNING!

If you are being stalked or abused, take steps to keep your abuser from knowing you are looking for help. Please use a safer computer, or call 911, one of Delaware’s local hotlines at 302-762-6110 for New Castle County or 302-422-8058 for Kent & Sussex Counties , or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

Emergency “Quick Escape” Button

There is a Quick Escape button in the upper right-hand corner of every page on this website. Click this button if your abuser enters the room while you are viewing this website. It will close this website and redirect your browser to a neutral page.

Internet Safety

Everything you do online is recorded. It is IMPOSSIBLE to clear your tracks completely. Your computer stores hundreds of bits of information about everything you do with your computer, including information about which websites you’ve visited, your passwords, and what your emails say. An abuser can easily track the websites you visit or read your email messages.

If you suspect your activities are being monitored, they probably are. Abusers are often controlling and want to know your every move. You don’t need to be a computer programmer or have special skills to monitor someone’s computer activities – anyone can do it and there are many ways to monitor your activities – even without having direct access to your computer. Using a separate computer is best, but you can protect yourself at home by familiarizing yourself with processes like private browsing, deleting your browser history, clearing your cache and deleting cookies.

You can be tracked

Your abuser can track your online actions – there is nothing you can do to remove your tracks completely. If you try to erase your tracks, your abuser might become suspicious.

If you think you might be in danger, use a computer at a public library, internet cafe or a trusted friend’s house. If your abuser sends you email, do not open it on those computers.

Social Media Safety

Just like the websites you visit may be saved in your browser history, what you post on social media accounts may be visible to an abuser. Be sure to check your audience permissions and manage your privacy settings for any social media accounts.

Additionally, your phone’s geo-location software helps pin every photo you take to a location. Before you post a photo, make sure location-tagging options are switched to “Off” or left blank. 

Need someone to talk to?

Delaware 24-hour Relationship Violence Hotlines

New Castle County: (302) 762-6110
Kent/Sussex Counties: (302) 422-8058
24-hour Relationship Violence Hotline (en español): (302) 745-9874

Delaware 24-hour Sexual Assault Hotlines

YWCA SARC (New Castle/Sussex Counties): (800) 773-8570
Contact Lifeline Crisis Helpline (Kent/Sussex Counties): (800) 262-9800

LoveIsRespect.org

24-hour Relationship Violence Hotline: (866) 331-9474
24-hour Relationship Violence Text Line: Text LOVEIS to 22522
24-hour Relationship Violence Online Chat: www.loveisrespect.org

National Sexual Assault Hotline
(operated by RAINN)

24-hour Sexual Assault Hotline: (800) 656-HOPE
24-hour Sexual Assault Online Chat: www.online.rainn.org

Email Safety

Email is not a safe or confidential way to communicate.

Sending email is like sending a postcard through the mail. Anyone along the path can read what it says.

If you need to talk to someone about the danger or abuse in your life, if possible, please call a hotline instead.

If you must use email to discuss your situation we suggest you use an account that your abuser doesn’t know about. Set up a new account with a free email service like Hotmail, Yahoo, or Gmail.

Password Safety

Be smart about passwords to keep your abuser out of your accounts.

DO NOT use a name or password that contains any identifying information (no names, nicknames, initials, birthdates, zipcodes, etc.) Instead use a name and password that contains a random mix of letters, CAPITAL letters and numbers (for example, HJ3v67Tn) –

Make sure you can remember the username and password. If you must write it down somewhere, put it in a place your abuser is unlikely to find it.

If the computer or email account asks if you would like it to save your password or login information tell it NO.

Find Help Now

All relationships have their ups and downs. But, we all deserve to be respected and feel safe. If you need someone to talk to, find hotlines and services here.

Helping Others

Are you a teacher, parent, coach, counselor or other caring adult looking to help a teen in your life? Explore our list of resources and materials.

Need more info?

We're here to help answer questions or provide additional resources if needed.