CELL PHONE SAFETY
More people are relying on their cell phones for all of their communication needs. We now have the ability to make calls, send texts, compose email and surf the internet from one device. Cell phones have also become a target and a tool for stalkers and batterers.
Spyware is no longer limited to computers and the internet. It is now easily purchased for cell phones. This software can:
- send the stalker a text message that lets him/her know you are on a call
- allow the stalker to call in and listen in on your conversations while you are on the phone
- enable the phone to act as a speaker and allow a stalker to listen into any activity in the phone’s immediate area
- send a log to the stalker of text messages sent and received
- send a log to the stalker of every incoming and outgoing call and their phone numbers
- allow a stalker to monitor conversations and activities from miles away
It is good practice to protect your cell phone from tampering as a general rule, but it is especially important if you are the victim of an abusive relationship, domestic violence or stalking.
ADVISORY: If you are in an abusive relationship, you should consult with a victim advocate before making any changes to your cell phone settings, programs or routine as these changes can place you in further danger. It is also best to allow law enforcement to investigate any suspicious behavior/activity so that they can preserve any evidence that could help build a case against the stalker/batterer.
- Look for patterns in the information the stalker knows. It could reveal the type of technology being used to monitor your activities.
- Password protect your phone. Use a password that no one can easily guess. Avoid birthdays and social security numbers or any part of your social security number.
- Avoid “checking in” on social media sites with your cell phone. Keep in mind that your general location can also be revealed when you post on these sites
- Consider an older model phone with no internet access if you don’t have to be online when you’re away from home or work. Cell phones with internet capability are especially vulnerable.
- Know where your phone is at all times. Keep it on your person or within sight when you are around others.
- Look out for unusual occurrences with your phone, such as:
– beeping or clicking sounds when you are on a call
– unusual background noises that are not coming from your location
– difficulty shutting the phone off
– a warm battery even when the phone is not in use
– your phone lighting up when it is not in use.
- If you suspect your phone is being monitored, consider purchasing a pre-paid phone with no internet access for sensitive calls. Call the police and have them investigate.
- Remove the battery when your phone is not in use.
If you feel you are being stalked, speak to a victim advocate who can help assess your situation and advise you on the best course of action. Contact a coalition in your state or any of these organizations that may apply to your situation:
The National Domestic Violence Helpline 800-799-SAFE (7233)
The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline 866-331-9474
The National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-HOPE (4673)
ChildHelp National Child Abuse Hotline 800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453)
You can also find more information about stalking at: