Many websites that have information about domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking have a “quick escape” or “leave this website” button at the top of their webpages. Some websites have a pop-up message to let you know that you should leave that website if your device is being monitored. These buttons or messages are there to allow someone to quickly leave the website if they are concerned that it could be an issue should someone know that they are seeking this kind of information.

This button is helpful only if someone is watching over your shoulder or enters a room and you need to quickly switch to another website. It will not prevent the other person from going through your browser history or from knowing you were on that website if they are monitoring your device or internet activity remotely.

To minimize the chances of someone knowing that you are researching information about domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, follow these tips.

  1. If you think your devices or internet search activities are being monitored, access this information from a device that isn’t being monitored. That should be a device that the person does not or has not had physical or remote access. This is the safest thing to do if you don’t want someone to know that you are visiting these websites.
  2. Sign out of other accounts, such as Google or Facebook, before visiting these sites.
  3. Use your internet browser settings to increase your privacy, such as turning off browsing history or using the browser in-private mode. Read more about browser settings here.
  4. If it is safe to do so, delete the websites URLs that you don’t want stored from the browser history.
  5. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to increase the security of your internet browsing and activity. 

While reading our website, please note that links to external videos will be both in your browser history, and in your account history. For example, a video embedded from YouTube will be in browser history and their YouTube account viewing history. Also, downloading a PDF or other documents from our site will place the document in your Downloads folder or other folder location specified by your browser.

Wondering if your devices are being monitored? Learn more about computer spyware.  

Find more technology-related information and resources by visiting the National Network to End Domestic Violence’s “Technology Safety & Privacy: A Toolkit for Survivors.

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