Using this page safely
This website has several features intended to help you use the website as safely as possible. Some of our safety features include an Exit button and information about ways to clear your browser history (footprints).
Clicking on the "Quick Escape" option in the menu at the right side of the page will take you immediately out of the Sexual Assault Services website and to http://www.google.com. If you feel unsafe on this site and need to leave, click the "Quick Escape" image at any time.
Clicking "Quick Escape" will not clear your browser history automatically. If you wish to clear your browser, please keep reading for more information about the importance of clearing your browser history and how to do it.
Clearing Your Browser History (Footprints)
What are footprints, and why do I need to clear them?
Computer use can be monitored and it is impossible to completely clear information viewed on the Internet from your computer. If you are being stalked or are in a relationship with a controlling partner, tracking your internet usage is an excellent way for that person to see what you are doing or planning.
- If you are in immediate danger, please use a safer computer,
- call 9-1-1
- call your local hotline (800.838.8238 (V/TTY)),
- and/or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)).
Once you are sure you are in a safe place and are using a safer computer, please read these tips for ways to limit access to your search history.
- There are hundreds of ways that computers record everything you do on the computer and on the Internet, including your web searches and emails. It is not possible to delete or clear all computer "footprints.”
- E-mail is not a safe or confidential way to talk to someone about the danger or abuse in your life, or plans you might be making. Please call your local domestic violence program hotline instead. Traditional "corded" phones are more private than cellular phones or cordless phones.
- If you are in danger, please try to use a safer computer that someone abusive does not have direct or remote (hacking) access to. Safer computers might be in a public library, at a community technology center (CTC) http://www.ctcnet.org (national directory), at a trusted friend's house, or at an Internet Cafe.
- If you think your activities are being monitored, they probably, are. Abusive people 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.
- If you think you may be monitored on your home computer, you might consider no home Internet use or "safer" home Internet surfing. Example: If you are planning to flee to California, don't look at classified ads for jobs and apartments, bus tickets, etc. for California on a home computer or any computer an abuser has physical or remote access to. Use a safer computer to research an escape plan.
-Adapted from the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence
How to Clear Your Browser
For detailed and up-to-date instructions on clearing your browser, please click here. You will be sent to an outside website, and will find instructions, titled "Clearing Your Browser's Cache," mid-way down the page.