Social Media Spying
Risks: your social media accounts can be used to spy, stalk or monitor your activities, your movements and your communications with friends. Social media can also be misused to harass you or even impersonate you.
1. Consider deleting all or some of your social media accounts.
2. Change all your passwords on all social media sites. Use a strong password which your partner / spouse will be unable to guess. Do not write down your password.
3. Do not post publicly on any social media.
4. Review your privacy setting on all social media sites you use. Ensure that only your friends can see what you post, and what others post about you.
5. Remove location data from all social media posts (usually through “settings”)
6. Do not tweet or, if you must, make sure you “protect your tweets” so that only your followers can see them.
Risks: someone with access to your phone may be spying on your sensitive personal information. Apps can be installed on your phone to allow others to remotely snoop on your texts, call logs and emails. Your spouse / partner may also be able to monitor your location using your phone.
1. If you believe that your spouse / partner has been using your smartphone for spying on you, consider replacing / upgrading it e.g. with a cheap pay as you go phone.
2. If this is not possible, restore your smartphone to its factory settings. This will remove any spyware which has been installed without your knowledge. Make sure you back up your information first.
3. Change the phone’s password. If possible also change your security questions so that the answers cannot be guessed by your spouse / partner. Never tell anyone else your password, even your children.
4. If you are not the bill payer, consider using WhatsApp for messages and calls.
5. Check the list of apps which have been installed on your phone and make sure you know what they each do.
6. Don’t include location coordinates in your pictures. You can turn off that capability through the privacy setting on your camera app.
7. Keep your phone with you at all times so that it cannot be tampered with.
Computer or Tablet
Risks: your passwords may be stored on your PC allowing others to spy on your emails and other sensitive accounts. Spyware can be installed on your device which allows others to track and monitor everything you do online.
1. If you suspect that your use of a device is being monitored, do not use it.
2. Install or run anti‐spyware and anti‐virus software on your device. Your PC may already have this software installed, such as Windows Defender for Windows 10. If not, there are numerous free apps available e.g. Malwarebytes.
3. Open a new email account. Use a non-identifying name for your new email account and don’t use the same password.
Risks: information you provide to websites can be shared online and create a permanent record of your personal information for others to spy on. Your activity on websites can be monitored by others.
1. Assume that nothing online is private.
2. Create new strong passwords for all your important sites e.g. bank accounts, utilities, Amazon, Pinterest, Etsy etc
3. Use private browsing when using a web browser e.g. Google Chrome’s “Incognito”.
4. If prompted, do not allow your browser to save your passwords.