Many times we feel safe in utilizing a computer to save our documents, pictures, and other vital information. While documentation of this kind can be helpful in obtaining an Order of Protection, pursuing criminal charges against a perpetrator, or in a civil matter, it is important to protect the information.
Keystroke logging, also known as a keylogger, is often advertised for purposes of monitoring children's use and for parental control of a home computer. Some companies may use keyloggers to ensure that confidential company information as well as the company equipment is utilized in it's intended manners. For an abuser, a keylogger is a tool to track your passwords, programs used, documents and pictures created and saved, internet access, and even messenging programs.
When a keylogger is downloaded and utilized on a computer (PC or Laptop), it many times is difficult to detect. Some can run "beneath" an operating system (Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows 8, etc) and therefor be hidden from your program menu.
If your abuser has had access to your computer and you suspect that they may have installed a keystroke logger, you may be able to detect the keystroke logger program by installing an anti-keylogger. You can search for one on the internet or visit a store such as Staples or Office Depot. Anti-keyloggers are operated much like an anti-virus or anti-spyware program, searching through the depths of you computer programs and operating system to find unauthorized or problematic files.
Basic Computer Privacy When a computer is set up, a "User Account" is created. The User Account is usually the first screen of a computer start up that shows a name. This can be password protected by going to the "Control Panel" of your computer, selecting "User Accounts", then selecting the account that you would like to create a password for. If you are having trouble locating this information, contact a Safe Space advocate or reference your computer manual.
It is highly recommended that you back up your important files (documents and pictures) either on an external hard drive or through an internet file system (see "Internet - Social Media & Email" for ways to protect online files). This will ensure that if your computer has any hardware malfunctions, is damaged, or is lost/stolen, that you will not lose the vital information you need.
If you have a question that was not answered about computer safety, contact a Safe Space Advocate on our 24 Hour Crisis and Information Hotline at 406-782-8511.
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