Staying Safe Online

Angus Women's Aid

01241 439437

Office Hours 10am to 4.30 pm, Monday to Friday. If you need help outwith these hours, please call the 24 hour national helpline 0800 027 1234.

24 Hour National Helpline

0800 027 1234

Incognito mode
Alternatively referred to as Private Browsing, InPrivate Browsing, Private Window, Incognito mode is a setting that prevents Internet history from being stored. For example, when you visit any web page, any text, pictures, and cookies loaded in the page is all stored on your computer. Additionally, any searches or forms that are filled out are stored inAutocomplete fields. Ingognito mode prevents this happening.

How safe is incognito mode?
Private browsing is not meant as a way to be completely anonymous on the Internet. However, is an easy and quick way to not log your browsing history or save (cache) any web pages, images, or cookies as you are browsing.

Other monitoring software
If your computer has any other monitoring software (e.g. parental control programs or keyloggers), they can still capture and monitor everything you are doing on the computer, even if you are in private mode. Monitoring can also be done at the network level, which means any school or corporate monitoring that may be running on the network could also capture any private browsing.

Setting up Incognito Browsing

Internet Explorer users
1. Open the Internet Explorer browser.
2. Press the Ctrl + Shift + P keys at the same time.
or
1. Open the Internet Explorer browser.
2. On the upper right-hand portion of the browser window, click Tools .
3. Move the mouse cursor over the Safety drop-down menu.
4. Click InPrivate Browsing.

To leave InPrivate Mode, close the private window or re-open your Internet Explorer browser.

Chrome users
1. Open the Google Chrome browser.
2. Press the Ctrl + Shift + N keys at the same time.
or
1. Open the Google Chrome browser.
2. Click on the Wrench or Menu icon in the top right corner.
3. Click New incognito window.

To leave Incognito Mode, close the incognito window or re-open your Google Chrome browser.

Firefox users
1. Open the Firefox browser.
2. Press the Ctrl + Shift + P keys at the same time.
or
1. Open the Firefox browser.
2. Click Menu in the upper right-hand corner of the browser window.
3. Select New Private Window.

To leave Private Mode, close the private window or re-open your Firefox browser.

Opera users
1. Open the Opera browser.
2. Press the Ctrl + Shift + N keys at the same time.
or
1. Open the Opera browser.
2. Click the button in the upper left-hand corner of the window.
3. From the drop-down menu, select New private window.

To leave Private Mode, close the private window or re-open your Opera browser.

Safari users (Apple/Mac computer)
1. Open the Safari browser.
2. Click on the File menu at the top of the browser window.
3. In the File menu, select New Private Window

To leave Private Browsing, select New Window in step 3 above or close the Private browser window and open a new Safari browser window.

Safari users (Windows computer)
1. Open the Safari browser.
2. Click the Gear located in the upper right-hand corner of the browser window.
3. Select Private Browsing… from the drop-down menu.
4. Click OK.

Tip: To leave Private Browsing, repeat steps 2-4 listed above.

Chrome users (Android devices)
1. Open the Google Chrome browser.
2. Tap the Menu icon or option (looks like three dots on some devices, other devices may have different icon).
3. Tap the New Incognito tab option in the Menu.

To leave Incognito mode, close the incognito tab.

Safari users (iPad and iPhone)
1. Open the Safari browser.
2. Tap the New tab icon to open a new tab in the browser.
3. Tap the Private option.

For iOS 7 or earlier, follow the steps below instead.
1. Open the Safari browser.
2. Tap the New tab icon to open a new tab in the browser.
3. Tap the Private option.

To leave Private Browsing, repeat steps 2-3 listed above.

Information Source: Computer Hope

If you think you are being followed or controlled online, here’s what you can do.

Use a safe device Search for help, do your banking and any safety planning or personal chats on a different device. Do not use your own device. Try to use a library computer or a friend’s or family members’ device that your partner will not check.

Ditch the device If you think someone is tracking your location through your device leave the device at home as often as you can, particularly if you are going to an agency, friend or to the police for help. Trust your instincts on this.

If possible get a new phone, even a very basic or older phone will let you make calls. Get a prepaid service or make sure the bill is in your name so it does not go to the abuser. Make sure they can’t find it.

Create a new email account that does not feature your name, for example use iloverainbows@email.co.uk, but not YourRealName@email.co.uk. Use this email to set up and for safety planning.

Use this new email for all safety planning such as setting up any new bank accounts. If you need to use another emil to verify your identify, use a trusted friend or family member’s email and avoid any emails or phone numbers the person following you may have access to.

Trust your gut feeling If you think your follower somehow has access to the information in your new email account, set up another new email account on a safe device. Change how you use your current device: do not access anything important on it, or anything that might make the follower angrier.

New passwords Create new passwords for all new accounts that will not be obvious to the follower. Do not use birthdates, children’s or pets’ names, favourite foods, colours or singers. Using two words together with numbers or symbols (*&^) in the middle of the words can work well. If you are worried you may forget your new passwords leave a list of them at a safe place, for example a trusted member of the family’s place.

Act normally. Keep using your old email accounts for day-to-day communication that will not upset the person following you, so they don’t get suspicious.

Be selective with future contacts. Only add ‘friends’ you trust will not communicate with the person following you to any new social media accounts. Activate the privacy settings on your social media accounts.

Add a new passcode to your phone or tablet and set Auto-Lock to one or two minutes. Add passwords to computers and laptops.

Always log off or sign out of social media and email accounts rather than just closing the window, and make sure the privacy settings on social media are private.

Don’t let the person following you know where you are. Turn off location settings on your phone and devices and do not post your location or photos on social media.

Is spyware being used? Spyware can tell very tech savvy followers every call you make, every email or message you send and every place you take your device. It is hard to know if anyone has installed Spyware on your device. Some signs are:

  • the battery of your device is dying faster than usual
  • unknown programs are operating in the background of your desktop
  • your speeds are slower
  • your abuser knows a lot about what you are doing, where you are, who you are talking to online, through emails, texts and calls.

If you think spyware is on your device, use a safe device for all important correspondence. If possible get a new device, even if it is a very old or basic model.

Technology can help Install anti-virus protection on all your devices as this can help block spyware.

Check your child’s device Make sure all of this is done for your children’s devices as well as yours, especially if the the person following you has given a device to them as a gift.

Check all accounts with credit card or direct debit payments that may give away your location.  Contact these agencies to have your car and cards removed from the accounts so the person following you can’t track your movements.

Get support. Remember stalking, harassment and abuse are not okay and not your fault. This behaviour is upsetting and dangerous, but help is available.