The increasing role of technology in society makes life easy for many in Pennsylvania and across the world. Computers, smartphones and even homes now have the ability to learn users’ habits and guide them in their everyday choices. Unfortunately for victims of domestic abuse, that same technology may also become a tool for their abusers, allowing them to torment their victims and track their movements.

Those who frequently use their phones, computers or specific apps may not always log out when they are finished. This has allowed some domestic abusers to gain access to their personal accounts and obtain details they can use to control their victims. Even those who are under court orders to stay away from family members may use technology to disguise their numbers, voices and locations when contacting their victims. Some abusers even log into smart devices in the home to control them remotely, such as turning up the thermostat or playing loud music in the middle of the night.

It is possible for abuse victims to use technology more safely. It is always a good idea for a victim of domestic abuse to change usernames and passwords frequently and to use different names and passwords for each account. Avoiding giving a device one’s location or saving personal information is a wise move. It may even be necessary to replace phones, computers and other smart devices altogether and start fresh.

The fear and uncertainty of domestic abuse is too common in Pennsylvania. Those who are victims of a spouse or partner’s violence have options for protecting themselves and their interests. An experienced attorney can assist abuse victims with obtaining protection orders that prohibit spouses or partners from continuing the abuse.