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Staying safe online and when contacting Vardags

If you are a victim of domestic abuse, or at risk of such, it is strongly advised that you take account of the following information, provided below for your safety. 

Hiding evidence of domestic abuse related searches online 

Seeking help and advice online is an incredibly important step for victims. Unfortunately, however, it carries the risk of an abuser tracing your online footprint. 

To actively combat and minimise this risk, you can take the following steps: 

Private browsing

Browsing privately or on incognitio mode ensures that your browsing information, cookies, as well as any information entered into forms is not saved, so no trace is left after you quit the session. 

To do this:

  • Right click on your browsers icon, after which the option to start a New Window versus a New Private Window should pop up. Click the Private Window option - the browser should tell you that private browsing has been enabled. Alternatively, you should be able to search for the private browsing option in the Help section of your browsers toolbar. 

  • Please note, however, that downloads, bookmarks, and reading list items will be saved. 

Deleting your browsing history 

If you wish to double-check no trace of your browsing history is left, or otherwise prefer to delete browsing manually, heres how you can do this:

  • Use the ctrl + H shortcut to open up your browers search histroy. Alternatively, there should be a history tab in your browsers toolbar. Search for any entries featuring our website and manually delete these.  

Other important information to delete 

  • Any saved search terms - your Google search engine will automatically save certain keywords, so that they pop up as suggestions when you begin to type. To delete these,  
  • Any recently visited websites - many browsers will have a feature which displays recently visited websites. Check for these, and right click to delete if they display our website. 

Accessing a computer outside your home, where possible

It is recommended that you try accessing the internet at a local library, friends house, or workplace: an abusive partner may use spyware to track your activity online - the safest option may bve using a computer outside of your home.  

When contacting Vardags directly 

An abuser may be looking through your call history, as such it is incredibly important to clear your call history after making contact with Vardags via the phone. If the circumstances are such that you are living in close proximity to your partner and you do not want them to hear, we advise you to use our WhatsApp service. It is also important in these circumstances to delete any messages after you receive them. It is also advised to victims that they nickname the Vardags number with a family friends name or otherwise, should we ever call. 

Get help 

If you are suffering from domestic abuse, or know someone that is, it is vital that you get help as quickly as possible. Please contact our specialist team who can support you and explain the options and protection that are available. Please call 999 if you are in imminent danger. In circumstances where calling the emergency services may inflame the situation, you can press 55 once you have dialled 999 and the emergency services will go to the address from where you have called without you having to say anything. 

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