Information, Strategies, Solutions and Prevention
Safety and security are critical issues for all women and children in contemporary America, but are of particular importance in regions prone to extreme corruption, misogyny, violence and apathy. Not surprisingly, the Northeast Region of the U.S. is the safest for women and children; while—despite Blue State status—California (not Texas!) is the most dangerous: Nationally and Internationally (developed world).
COMPUTERS DO THE DARNEDEST THINGS
Especially when a nefarious current or former partner/husband/boyfriend starts tampering with yours (computer). With access to your computer, he can do a lot of damage to: you, your personal and professional activities--including personal and professional contacts' computers, and your own computer. Damage can range from stealing passwords i.e. your email and online banking account passwords; to installing worms, viruses and trojan-horses; to modifying your computer settings i.e. reformatting your hard-drive, installing DLLs and other executable files, disabling or bypassing uninstall features, reading and/or deleting files; to monitoring computer activities (email, chat, web-browsing, keystroke logging, programs, file sharing, etc.); to sending information to a third party without your knowledge or consent.
All of this crime, called "cybercrime," is done via "spyware." Spyware is installed either physically (i.e. spyware disk, CD-rom, hardware device) or electronically (i.e. embedded in email, cookie, etc.) It can be broken into two basic types: advertising spyware AKA "adware" and surveillance spyware. Surveillance spyware is software or hardware designed to monitor and/or damage your computer--often without your knowledge or consent. As Wikipedia puts it: "cybercrime is...criminal activity involving the information technology infrastructure, including illegal access (unauthorized access), illegal interception (by technical means of non-public transmissions of computer data to, from or within a computer system), data interference (unauthorized damaging, deletion, deterioration, alteration or suppression of computer data), systems interference (interfering with the functioning of a computer system by inputting, transmitting, damaging, deleting, deteriorating, altering or suppressing computer data), misuse of devices, forgery (ID theft), and electronic fraud." Cybercrime is taking off at an alarming rate across the country. F-secure calls it one of the fastest growing crimes. Here's how you can stay safe:
SAFETY AT HOME, WORK, ELSEWHERE
The National Criminal Justice Reference Service is a great resource for information on crime. It is a federally funded resource offering justice and substance abuse information (crime, victim assistance, and public safety) to support research, policy, and program development. Its website is open and accessible to anyone. It has extensive information on violent crime including: domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, and a special section on Family Violence.