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Secure your phone

Make sure it is safe before you start the step-by-step guide

Remember that some actions you take to increase your security or privacy might alert an abuser, and they might escalate their abusive behaviour.

If you haven’t yet, read our safety information.

Steps to secure your phone

  1. If you’re worried someone is monitoring your phone, use a safer device to contact Refuge’s 24h National Domestic Abuse Helpline (Freephone) on 0808 2000 247. A safer device might be another phone from a trusted friend, family, or a neighbour, or a computer in a library, school, or workplace.
  2. Change the password for your online account.
  3. Set up the lock or passcode on your phone.
  4. Turn off location sharing.
  5. Check your apps. Delete any you don’t use. Check location and privacy settings, and change passwords.
  6. Block harassing numbers.



Phone security basics

A first step in taking back control of your phone is learning a bit about how it works.

What’s in a phone: Camera, microphone, sensors to detect motion, and more.

This means that your phone can capture images or sounds of you or what’s around you, as well as where you go and what you do with your phone.

Mobile phone networks, WiFi and more.

This means that even if you turn off mobile service, you might still be connected through WiFi.

Every smartphone is connected to an online account.

If you have an iPhone this is called the Apple ID. For Android this is called your Google Account. This means that if someone else pays your phone bill or knows your password, they likely have access to your location, call history, and other data in the cloud. Check who has accessed your account and remove any unwanted devices or people.

What’s in the cloud:

Websites you visit, calls you make, messages you send, places you go, how fast you’re travelling, payments you make, photos you take, and more. This means that anyone who can access your online account may be able to see all of this information.