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International Men’s Day

On November 19 International Men’s Day celebrates worldwide the positive value men bring to the world, their families and communities. We highlight positive role models and raise awareness of men’s well-being. One of the six pillars of International Men’s Day is to  improve gender relations and promote gender equality not only for men but for women too. In this light our theme for 2021 is “Better relations between men and women.

Today it is important to remember men can be affected too.

In keeping with the International Men’s Day 2021 theme, we will highlight how technology plays a large part in maintaining control in an unhealthy or abusive relationship. Listed below are the different aspects an abuser will often utilise:

  • Tracking
    Many new smart phones allow totally innocent methods of tracking movement and position. Sadly, this is often the first go to in an abusive relationship. Turning GPS off is seen as a sign of guilt, leaving it switched on opens up questions about every movement throughout the day.
  • Apps
    There are many apps now which run fairly silently that will allow anyone [with access credentials] to track devices. Designed to protect the user from accidental loses and even theft, sadly another tool for an abuser.
  • Internet of Things [IOT]
    These days many people have camera doorbells, CCTV, and movement monitors. In an abusive relationship the data from these devices will be unhealthily scrutinised. If anything is found it will be used to reinforce control, or trigger an argument.
  • Remote Access
    Remote control/access is readily available on all technologies. An abuser will go beyond capturing imagery on these devices. They will use the to record sound too. Even turn lights on and off or send sounds to speakers.
  • Spoofing
    It is very simple to create new accounts on social media. Abusers will often create accounts in the name of former partners, close friends, or anyone they may be able to use to initiate a dialogue which can be used to reinforce control or trigger abuse.
  • Communications Access
    Often innocent access is granted to a partner, to check the status of an order, or see if an email has arrived. Unfortunately, in an abusive relationship this causes more problems. Everything is scrutinised. And redacting access, by changing passwords, causes more suspicion.

This is by no means a definitive list. Rather a common list we have compiled from our own cases.

It is important to remember that cybercrime isn’t only affecting those in relationships, abusive or otherwise. There are several methods single people are targeted too. Below we list some of the ways single people are targeted:

  • Catfishing
    By using imagery of attractive people and pretending to be looking for love, the operator can quickly move onto any of the following.
  • Phishing
    Attempting to collect enough information to perform other crimes.
  • Blackmail
    Often following on from Catfishing, the operator will try to get sensitive pictures in order to blackmail the target.
  • Ransomware
    The operator will build a certain level of trust, then send a film which, when opened, will give them remote access or lock the target computer.
  • Scams
    There are so many scams targeting single people. From “people in your area” to “long term relationships”, these are often nothing more than an introduction to a scam.