Communication avenues, such as text messaging, chat rooms, and social networking websites (e.g., Instagram and Facebook), have allowed people to easily develop relationships, some with people they have never met in person. They allow people to communicate with family and friends on a regular basis. However, the explosion of communication tools does not come without possible risks. Abusive people can use electronic media to embarrass, harass, stalk or threaten someone.

True or False?

Distributing embarrassing pictures of someone by posting them in a public area (ie. on a website) or sending them via e-mail is an example of electronic aggression.

True - Electronic Aggression is any type of harassment or bullying that occurs through e-mail, a chat room, instant messaging, a website (including blogs), or text messaging.

My location can be tracked if I turn my phone off and remove the battery.


When we are on the move, our mobile phone is constantly seeking out a tower signal in case you need to make a call, which means that even the most basic mobile phone can be used as a tracking device.


Spyware is software that can only be installed with your permission.

False - Spyware is software that is installed without your knowledge, and can be used to spy on your movements and communications.

GPS information can be recorded in other data you produce with your phone, like in pictures, or in social networking updates.

True - Geotagging is when a device such as an iPhone, Android smartphone or digital camera stores your location or geographical information, such as your GPS coordinates, within a photo or movie file (such as .jpg or .mov files).

Because cordless phones transmit your conversation wirelessly between the base unit and phones, they can more easily be intercepted by scanners, baby monitors, and other cordless phones.


Technology can be used to stalk and monitor a person’s activities and behaviors either in present time or historically.

True - By simply having your phone switched on, sending a text message, or making a phone call, you reveal a information about where you are. Even if you have picked up a pre-paid or pay-as-you-go SIM card, your phone and that SIM card number are being tracked by the cell phone company to provide service.

Data may also be recorded in your phone’s registry information. If your phone was purchased as part of a plan, the owner of the plan may have access to information such as call history and when text messages were sent. The legal owner of the phone is also able to register it with a mobile tracking company that allows the phone to be easily tracked if lost. Such a service enables an abusive partner to check up on their partner’s movements using the geographic location signals the phone gives out. It could show them exactly where their partner is on a Google map. Newer phones feature global positioning systems that take advantage of the mobile phone infrastructure and further pinpoint location.

To download a Bernadette McCann House Technology Guide, click here.