Digital Abuse

In a healthy relationship, all communication is respectful whether in person, online or by phone. It is never okay for someone to do or say anything that makes you feel bad, lowers your self-esteem or manipulates you. You may be experiencing digital abuse if your partner:

  • Tells you who you can or can’t be friends with on Facebook and other sites.
  • Sends you negative, insulting or even threatening emails, Facebook messages, tweets, DMs or other messages online.
  • Uses sites like Facebook, Twitter, foursquare and others to keep constant tabs on you.
  • Puts you down in their status updates.
  • Sends you unwanted, explicit pictures and/or demands you send some in return.
  • Pressures you to send explicit video or sexts.
  • Steals or insists on being given your passwords.
  • Constantly texts you and makes you feel like you can’t be separated from your phone for fear that you will be punished.
  • Looks through your phone frequently, checks up on your pictures, texts and outgoing calls.
  • Tags you unkindly in pictures on Instagram, Tumblr, etc.
  • Uses any kind of technology (such as spyware or GPS in a car or on a phone) to monitor you

You never deserve to be mistreated, online or off. If you’re experiencing digital dating abuse, we encourage you to chat with a peer advocate. 


  • Your partner should respect your relationship boundaries.
  • It is okay to turn off your phone. You have the right to be alone and spend time with friends and family without your partner getting angry.
  • You do not have to text any pictures or statements that you are uncomfortable sending, especially nude or partially nude photos, known as “sexting.”
  • You lose control of any electronic message once your partner receives it. They may forward it, so don’t send anything you fear could be seen by others.
  • You do not have to share your passwords with anyone.
  • Know your privacy settings. Social networks such as Facebook allow the user to control how their information is shared and who has access to it. These are often customizable and can be found in the privacy section of the site. Remember, registering for some applications (apps) requires you to change your privacy settings.
  • Be mindful when using check-ins like Facebook Places and foursquare. Letting an abusive partner know where you are could be dangerous. Also, always ask your friends if it’s okay for you to check in with them. You never know if they are trying to keep their location secret.

Helpful Apps that can check your phone for spyware

For Android phones:

Malwarebytes Security

For those who are not willing to compromise on their device’s security, Malwarebytes is the perfect option for you. It is one of the most trusted and reputable names in the security industry. They bring the same top-notch anti-spyware detection and removal that they are famous for on Windows to Android.

The Malwarebytes Setup Wizard makes the process of app installation, device scan and spyware removal simple. The free version will detect and remove all known spyware.

The Premium version will scan incoming messages and immediately blocks malicious URLs. Think of it as immunizing your phone from any future spyware from infiltrating your phone. You can try the premium version for free for 30 days. Afterward, a monthly subscription of $1.3 is required—a reasonable fee for the level of protection from spyware it offers.

Incognito – Spyware Removal by Arcane Solutions

If you’re looking to find hidden spyware on your Android, Incognito brings a no-nonsense approach to the table. Its anti-spyware detection is highly specialized. The free version of incognito executes two functions: 1) it finds a malicious file and 2) eliminates it. At $0.37 per month, you can purchase a pro-version subscription which enables real-time protection against spyware apps.

Anti Spy (SpyWare Removal)

Our most recommended option if you’re looking for the best free anti-spyware app for Android. The major downside to it is the presence of rather intrusive ads. Otherwise, this anti-spyware app for Android gets the job done.

The key feature that we liked the most is that Anti Spy audits apps with access to the Active Device Administrator, which controls the critical functions of your Android devices. It then goes on not only to detect and remove all the malicious spyware but also to whitelist the trusted apps.

For iphone ios:

Norton 360 – best antivirus for iPhone and iPad

TotalAV – secure antivirus with real-time protection and a VPN

McAfee – excellent security tool for malware removal

Bitdefender Antivirus – extensive and feature-loaded solution

Avira Antivirus – great antivirus with a feature-packed free plan