The following are precautions that you can take to make your computer as safe as possible so that your privacy is protected.
Cache and History Cleaning and Erasing Cookies
Once you have finished your session with a Safe Helpline staffer it is important that you clean your cache and history and erase the cookies on your computer or mobile device so that people are not able to go onto your computer and check up on what you have been doing. The following are step-by-step directions on how to clean the cache and history on your computer. The directions are operating system and browser specific so make sure to pay attention to the relevant information for your computer or mobile device.
IF YOU ARE USING A U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE COMPUTER OR MOBILE DEVICE, PLEASE KNOW THAT YOUR ONLINE ACTIVITY MAY BE MONITORED OR RECORDED BY DOD
If you have any reason to suspect that someone may be tracking your computer or mobile device usage, please think carefully about whether or not you will want to complete these privacy steps. If someone is tracking your computer or mobile device usage, they may grow suspicious if all records of internet activity, call logs, etc. disappear.
What is Cache?
The cache is an area of the hard disc where web pages are stored when a page is downloaded from the internet. It allows for recently viewed pages to be viewed more rapidly or even offline.
What is History?
The history is a list of the different URLs (or websites) you have visited. This is what fills in the URL line for you when you are returning to a website you have visited before.
To see your history on a Mac, type Apple + H.
To see your history on a PC, type Control + H.
What Are Cookies?
Cookies are storage files that collect personal information that you have provided to particular vendors on the internet (e.g., your name, address, phone number, things you have ordered, etc.). Only information you have provided is stored, and cookies are used to speed up the interactive process when you are online with a vendor. For instance, when you go to Amazon.com you may notice that the advertisements seem to be relevant to your interests; that is because your reading and music preferences are stored in cookies so that the web page can advertise specific deals that fit your taste.
Clearing the Cache and History:
On a PC:
- To clear the cache and history on your computer and erase your cookies, press Ctrl+Shift+Delete. A box will appear that allows you to select what you would like to clear and a time range.
- If you don't see a list of options, click on the drop-down option next to "Details".
- Check the boxes for the items you would like cleared. Then, depending on what you see, click the "Clear Now", "Delete" or "Clear Browsing Data" button.
On a Mac:
- Firefox and Chrome:
- To clear the cache and history on your computer and erase your cookies, press Command+Shift+Delete. A box will appear that allows you to select what you would like to clear and a time range.
- To clear your history click on 'History' in the menu bar and choose 'Clear History.'
2. If you don't see a list of options, click on the drop-down option next to "Details".
3. Check the boxes for the items you would like cleared. Then, depending on what you see, click the "Clear Now" or "Clear Browsing Data" button.
On a Mobile Device
- Click on the 'Legal' button at the bottom of the page.
- Click on 'How to Clear your Browser History.' The site will instruct you how to clear your browser cache, history, form data and cookies.
Further Steps You Can Take to Protect Yourself
If you use a Windows operating system, you may want to make sure that your Windows is as up-to-date as possible. For information on how to do this go to "Use Microsoft Update to Help Keep Your Computer Content" (http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/update/msupdate_keep_current.mspx)
Protecting Yourself from Viruses and Spyware:
If you don't already use up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware programs in order to keep your computer safer, we recommend that you either buy or download a free program that will help to protect you and your computer.
In order to facilitate your obtaining such programs we have provided you with links that will direct you to both paid and free anti-virus and anti-spyware programs.
Top Ten Anti-Virus Programs (https://www.toptenreviews.com/best-antivirus-software)
Google Pack (https://download.cnet.com/Google-Pack-beta/3000-2071_4-10490038.html)
Best Freeware Utilities (https://www.techsupportalert.com/the-ultimate-list-of-freeware-utilities/)
The Anti-Spyware Guide (https://www.firewallguide.com/spyware.htm) which has links to both free and paid programs
Protecting Yourself from Keystroke Logging:
Keystroke logging is when someone has installed hardware or software onto your computer that tracks all typing that you do. This means that they can trace everything you do on your computer from what you type to tracking down usernames and passwords. For obvious reasons this is a dangerous and aggressive form of tracking and can be a difficult thing to trace. For more information on how to see if you have keystroke logging, and what possible options are for removal visit the following article: Privacy Watch: Don't Let Anyone Secretly Track Your Keystrokes
Google Desktop Search
Google Desktop Search is a popular tool that mimics the Google website search techniques on your personal computer so that you can search for files in your computer in a new and faster way. While this may be a nice feature and you may enjoy using it, it also poses a security threat in that it can then save log-in names and passwords, save the webpages you go to (i.e., the Safe Helpline), and store information that you access from the Safe Helpline.
Therefore, we suggest that if you have Google Desktop Search on your computer you disable it before using the Safe Helpline so as to protect your private information.
Effective Date: 2016
Collection of Information About You
Section A tells you how RAINN gathers information from users of the Safe Helpline, and Section B tells you how RAINN gathers information from users of SafeHelpline.org. If you are only using the SafeHelpline.org website generally and are not using the Safe Helpline, Section A (immediately below) does NOT apply to you; you should read Section B.
If you decide to use the Safe Helpline and then use the SafeHelpline.org website separately or during the same timeframe, your use of the Safe Helpline cannot be connected to your use of SafeHelpline.org.
Please note that the Safe Helpline is intended for the DoD Community. All others should visit the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline (https://online.rainn.org) instead of using the Safe Helpline.
A. Safe Helpline
We operate the Safe Helpline, pursuant to a contract with the United States Department of Defense [the "Department of Defense" (DoD)]. The Safe Helpline is staffed by trained crisis support staff to help you during online sessions and RAINN provides supervisors to help monitor online sessions. Any information that you share during a Safe Helpline session will be viewed by the trained staffer assisting you, and may also be viewed by one or more supervisors from RAINN for quality control purposes.
If you provide feedback through an anonymous feedback survey following your session, that feedback may be shared with the trained staffer assisting you, and with personnel at RAINN, if applicable, and the DoD. However, the feedback will be anonymous, and we will not ask for your name or any personal information, or attach any feedback to information that you provide during your Safe Helpline session.
Personally Identifiable Information: “Personally Identifiable Information” is information about you that would identify you, such as your name or address. The Safe Helpline is intended to be an anonymous service and you will NOT be asked to provide your name, address, telephone number or e-mail address, at any time during your use of the Safe Helpline, unless you choose to receive follow-up support services. In fact, RAINN specifically requests, for your own safety and anonymity, that you do NOTprovide any such Personally Identifiable Information when you use the Safe Helpline.
Note that while no Personally Identifiable Information will be asked, trained staffers may ask your location and branch of military service in order to provide you with referrals for ongoing support.
The information and text conveyed by you to our trained staffers during your online chat session is intended to be part of a private conversation between you and the trained staffer, and will NOT be recorded, stored, saved, or catalogued by RAINN other than any information provided that is not Personally Identifiable Information and which will only be used in aggregate reports. Additionally, in order to determine usage levels and average session length, and for other record keeping purposes, an entry will be made in a database containing the start and stop time of each session.
Aggregate Data & Cookies: We automatically gather, or aggregate, certain usage information, such as the number and frequency of visitors to SafeHelpline.org, length of stay, and other anonymous data such as topics discussed. This non-identifying information will be used for research purposes, to improve our understanding of hotline users' concerns and needs. Analyses also help us determine usage levels on different parts of SafeHelpline.org, and to conduct other internal research. In addition, we may aggregate such data and disclose it in a non-personally identifiable manner to sponsors, supporters, academic researchers, the Department of Defense (DoD) and other third parties, to generate support for the Safe Helpline or RAINN, or as required by law. In these situations, we do not disclose any information that could be used to identify you personally.
The Safe Helpline does NOT place any permanent or "persistent" cookies on your computer, although SafeHelpline.org does use session cookies (see below). The cookies placed by SafeHelpline.org cannot be used to identify you as a user of the Safe Helpline.
Personally Identifiable Information:
General. In general, visitors may browse SafeHelpline.org without being requested to reveal any Personally Identifiable Information. However, there are pages on SafeHelpline.org where we may request Personally Identifiable Information about you, such as your name, address, phone number or e-mail address. SafeHelpline.org may also collect information such as your computer's IP address. RAINN may seek such information in order to enable your use of certain parts of the SafeHelpline.org website. In addition, we may use such information to analyze site usage for SafeHelpline.org, to improve our content, and to customize our site's content, layout and services. Finally, we may use your e-mail address or cell phone number to send you information you request.
Please note that any Personally Identifiable Information provided via SafeHelpline.org cannot be connected to your use of the Safe Helpline and once you agree to the Safe Helpline Terms of Service (which must be agreed to prior to your use of the Safe Helpline) the Safe Helpline will not record or store your computer's IP address.
Other Uses. We may use internal service providers to facilitate our services, and, therefore, may provide some of your Personally Identifiable Information directly to them. In addition, we may employ other companies and individuals to perform functions on our behalf, such as website hosting, data analysis, and providing customer service. These companies and individuals will only have access to Personally Identifiable Information needed to perform their functions, and may not use it for any other purpose. As noted above, your Personally Identifiable Information provided via SafeHelpline.org cannot be connected to your use of the Safe Helpline.
Opt-Out Procedures. If you voluntarily provide your email address or cell phone number and request that we email or text information to you, we may send such emails or text messages. If you decide you do not want to receive such emails or text messages, or if you want us to remove your profile or other information from our files for any reason, please email email@example.com and we will remove you from our system.
Aggregate Data & Cookies: We automatically gather, or aggregate, certain usage information, such as the number and frequency of visitors to SafeHelpline.org, length of stay, and other anonymous data. This data helps us determine usage levels on different parts of SafeHelpline.org, and to conduct other internal research. In addition, we may aggregate such data and disclose it in a non-personally identifiable manner to sponsors, supporters, the Department of Defense (DoD) and other third parties, to generate support for the Safe Helpline or RAINN, or as required by law. In these situations, we do not disclose any information that could be used to identify you personally.
For example, SafeHelpline.org uses "session ID cookies." In general, a "cookie" is a small piece of text data stored on a user's computer by a website, in order to give that computer a unique identity to the website while performing certain processes, such as calculating the number of unique visitors at a given time. Cookies may contain personal information, like email addresses, usernames, or passwords, or completely anonymous information, like a randomly generated number. They may be deleted once a user leaves the site, leaves a section of the site, or closes the browser; or they may remain, so that the website "remembers" the user when he or she next visits.
On SafeHelpline.org, we use one session ID cookie. It is used to measure the amount of overall traffic on our website; we use this data only in the aggregate, meaning no individual user can be identified from the data. This cookie is in no way linked to Personally Identifiable Information, and is deleted from the user's computer when the user closes his or her browser. We do not use permanent cookies, which retain information past a user's current visit.
How We Protect Your Security
RAINN stores any information on a secure server that is only accessible by RAINN employees or contractors, pursuant to the terms described above. However, as previously noted, we may aggregate certain information and provide such aggregate reports to third parties, including the DoD. Again, we do not store transcripts of communications over the Safe Helpline.
We care about the security of your personal information, and therefore have chosen to use GoDaddy as a security solutions provider.
We employ different security techniques to protect your personal information from unauthorized access by users inside and outside of our organization, including standard encryption practices. You should be aware, however, that "perfect security" does not exist anywhere on the Internet. ALTHOUGH WE BELIEVE WE TAKE APPROPRIATE MEASURES TO SAFEGUARD AGAINST UNAUTHORIZED DISCLOSURES OF INFORMATION, WE CANNOT ASSURE YOU THAT YOUR PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION OR COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE SAFE HELPLINE WILL NEVER BE DISCLOSED IN A MANNER INCONSISTENT WITH THIS POLICY, AND MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES REGARDING THE SUFFICIENCY OF OUR SECURITY MEASURES.
Always be careful and responsible regarding your personal information. We are not responsible for, and cannot control, the use by others of any information, which you provide or divulge to them, purposefully or inadvertently. Please note that the owner of any computer on which you access the Safe Helpline (including the Department of Defense, if applicable) may have the right to access computers that it owns or has provided. We do not control the privacy policies of others (including the Department of Defense).
For more information on how to keep your computer safe, please read our User Safety Procedures above.
How We May Share Information
We will not publish, sell, share, or rent information about you in ways different from what is disclosed in this statement. However, we may be forced to disclose information to the government or third parties under certain circumstances. We may be required to (and you authorize us to) reveal any information about you that we possess to law enforcement or other government officials as we, in our sole discretion, believe is necessary or appropriate, in connection with the investigation of a crime, mandatory reporting laws, fraud, intellectual property infringement, or other activity that is illegal, or may expose us, or you, to liability. Also, if we, or a trained staffer, fear that you are in danger of committing suicide, or are 17 years of age or younger, we, or the trained staffer, may be required to disclose whatever information you have provided to the appropriate authorities. It is possible that a court of law will not keep private, and may require us to reveal, information that you provide during your Safe Helpline session. If you are concerned about this possibility, please call the Safe Helpline hotline instead, at 877-995-5247 (the phone number is the same in CONUS and via DSN). The data that we collect, and therefore may share, is limited in the manner described above.
Our Policy Toward Children
We are concerned about the safety and privacy of children who use the Internet. Consistent with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, we will never knowingly request Personally Identifiable Information from anyone under the age of 13 without prior verifiable parental consent. If we become aware that a child under 13 has provided us with Personally Identifiable Information through SafeHelpline.org without verifiable parental consent, we will use our best efforts to remove such information from our files. If a parent or guardian becomes aware that his or her child has provided us with Personally Identifiable Information through SafeHelpline.org without verifiable parental consent, he or she should contact RAINN at (202) 544-1034 or info@SafeHelpline.org.
Other Information Collectors
Your Consent and Changes in Privacy Pledge
Attn: Senior Safe Helpline Manager
1220 L St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
Please only address questions about the privacy pledge to the above addresses. If you are concerned about a specific page, please email info@SafeHelpline.org.
User Agreement Effective Date: 2016
Restrictions on Use
All content included on this site, such as text, graphics, logos, button icons, images, photographs, audio clips, digital downloads, data compilations, and software, is the property of DoD and RAINN or its content suppliers, and is protected by United States and international copyright laws.
Users of this site may not copy, print, or distribute any of its contents, with the exception of resource articles provided on the website or in the Resource Library. Such resource articles may be used only for informational, non-commercial purposes.
Linking to this site is permitted, as long as the link does not falsely imply or suggest that RAINN has endorsed or is affiliated with the linked site.
Termination of Access to Website
We may, in our sole discretion, terminate or suspend your access to all or part of this website at any time, with or without notice to you, for any reason, including, without limitation, breach of this Agreement. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, any fraudulent, abusive, or otherwise illegal activity, or activity that may otherwise affect the enjoyment of this website or access to this website by others, may be grounds for termination of your access to all or part of this website at our sole discretion.
RAINN respects the intellectual property rights of others and reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to block and/or terminate access to this site from those that infringe on the rights of others.
If you believe that a copyright work that you own (or have an exclusive right to) has been copied without your authorization, and is accessible on our website, you may notify us by providing the following information to our designated contact.
- Give enough information to enable RAINN to contact you regarding your complaint, including your name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address, if available.
- Identify the material(s) and/or work(s) that you claim are being infringed upon on this site, and the material(s) that are causing such infringement, and give enough information (such as a web page address) to locate such material(s) or work(s) within the site.
- State that you have a good-faith belief that use of the material(s) or work(s) in (2) above is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
- State that the information in this notification is accurate and, under penalty of perjury, that you either own the copyright (or an exclusive right under the copyright) in the material(s) or work(s) that you claim in (2) above are being infringed, or are authorized by such owner to act on its behalf.
Send your notice to our designated contact:
Safe Helpline Administrator
RAINN, Rape, Abuse & Incest National NetworkÂ® and other marks displayed on this site are trademarks of RAINN. All other trademarks displayed on this site not owned by RAINN are the property of their respective owners, who may or may not be affiliated with RAINN. You may not use these trademarks for any product or service that does not belong to RAINN, or in any manner likely to cause confusion about whether we are affiliated with any product or service.
Limitations of Liability
RAINN and its affiliates will not be liable for any damages or injury, including, but not limited to, special or consequential damages that result from the use of (or the inability to use) SafeHelpine.org or the Safe Helpline and its contents, or a site linked to this site, including any damages or injury caused by any failure of performance, error, omission, interruption, defect, delay in operation, computer virus, line failure, or other computer malfunction.
By using the Safe Helpline, you acknowledge and understand that Safe Helpline sessions are conducted by trained staffers (including trained volunteers), who may not be licensed in your state or trained in your state's law. You further acknowledge and understand that any trained volunteers are not employees or agents of RAINN, and that RAINN assumes no responsibility for any act or omission by a trained volunteer.
This site may link to or be linked from other sites that are not maintained by RAINN. RAINN does not endorse, and is not responsible for the content of, any of those sites.
All remarks, suggestions, ideas, graphics, or other information communicated to RAINN through SafeHelpine.org or the Safe Helpline ("Submissions") will forever be the property and intellectual property of RAINN. Unless RAINN expressly states to the contrary, RAINN will not be required to treat any submission as confidential. Further, RAINN will be entitled to use any Submission for any purpose whatsoever, commercial or otherwise, without compensation to you or anyone else.
The material in this site may include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. We may shut down the SafeHelpline.org website and the Safe Helpline and end this Website User Agreement at any time. However, in the event of such a termination, the Limitations of Liability, Disclaimer, and Governing Law sections would continue to apply.
THIS SITE IS PROVIDED BY RAINN ON AN "AS IS" AND "AS AVAILABLE" BASIS. RAINN MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE OPERATION OF THIS SITE OR THE INFORMATION INCLUDED ON THIS SITE. YOU EXPRESSLY AGREE THAT YOUR USE OF THIS SITE IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK. RAINN DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE INFORMATION IN THIS SITE IS ACCURATE, RELIABLE, OR CORRECT, THAT THIS SITE WILL BE AVAILABLE AT ANY PARTICULAR TIME OR LOCATION, OR THAT THE SITE IS FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS.
INFORMATION AND ADVICE PROVIDED THROUGH THE SAFE HELPLINE IS NOT INTENDED AND SHALL NOT CONSTITUTE PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING. ONLINE SESSIONS MAY BE CONDUCTED BY STAFFERS (INCLUDING VOLUNTEERS) WHO ARE NOT PROFESSIONALS AND MAY NOT BE AUTHORIZED TO PROVIDE COUNSELING SERVICES IN CERTAIN STATES. ONLINE SESSIONS ARE NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING SERVICES. THE INFORMATION CONTAINED ON SAFEHELPLINE.ORG AND THE SAFE HELPLINE IS NOT INTENDED OR IMPLIED TO CONSTITUTE MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT. IN ADDITION, NOTHING ON THIS SITE IS INTENDED TO CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE.
If you need professional services or counseling, please call the Safe Helpline at 877-995-5247 to discuss how to locate a legally-certified professional.
Revisions or Changes to this Website User Agreement
RAINN makes no representation that materials on the SafeHelpline.org website and the Safe Helpline are appropriate or available for use in locations outside the United States. Access to this site from countries or territories where such access is illegal is prohibited. Those who choose to access this site outside the United States do so on their own initiative and are responsible for compliance with local laws.
You agree that your use of this site, this Agreement and any disputes relating thereto shall be governed in all respects by the laws of the District of Columbia. Any dispute relating to this Agreement shall be resolved solely in the courts located in the District of Columbia.
Thank you for visiting SafeHelpline.org! Please contact RAINN at 202-544-1034, or firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have any questions about our website or this Website User Agreement.