You need to know about Apple’s new update if you are a victim of stalking or harassment
In iOS 16, people are able to edit and unsend texts sent through the Messages app. Apple users will have 15 minutes to edit or unsend a message — after that, it can’t be changed or deleted.
This means an abuser can send a harassing message to a victim and then completely erase the evidence.
What to do if you’re being harassed or stalked:
1. If someone is making unwanted and repeated attempts to contact you after you’ve firmly requested them to stop, don’t respond. Even if they threaten to distribute intimate photos, contact your employer, friends, or family – don’t respond.
2. AS SOON AS you receive a threatening, extorting, harassing message, screenshot it. Remember: you are not responsible for your stalker’s criminal actions. Therefore, you are not responsible for carrying the shame and embarrassment of those actions. Pull your energy away from shame, and in to gathering the evidence.
3. Create an Incident Tracking Chart (here is a free resource you can print and use). Describe incidents thoroughly and objectively. Screenshot, save, and file evidence.
3. Consider turning off iMessage so that messages are received in SMS format and cannot be deleted by the offender (the feature will not work at all with “green bubble” SMS messaging).
4. Don’t delete anything. Evidence is absolutely necessary to measure the scope, length, and timeline of the harassment/extortion/exploitation. You may feel the urge to rid your phone of any memory of the situation out of trauma or embarrassment, but don’t. Keep it all. It’s no longer your shame to bear. It’s now your ammo.
5. Change your passwords to social media, phone apps, email, iCloud and always choose the option to log out of other browsers after resetting just in case you signed into that account on a device your stalker has access to.
6. Set up privacy features to ask for approval before anything you’re tagged in can be posted to your timeline.
7. Block your stalker on social media. Any efforts to get around that blocking, such as creating new accounts to add you, calling from blocked or unknown numbers, indicates their escalating obsession. These attempts should be documented and included in any statement you give to the police or a lawyer.
No one should spend every second worrying or panicking over the next move their offender will make. If you’re under attack, get help right away. Click here to learn more about the process of getting an order of protection with C.A. Goldberg, PLLC.
C.A. Goldberg, PLLC can help get an order of protection that gives you the protection you need for your unique situation.
Want to find out if an order of protection might be right for you? Let’s Chat.
- Free resource: What is the difference between a family court and criminal court Order of Protection?