- 3G or older phones (won’t be able to call or text)
- Security systems
- Personal alarm devices
- Medical alert devices
- Interior car navigation devices
- Ankle monitors used by law enforcement to keep track of parolees
- Websites and apps that use a cellular connection
- 911 calls
And there’s more to this picture. Without a doubt, the end of 3G will also widen the gap between higher income and low-income individuals who can’t afford the upgrade to 5G compatible devices and other smart 5G technology. As a segment of the U.S. population, Native peoples are still at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder due to the effects of centuries of colonization. This includes neglect by the U.S. federal government, which has bred a continuing cycle of poverty and economic disparity. So for many Native Americans, the cost of a new smart phone or device is out of reach. Digital inequality will become even more unequal leaving many of our relatives even more cut off from the protective and supportive services they may need most. And there’s another perhaps more ominous side to 5G access. Domestic and sexual abusers who employ digital abuse — the use of technology and the internet to harass, intimidate or stalk to control someone — are also getting smarter and more deceptive along with the new smart 5G technology. Devices that are intended to make everyday life easier and more pleasant, such as smart phones with their built-in maps, smart home thermostats, home security cameras and even baby monitors can make it easy for digital abusers to cyberstalk and control their victims faster and undetected. Here are some tips to ensure not only that you can use your phone in an emergency situation but also that you can keep all your devices as safe as possible from cyber intruders in the 5G world.
Financial, digital, emotional, cultural, spiritual, sexual and physical are all types of abuse where one partner tries to gain power and control over the other. Learn the tactics of abuse here: https://t.co/AC5Pc62eY8#TeenDVAM #Datingviolence #Indigenous #Native pic.twitter.com/fppyPwGEft— strongheartsdv (@strongheartsdv) February 12, 2022
- Phones: Contact your service provider if you have a 3G phone, a phone more than two years old, a basic feature phone or, particularly, if you have a phone for 911 calls only. Lower income users with phones for 911 calls only can check with the organization that provided them and also consider applying for service from the Federal Communications Commission’s Lifeline program. Many phone companies are also currently offering free phones or discounted rates and they also have customer assistance programs to help with the transition.
- Simple 4G phones with cellular access are available for under $50 and should be usable for several more years.
- Review your entire online footprint, including phone, social media platforms, car and home devices. Document every item and update your security settings.
- Use passwords, codes and other security features on your phone, other devices and social accounts. Make your passwords as strong as possible and don’t share them. Consider a two-step verification for additional security.
- Beware of location settings since many apps and software show your location and may be monitored by someone with access to your accounts and devices. Check your apps and turn off any location settings that you don’t need or use.
- Turn off tracking apps, such as GPS satellite navigation, when not in use. The most common way abusers track victims is through apps that victims have personally installed.
- If you have home smart devices that can be remotely accessed, such as a home security system, smart thermostat or an Amazon Echo (Alexa), change your passwords so only those you trust have access to them.
- Cover the webcam on your camera and computer/laptop/tablet when not in use because these devices can be accessed remotely and activated by apps.
StrongHearts Native Helpline, which is available for free nationwide, is a culturally-appropriate, anonymous, confidential service dedicated to serving Native American and Alaska Native survivors of domestic, dating and sexual violence and concerned relatives and friends. Knowledgeable advocates provide peer support, crisis intervention, personalized safety planning and referrals to Native-centered support services. Call or text 1-844-7NATIVE or visit strongheartshelpline.org for chat advocacy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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