What We've Done to Make It Safe

Your safety is very important to us. The Online Hotline provides confidential, one-on-one, crisis support 24/7. You can chat with a trained staff member who will provide you with information and referrals through a secure instant-messaging format, or simply offer a safe place to talk about what happened. To ensure your safety, RAINN has partnered with the country's top technology and online security companies to build a hotline that is as safe and secure as current technology allows.

There are four key steps we've taken to ensure the highest level of security:

  1. We never log a user's IP address. An IP address is sort of like your computer's mailing address. The Online Hotline never captures this data, so we cannot trace sessions back to users.
  2. We do not save session transcripts. Unlike email or instant messaging platforms, which save information that can be accessed later, the Online Hotline does not keep the transcripts of sessions or chats. Without this record, there is no way for anyone to access conversations between users and staff.
  3. We encrypt all of the data. Every time someone hits "send", the words are encrypted using 256-bit SSL technology, the best security technology available. That way, the text cannot be intercepted and read in transit.
  4. Users are anonymous. The Online Hotline relies on anonymous routing methods that hide the connection between users and the staff member or via the use of unique codes. This makes all communication on the Online Hotline anonymous.

Is safety guaranteed?

We have done everything possible to ensure a hotline user's safety and anonymity. However, the Online Hotline cannot entirely eliminate risk. We believe that we've done all we can to greatly minimized the risks. We will continue to incorporate the latest security measures available.

What can I do to make it safer?

During your chat, you do not have to share any personal information like your age, name or where you live. We also recommend that you not record or store any sessions in order to protect your privacy. Once you have finished your chat, it is important that you clean your computer's cache and history, then erase the cookies on your computer or mobile device. This prevents anyone from going into your computer or device and checking up on your internet activity. 

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