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You are about to connect with an advocate from the Baraga County Shelter Home.
Our live advocates provide 24/7 confidential support, education, personalized safety planning and connection to local resources and providers to anyone impacted by relationship abuse/intimate partner violence.
Wait times to connect with our live advocates may be longer than 15 minutes. We are here 24/7 and apologize for the wait. If you are looking for resources please search the Get Help section on our website.
Safety and Privacy Information
The Baraga County Shelter Home is the organization which provides all advocacy services through 24-hour telephone services at 1-906-524-7078 and through digital text/SMS and live chat services.
Confidential and Anonymous Chat
Our live chat services are provided by ResourceConnect as a service provider. The ResourceConnect Web Chat features a couple major security features which make it a great choice for confidential web-based communications.
The ResourceConnect Web Chat is end-to-end encrypted. Thus, only you and the person you're chatting with can read the contents of the messages being sent. The contents of the messages do not get saved anywhere on your device. Unless you have taken screenshots of your conversation, once you close their browser window or a message has hit its message expiration date, that message will be completely gone. Also, once a message has hit its message expiration date, or one of our advocates deletes it or the conversation it was used in, that message will be permanently removed from the ResourceConnect servers.
However, there are still some important safety risks to be aware of.
First, there is no technology anywhere, and never will be, that can prevent information from being read on a device that has a virus, malware, spyware, etc installed on it. If a spyware or virus program is able to record keystrokes or take screenshots every X number of seconds, there's nothing that can be done to make this device safe. If you believe your device even has the potential to have been compromised, it is safer to use another device to communicate with us or give our phone-based hotline a call at 1-906-524-7078 from an unmonitored phone.
Second, you should be aware that an eavesdropper who listening to the internet traffic of a chatter will be able to see that you are communicating with someone on ResourceConnect. They won't be able to see which provider you're talking to, but they will likely be able to put two-and-two together if they saw that the you were on the BCSH webpage and then they were suddenly using ResourceConnect. Again, because ResourceConnect is end-to-end encrypted, anyone listening in on the internet traffic won't be able to see what is being said. They will only be able to see that something is being said. In certain situations, this could pose a risk. Usually, however, if you are worried your internet connection could be monitored, you should also be concerned your device has also been compromised. Thus, you should not use ResourceConnect unless you can do so from another location.
Text/SMS Messaging Services
BCSH offers services through a text message short code in which all inbound phone-numbers are scrambled. These services are provided by ResourceConnect include:
Text-for-help services: The same privacy standards applied to our chat services apply to our text-for-help platform. Any statement of charges or billing will appear as a text message and is in no way connected to BCSH. Users may be asked to provide voluntary feedback to survey questions.
Users can opt-out of services by texting ‘STOP’ to our shortcode any time. Users can get help by texting ‘HELP’ to our shortcode any time. Message and data rates may apply. Users will be charged standard text messaging rates relative to their provider’s plans. Carriers are not liable for the delayed or undelivered messages. Message frequency may vary.
Users should be aware and mindful that text messages sent using modern smart phones are saved indefinitely and could compromise their safety. While SMS messages do get encrypted on the ResourceConnect server as soon as they arrive, SMS Chat messages cannot be end-to-end encrypted. This means that cell phone providers can, and do, keep copies of SMS messages on their servers. Verizon makes public that they keep messages for up to four days. Verizon can even, at times, show the contents of a user's text messages when logging into the Verizon account portal. Other cell phone providers say they don't keep the contents of messages, but nothing is stopping them from doing so. All cell phone providers keep logs of which phone numbers their subscribers are texting to. These logs show up on billing statements. If you are using a family phone plan, or someone else gains access to your phone bill, it will be clear that you had a conversation with BCSH.
Phone spyware is also very good at recording SMS messages. Thus, all of the same recommendations of warning users to not use ResourceConnect on a device that could have been tampered with apply to SMS conversations as well. Finally, it is not possible for SMS message to automatically expire on your phone. The only way to get a message off your phone is for you to manually delete them.
Users concerned for their physical safety and well-being are encouraged to contact BCSH at 1-906-524-7078.