Frequently Asked Questions

HowTo

  1. Create a username and a password. Use a strong password, and choose one that you haven't used before. Be careful about allowing a device or a computer save it for you. Keep your password private.
  2. Avoid using symbols for "and," "less than," or "greater than." Spell out these words. If you use any of these symbols, your information will not be saved, and the court will not be able to download your documents from the portal.
  3. Answer the questions that appear on each screen. Some questions require an answer, while others do not. If an answer is required, but you do not have exact information, please make your best guess (for example, the defendant’s height or weight).
  4. Save your answers often by clicking on the "save progress", "continue/next" or "save & exit" buttons.
  5. When you have provided the minimum required information to file a petition, you will be "court ready" and will receive a confirmation number and information about next steps. You will need your petition confirmation number to file your petition at a court. 
  6. The portal will allow you to print draft (but not official) copies of the forms that you will need to file a petition for an Order of Protection. Think before you print!  Leaving copies of your draft paperwork where others can read them may increase your risk. The information that you save in the portal will stay here for 90 days, and you can come back to it as often as necessary. Please think about your safety before you print draft copies.
  7. Be sure to LOG OUT every time you have finished working in this portal.

StepstoFiling

  1. If you decide to go ahead with your petition for a protective order, you must file it with a court. You may file with a justice of the peace court, a city court, or a superior court. (Click here to find Arizona courts.) IMPORTANT: Please contact the court to find out what procedures have been implemented for telephonic or video hearings in response to COVID-19. Please have your petition confirmation number available so court staff can start your case.
  2. Provide your petition number to court staff. The petition number is needed to retrieve your petition and other information from the portal.

  • Do you having a "pending" family court case in an Arizona court? If yes, you must file your petition at the superior court where the family court case has been filed.
  • Is the defendant age 11 or younger? If yes, you must file your petition in the juvenile division of the superior court.

If neither of those circumstances apply, you may file your petition at any Arizona city court, justice of the peace court, or superior court. Click to find an Arizona court. IMPORTANT: Please contact the court to find out what procedures have been implemented for telephonic or video hearings in response to COVID-19. Please have your petition confirmation number available so court staff can start your case.

Your information will be available at the court where you go to file your petition. You can file your petition at any city court, justice of the peace court, or superior court (court locator)

Before going to a court, you may want to check its business hours and days of operation. When you arrive, you must give your petition confirmation number to court staff so your case can be started.

A protective order is a document obtained from a court to order the defendant not to contact the plaintiff and to prevent abusive behavior.

An Injunction Against Harassment (IAH) is a legal restraint that orders a person to stop harassing, annoying, or alarming another person. Injunctions can be used for disputes between neighbors or strangers.

Harassment is defined as "a series of acts over any period of time that is directed at a specific person..." or "one or more acts of sexual violence." Therefore, more than one act of harassment has to have occurred to qualify for an IAH. A person who alleges one act of sexual violence may also apply for a IAH. For an IAH, the plaintiff may have to hire a process server to deliver the petition and the order to the defendant. The IAH law can be found at A.R.S. § 12-1809.

An Injunction Against Workplace Harassment (IAWH) allows an employer or an agent of an employer to file for relief on behalf of all employees at the workplace, any person who enters the employer's property, and any person who is performing official work duties. This allows the inclusion of numerous people under the protective umbrella of this injunction, whereas the Injunction Against Harassment is between two people. The Injunction Against Workplace Harassment law can be found at A.R.S. § 12-1810.

For an IAWH, harassment is defined as "a single threat or act of physical harm or damage or a series of acts over a period of time that would cause a reasonable person to be seriously alarmed or annoyed."

A person who uses threats, harasses, molests, stalks, attacks, batters, or strikes an intimate partner, family members, or his or her children is committing domestic violence. People from all ethnic, educational, and socioeconomic backgrounds can experience domestic violence.

A person who is experiencing domestic violence has a legal right to seek relief from the courts by getting an Order of Protection. A person who is seeking protection from harassment but who does not meet the relationship requirements for an Order of Protection may ask the court for an Injunction Against Harassment.

In Arizona, domestic violence includes a variety of abusive acts in combination with specific relationships. The crimes and relationships are found in Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 13-3601.

A plaintiff must be able to show the court that the person from whom he or she wants protection (the defendant) has committed or may commit an act of domestic violence. A plaintiff does not have to be physically injured or hurt to be a victim of domestic violence. The person only needs to threaten harm or abuse another person once for the act to be considered domestic violence.

Domestic violence occurs if the other person has done or attempts to:

endanger

threaten, intimidate, or harass

interfere with the custody of children

trespass on or damage property

restrain, kidnap, or hold a person as a prisoner

assault with his or her body or with a weapon

display a deadly weapon or threaten with a deadly weapon

surreptitiously (without a person’s knowledge) photograph, videotape, film or record another person

Other acts of disorderly conduct and crimes such as stalking and disobeying a court order are also considered domestic violence if the parties have a specific relationship to each other.

The plaintiff is the person who files a petition with the court for a protective order.

The defendant is the person against whom a petition for a protective order has been filed. The defendant may ask for a hearing in order to defend himself or herself.

In Arizona there are five types of protective orders:

1) Order of Protection

2) Emergency Order of Protection

3) Release Order

4) Injunction Against Harassment

5) Injunction Against Workplace Harassment

An Order of Protection is a legal restraint used to prohibit a person from committing acts of domestic violence or from contacting other people protected by the order. It can also provide other protective relief, such as removing firearms from the home, adding other people to the protective order, or giving exclusive use of the home to the plaintiff. The Order of Protection law can be found at A.R.S. § 13-3602.

A person who believes her or his safety is in danger because of domestic violence or harass-ment can ask the court for an Order of Protection (OP) or an Injunction Against Harassment (IAH). What determines the type of order that should be issued? The relationship between the person in danger and the person causing the danger is the deciding factor between an OP and an IAH.

An Emergency Order of Protection (EOP) is also a legal restraint to prevent domestic violence. An EOP may be granted by an authorized judicial officer in writing, verbally, or by telephone for the protection of a person in "imminent and present danger of domestic violence." A law enforcement officer will contact a judicial officer to request an EOP during the hours the courts are closed. Unless continued by the court, an EOP is valid only for 72 hours or until the close of the next judicial business day, whichever is longer. The EOP law can be found at A.R.S. § 13-3624.

An EOP may be used to order a person not to commit acts of domestic violence or contact people protected by the order. Similar to the Order of Protection, it also provides protective relief, such as granting exclusive use of a shared home or removing firearms from an abuser

Arizona law provides that when a person arrested for an act of domestic violence is released from custody, any release order must include pretrial release conditions necessary to protect the alleged victim and other specifically designated persons.

Within 24 hours after a defendant is arrested for an act of domestic violence, the court must forward a certified copy of the release order to the sheriff of the county in which the order was issued for registration. The sheriff must maintain a central repository for release orders so the existence and validity of the release order can be easily verified.

Law enforcement agencies are required to advise domestic violence victims where registration and the conditions of a release order may be verified. Faced with a violation of a release order, a victim may summon a peace officer to enforce the conditions of the order against the defendant.

For a person seeking relief from domestic violence, the relationship test determines whether the person qualifies for an Order of Protection or an Injunction Against Harassment. To obtain an Order of Protection, the relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant MUST be one of the following:

· A spouse or a former spouse

· Parents of a child in common

· One party is pregnant by the other party

· Present or former household members

· Related by blood or court order as parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, or sister

· Related by marriage as parent-in-law, grandparent-in-law, stepchild, step-grandchild, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepparent or step-grandparent

· A person who resides or who has resided in the same household with a child. The child must be related by blood to a former spouse of the defendant or to a person who resides or who has resided in the same household as the defendant.

· Persons with a current or previous romantic or sexual relationship.

For an Injunction Against Harassment, there is no relationship requirement between the plaintiff and the defendant. If the plaintiff and the defendant do not meet any of the above relationships required for an Order of Protection, then the plaintiff will need to apply for an Injunction Against Harassment.

You may file a petition for an Order of Protection or an Injunction Against Harassment in any superior, municipal, or justice court regardless of where the person lives in Arizona. You can fill out the paperwork for a protective order through this web portal, but you must  file the petition with an Arizona court to start your case. IMPORTANT: Please contact the court to find out what procedures have been implemented for telephonic or video hearings in response to COVID-19. Please have your petition confirmation number available so court staff can start your case.

If an action (involving the same person from whom you want protection) for divorce, sepa-ration, paternity, or annulment has been filed with the superior court, then the plaintiff needs to request an Order of Protection at the superior court.

If the defendant is younger than 12 years of age, the Juvenile Division of the superior court must hear the petition for the order or the injunction.

To obtain an Order of Protection or an Injunction Against Harassment, you will need:

· The name, date of birth, and address, if known, of the person from whom you are requesting protection (the defendant) and, if possible, any other address where that person can be reached.

· The dates and facts of the domestic violence or harassing acts or why you believe that domestic violence or harm may occur without protection.

· A safe address and phone number where you may be contacted so the court can notify you if a hearing is scheduled or if there is a change of the hearing date.

Additional helpful information about the defendant includes a physical description, social security number, and any aliases.

No. Arizona law requires the court to keep your address and contact information confidential.

Unless the court determines otherwise, if a person seeking protection is a minor, then a parent, legal guardian, or the person who has legal custody must request the order. But the judicial officer has discretion to allow a minor to request an order in cases where a parent or guardian is missing or not available or where the minor is seeking relief from the parent.

Children, family members, or other persons may be included in an Order of Protection or an Injunction Against Harassment only if the judge determines it is appropriate under the circumstances. If the family member or other person is an adult, the judge may require that this person be present when requesting the protective order.

A protective order DOES NOT determine legal decision-making (custody) and cannot address parenting time issues. These matters must be handled separately by filing a domestic relations action in the superior court.

By law, there are no authorized filing fees and no authorized fees to have the Order of Protection served. Additionally, by law there are no filing fees for an Injunction Against Harassment, but fees can be charged for service of the IAH. For an IAH arising from a dating relationship or from sexual violence, there are no fees for service of the injunction.

A fee can be charged for an Injunction Against Workplace Harassment and for an employer to have the IAWH served on the defendant. The application fee for an IAWH can vary and depends on the type of court (superior, justice, or municipal) in which the employer has filed. If the employer cannot afford the service fees, the employer can ask the court to waive or defer these fees

An Order of Protection or an Injunction Against Harassment must be served within one year from the date it is issued. It is good for one year from the date of service on the defendant.

You may ask a law enforcement officer to help you apply for an Emergency Order of Protection (EOP). The law enforcement officer must have a reasonable belief that you are in immediate and present danger of domestic violence based on a recent incident of actual domestic violence. A judicial office may authorize issuance of an EOP in writing or verbally. Law enforcement must serve the EOP the defendant for the order to be effective.

The EOP will be in effect for 72 hours or until the end of the next judicial business day, whichever is longer. If you need continued protection, you must file a petition for an Order of Protection

IN AN EMERGENCY, CALL 9-1-1.

If the order has NOT been served, the defendant is not legally in violation of the order. Once the order has been served on the defendant, a violation of the court order is a criminal act. If the defendant does not follow the terms in the Order of Protection or the Injunction Against Harassment, then the police should be notified of a violation.

You are advised NOT to contact the defendant or invite the defendant to visit you.

The decision to file criminal charges for violation of an Order of Protection or an Injunction Against Harassment is made by the Prosecutor's Office, NOT by the victim or the court.

CALL 9-1-1. Explain that you have a protective order and the defendant is approaching you but has not yet been served. If you cannot call the police before the defendant contacts you, report the incident to the police as soon as you can.

Keep a copy of the petition and the order with you at all times! Any Arizona law enforcement agent can serve the OP or the IAH if you provide a copy of it. This is your proof to law enforcement that a protective order has been issued against the defendant

Yes. The plaintiff or the defendant may file a petition to request that the order or injunction be modified or dismissed. At the hearing, the court may modify, quash, or continue the order or the injunction. A modified order or injunction must be served on the defendant to be in effect. A modified order or injunction is good for one year from the date of service of the original order.

Yes. If the judicial officer determines that there is reasonable cause to believe physical harm may result, you may be granted exclusive use of a shared residence in an Order of Protection. The judge may allow the defendant to return one time to the residence, with law enforcement officer accompaniment, to retrieve personal belongings. Be aware that this order does not affect third parties, such as landlords. The landlord does not have to allow you to stay in the residence if you are not on the lease.

Arizona law (A.R.S. § 33-1318) allows a domestic violence victim to end a rental agreement early, without having to pay future rent or penalties or fees for early termination. But you must notify the landlord in writing of your intent to end the lease early, and you must also give the landlord a copy of either an Order of Protection or a police report regarding the domestic violence incident. The domestic violence incident that is causing you to end the lease must have occurred within 30 days of you giving notice to the landlord. This law provides other protections not described here. For more information about this law, contact an attorney.

The Address Confidentiality Program, operated by the office of the Arizona Secretary of State, allows persons who have been subjected to domestic violence offenses, sexual offenses, or stalking to keep their residential addresses confidential and not accessible to the general public. A program participant is given a substitute address that becomes the participant's lawful address of record. An applicant must have recently moved to an undisclosed address within 90 days of applying to the ACP or must be planning to move in the near future to an undisclosed location.

You can ask for animals to be protected by an Order of Protection. (See A.R.S. § 13-3602(G)(7).) The order can apply to any animal that is owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by the plaintiff, the defendant, or a minor child living in the residence of the plaintiff or the defendant. The defendant can be ordered to stay away from the animal and cannot take it, give it to someone else, hide it, or commit an act of cruelty or neglect against it.

The order or the injunction is valid for one year after it is served. During this year, you are entitled to one hearing on the order. As a defendant, you must file a written request for a hearing in the same court that issued the OP or the IAH.

If the order is modified, the modified order must be re-served and is effective for one year from the date of service of the original order. You will be asked to sign an Acceptance of Service in the courtroom. If you refuse to sign the acceptance form, the judicial officer may detain you until a law enforcement officer is summoned to serve the order. The judicial officer also can authorize a court employee to serve the order on you in the courtroom.

The judge may order a defendant to turn over ALL firearms if the judge finds that the defendant is a credible threat to the plaintiff or other protected persons. If such an order is issued, you must turn over all of the firearms in your possession to the local law enforcement agency. When the order expires (one year), you may request the return of your firearms from the law enforcement agency that is holding them. You may request a hearing to modify the order to return your firearms.

If you need to get personal items and clothing, you may return one time with a law enforcement officer. Contact the local law enforcement agency to make the arrangements. Law enforcement CANNOT resolve disputes regarding what belongings belong to whom. A civil action can be filed in the justice court to try to recover property that you believe is being wrongfully denied to you.

An Order of Protection does not determine legal decision-making and cannot address parenting time issues. It addresses only safety issues. Options are:

· Ask for a hearing to modify the protective order in the court that issued it.

· If the order does not prohibit contact with children, arrange for parenting time through a neutral third party (a friend or relative) not involved with the Order of Protection.

· File an action in superior court, as part of a domestic relations case, to clarify your decision-making rights or the parenting time schedule.

If you were never married to the plaintiff or never established paternity through an action in superior court, you have no legal right to the children. These rights must be established by filing a domestic relations action in superior court.

For further help and information, please contact the Arizona Courts Support Center at (602) 452-3519 or toll-free at (800) 720-7743 during business hours, or email at PASupport@courts.az.gov. The Support Center is open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Support Center is closed on weekends and on state holidays.

Passwords & User Account Help

If you can’t remember your Username or need help with your password, you may use the Reset Password button on the Account Login page. You may find helpful tips and information about creating an account and logging in within the User Account Frequently Asked Questions.

Contact the Arizona Courts Support Center

For further help and information, please contact the Arizona Courts Support Center at (602) 452-3519 or toll-free at (800) 720-7743 during business hours, or email at PASupport@courts.az.gov. The Support Center is open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Support Center is closed on weekends and on state holidays.

http://www.azcourts.gov/domesticviolencelaw/

Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence
602-279-2900, 800-782-6400, TTY 602-279-7270
National Domestic Violence Hotline
800-799-7233
Domestic Shelters

Getting help with your case

Court staff can give you information, but they cannot give you legal advice. Only an attorney who is licensed in Arizona can give you legal advice. To find an attorney, contact:

Community Legal Services, Inc.
800-852-9075
State Bar of Arizona
602-252-4804 

For information about Orders of Protection

Arizona Bar Foundation
AZCourtHelp.org
Booklet: Things You Should Know About Protective Orders

Only an attorney who is licensed in Arizona can give you legal advice. To find an attorney, contact:

AZLawHelp.org

State Bar of Arizona

602-252-4804

Consider the following tips and suggestions to help use this website in the most safe manner.

Use a private device. If you believe your computer or device is being monitored or isn’t safe, consider using a computer from a friend or a public library. You can find the nearest library by visiting https://publiclibraries.com/. Read the Using Public Libraries FAQ text for more information.

Use private browsing. Most browsers have a privacy mode that allows you to visit websites without storing any record of your activity on your computer or device. Learn more about private browsing in the FAQ "How to browse privately/incognito in major browsers."

Clear your cache, history, and cookies. If you visited a site without privacy mode, you can delete and records of your activity by clearing your cache, history, and cookies on your computer or device. Keep in mind that if someone is actively monitoring your computer, erasing this data could alert them to the fact that you are trying to conceal your actions.  Learn more about deleting your browser history in the FAQ "How to delete browser history in major browsers."

Use the Safety Button in this website to quickly go to a different screen within your browser window. The Safety Button action logs you out of this website and loads a Google search page within your browser.

Note: The browser's back button and browser history remain in the browser window. Please read and follow tips and suggestions found within the F.A.Q. section regarding online safety and methods such as "incognito" or safe browsing options.

Web browsers keep track of your past activity for a reason.  This history helps you retrace your steps, bring back pages you want to refer to again, and reach your favorite sites more quickly.  All of this can come in handy at times, but your internet history contains all of your past browsing sessions (the list of sites and pages that you have visited in the past), some of which you may not wish others who use the same computer or device to find.  Today's web browsers, however, make it very simple to erase your history and get rid of your online tracks.

Browsers also track your download history, which is a list of files you've downloaded. Don't confuse this history with the actual downloaded files themselves, which you have stored somewhere on your computer's disk. It's simply a list of references to them, which helps when you've previously downloaded a file and now can't find it, or if you want to download the same file again.

Next, there are cookies, little pieces of code that sites store on your system. Cookies help websites recognize who you are, but there are many different forms. For example, if you go to a weather website and it immediately shows you the cities whose weather conditions you've previously searched, that's a cookie in action. If you come back to a previously visited shopping site and it still has the same items in your shopping cart, again, that's cookies at work. These files don't harm your computer, but some users don't prefer to be tracked this way and prefer to delete them regularly.

Browsers also keep a "cache," containing local copies of graphics and other elements that your browser uses to load pages more quickly. When you return to a site you've just visited, for example, the browser may pull site images from the cache intead of pulling them from the web again. In this way, the amount of data downloaded is reduced,  and the whole page-loading process is sped up. 

When you decide to erase your internet history, most browsers will list all these types of data separately. If you decide to clear everything out, you will start all over again as if you had a new browser on a new computer.  Or you may wish to keep certain types of files, like the cookies and cache, to make your browsing life more convenient.

In Google Chrome click on the three dots to the right of the address bar opening the application menu, then click "Settings". Scroll down and click "Advanced", then click "Clear browsing data". Select from the list options, set the time period you want to clear, then click the "Clear browsing data" button. Note: If you've set your browser to sync with other computers via a Google account, clearing your history will also delete that data across all the other devices that you've signed into in Chrome.

In Mozilla Firefox  click the three horizontal lines to the right of the address bar to open the Firefox menu, then select "Options" (called Preferences in the macOS version of the browser). Click "Privacy", then click the link marked "Clear your recent history". Switch to the "Details" tab to see different types of data, and set the time period using the drop-down menu at the top and click "Clear Now" to confirm.

In Apple Safari on macOS, your browsing history will be deleted by opening the Safari menu and then clicking "Clear History". Select the time period you want to erase from the drop-down menu, then click "Clear History" to confirm the action. Note: When you clear your Safari history, you won't get the option to delete different types of data, wiping out your cookies and cached files along with your history.

In your Microsoft Edge browser, to clear your browsing history, click the three dots to the right of the address bar, then select "Settings" from the menu that appears. Under the "Clear browsing data" heading, click "Choose what to clear". Next, make your choices from the list, which includes browsing history and cached data, and then click "Clear".

In Internet Explorer, you clear your browsing history by clicking the cog icon in the top-right corner then selecting "Internet options". On the subsequent dialog box, open the "General" tab and click "Delete" under Browsing history. Then choose your data types and click "Delete" to finish..

In the Windows version of the Opera browser, first click 'Menu' in the top left of the screen. Then select "More tools" and "Clear browsing data" to bring up the correct dialog box.  Then choose your data type, specify the time period, and click "Clear browsing data". On macOS, Opera requires a slightly different process: Open the menu, click "Preferences", then select "Privacy & security", and then click "Clear Browsing Data". You'll then end up with the same history-clearing options—types of data, time period, etc—that you would see if you were in the Windows version.

There are several options available for creating a free email account with services such as Gmail and Yahoo. The accounts will differ in the amount of email storage, interface, and the types of advanced features are included, such as messaging, filters, and the ability to import other data.

Gmail

  • Extremely versatil​e and available across atll types of devices
  • Regularly adds new features and updates
  • Will allow the user to "un-send" an email

Sign up: https://www.google.com/intl/en-GB/gmail/about/

Gmail's clean and uncluttered interface is regularly improved and upgraded, with useful new features added. Among these newer features is the ability to recall an email if you accidentally hit the send (or reply-all) button, the option to snooze messages so they can be brought back to your attention later, and a Confidential mode that prevents messages being forwarded, copied or downloaded by recipients, and adding time-limits so that messages delete themselves after a specified period.  Gmail can automatically filter emails into Primary, Social, Promotions and Forums, and although this is a good approach, folders for organizing messages aren’t supported. Instead you would attach labels, such as work, personal and family. Clicking a label shows all the messages tagged with it, essentially making it a search term.

Gmail is excellent at filtering out spam and offers useful extras such as quick links to track deliveries, amend reservations, and more without opening the email and searching for a link.  Emails from other accounts can be pulled and contacts imported, so switching to Gmail is painless. In addition,  integration with the Google Drive provides you with 15GB of free storage for email (and other Google services), but there's a 25MB limit on attachments, which is more restrictive than some other options.

Outlook

  • Clean design
  • Supports multiple email accounts
  • Many useful features

Sign up: https://outlook.live.com/owa/

Microsoft’s Outlook.com email service replaced Hotmail several years ago. While it has the same name as the desktop software that had been a part of Office for so long, the web and mobile versions offer less options by comparison. For many people this is actually a good thing, as the free service still includes lots of useful features and tools.  The ability for emails to be organised into folders is one of these, with the option of setting rules to automate any future arrivals. Multiple email accounts can also be used, so you can have your Gmail addressed message delivered in Outlook. And, there’s a comprehensive junk mail filter in operation and you have the ability to automate messages for when you’re away. 

In addition, the Focused inbox which you can enable to prioritise messages from senders that you choose, the Sweep feature which moves or deletes all messages from a sender or all messages out past a certain date, not to mention tight calendar integration so that invites and travel arrangement emails appear in your schedule, and temporary email aliases and several other thoughtful tools, for many it's just as good as Gmail.

Yahoo Mail

  • 1 TB of storage space
  • Shortcuts to images, documents, and attachments
  • Integrated GIFs, emojis, and graphics for emails

Sign up: https://login.yahoo.com

Yahoo's email service has a modern look and feel, with many useful features.  Yahoo's search has been enhanced in order to return emails, images, files and contacts, all easily accessible from shortcuts in the navigation column, and if you search for a contact, you'll see your entire conversation history. Event and package delivery reminders also appear at the top of your inbox, making it harder to overlook them.

Other email accounts likeGmail, Outlook, etc. can be added so you can see all your messages in a single location, holiday responses are available, and disposable addresses can be created so your privacy can be preserved, when necessary.  Ads do exist in Yahoo Mail, and they seem more obvious than on some other services, but you do get a whopping 1TB of free storage so this may make dealing with the ads more palatable.

Tutanota

  • 1 GB mail storage
  • End-to-End Encryption
  • Access passwords allow secure emails with non-Tutanota users

Sign up: https://tutanota.com/

Ensuring online privacy is becoming more and more difficult. However, there are a few secure mail serices that offer free accounts.  ProtonMail is possibly more well known, but  Tutanota is a solid alternative.  This German company delivers 1GB of  free mail storage(twice that of ProtonMail), with every email protected by end-to-end encryption and now searchable within the apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS and Android. To fly under Google's radar, Android users can download the app on F-Droid instead of from the Play store, and push notifications are not sent through Google’s service, yet are still delivered instantly.

Tutanota users can exchange fully encrypted messages directly, but thanks to the use of access passwords non-Tutanota users can still share send and receive emails with little impact on your security or convenience. The free service is basic yet perfectly usable, allowing users only one account and limited searches, but you can purchase a Premium option that offers aliases, mailbox rules, unlimited searches, and custom domains.

There are several options available when searching for a place to use a public computer.  If free use is a requirement, your best bet will be a public library.  Libraries provide patrons with opportunities to use computers and other devices (e.g. laptops, tablets, ebook readers, etc.) to access online resources such as library catalogs, research databases, ebooks, other digital content, and the Internet.  Patrons use library computers to create content including word processing documents, multimedia projects, email messages, and posts to social media and other websites.  In addition, libraries often provide wired and wireless public networks that allow patrons to connect using a personal device.  For more information regarding library privacy guidelines, please visit: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/privacy/guidelines/public-access-computer

The following businesses offer the use of computer rental stations:

Staples

FedEx Office

The UPS Store

Another option is an Internet Cafe.  An Internet café (also known as a cyber café) is a cafe that provides Internet access to the public. The fee for using a computer is generally charged as a time-based rate.

 

All of today’s major web browsers—Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari—offer a feature that provides a private/incognito browsing window and deletes the browsing history on your computer after you close it. (To open a private window, go to the File menu and look near the New Window option.) These windows can help reduce the amount of information collected on you. 

How to start Google Chrome Incognito (CTRL+SHIFT+N)

Google calls its private browsing feature Incognito. To open a new Incognito window, click the "Customize and control Google Chrome" button in the top right corner of the browser window that looks like three dots. Then, choose "New incognito window."

A new window will open, explaining what incognito browsing means: Google Chrome does not save your browsing history, cookies and site data, and the information entered in forms (e.g., addresses, passwords, etc.). Any files you download or bookmarks you create are kept. Lastly, Incognito disables Google Chrome extensions, but you can manually enable them to work in this mode as well.  In Google Chrome you can recognize an Incognito window by its logo in the top-right corner: an image of a person in disguise (hat and dark glasses).

How to start Mozilla Firefox in Private Browsing (CTRL+SHIFT+P)

To enable Private Browsing in Mozilla Firefox, click or tap the "Open menu" button in the top right side of the browser window. It has the shape of three parallel lines stacked on top of each other. Then, choose "New Private Window."

A new private window is opened with content blocking enabled. When browsing in Firefox private mode, it does not keep your browsing history, search history, download history, web form history, cookies, or temporary internet files. But, the files that you download and the bookmarks you make are saved. Firefox explicitly warns you that your ISP (Internet Service Provider) or employer can still track the pages that you visit, the other browsers will not.  Another difference is that content blocking is enabled by default, so that online trackers do not collect information about your browsing behavior.  To see if your current Mozilla Firefox window has Private Browsing enabled, look for the purple mask icon in the top right corner of the browser window. If shown, you are browsing privately.

How to start Microsoft Edge in InPrivate browsing (CTRL+SHIFT+P)

Microsoft Edge uses the same name for its private browsing mode as the old Internet Explorer: InPrivate browsing. To start a new browser window in this mode, click the "Settings and more" button in the top-right corner. It looks like three dots. In the menu that is shown, choose "New InPrivate window."  You can tell that you are using InPrivate browsing in Microsoft Edge by looking at the top-left corner of the app window. There, you see the InPrivate label in a blue square.

How to start Opera in Private Browsing (CTRL+SHIFT+N)

To open a private browsing window in Opera, click the "Customize and control Opera" button found on the top left side of the browser window. Then, click "New private window."  A new Private Browsing window opens, giving you some information about this browsing mode. You are also informed that you can turn on the built-in VPN for more privacy. This button is found on the left side of the address bar. Extensions are also disabled in this mode.  To check if you are Private Browsing in Opera, watch for the sunglasses logo on the left side of the tab you are on.

How to start Internet Explorer in InPrivate browsing (CTRL+SHIFT+P)

Microsoft also uses the term InPrivate for private browsing in Internet Explorer (IE 8 and newer). To enable theis mode in the desktop version of Internet Explorer,  open the Tools menu by clicking the little gear icon on the top-right. Then, hover over Safety to open the corresponding submenu and click InPrivate Browsing.  Internet Explorer opens a new browser window, where the notification is displayed: "InPrivate is turned on. InPrivate Browsing helps prevent Internet Explorer from storing data about your browsing session." The browser does not store cookies, temporary Internet files, the browsing history, and other data. By default, it will also disable extra toolbars and extensions you have installed in Internet Explorer.To check if you are using InPrivate browsing, look at the left side of the address bar. If you see the logo "InPrivate" at the top left of your screen, InPrivate browsing is turned on in Internet Explorer.

 

Caution: Before continuing, please think about whether the computer or the device you’re using is safe. Do you think a person causing harm to you has or had access to this device and may be monitoring you? If you feel this is a possibility, please exit out of this window and continue the application process on a safe device. Public libraries, some local courthouses, and advocate agencies may have computers or devices that you can use. Trusted friend or family member may be willing to let you use their computers or devices. When using any type of device, be careful about allowing the device to save your passwords.

Spyware is a software program that can secretly collect personal information when you’re online. Keylogger spyware records the keystrokes you make on a keyboard. How do you know whether spyware has been installed on your device? Some red flags to consider if you think spyware may be on your device are:

• the device takes a long time to shut down;
• the screen turns on when not in use or there’s an unusual battery drain;
• the battery is warm at rest; 
• you notice spikes in data use or increased charges on your phone bill, or
• the person causing harm knows details about private conversations you've had with others and has had access to your devices.

Again, if you think the technology you are using is suspect, please exit this window, wipe the history, and use a more secure device.

This site uses security questions to further protect your account from unauthorized use. When you create an account, you will be asked to set answers to a security question. Please answer the question correctly, as you may need it later.

  • Be sure to pick the questions carefully.
  • Create a question which is memorable to you however may not be easily guessed.
  • Try to choose questions where the answers don't frequently change. For example, it'll be easier to remember the name of your first stuffed animal than your favorite actor, as your favorite actor may change. It's also important to know which information is easily guessable by others. For example, if you're concerned about a sibling accessing your account, it's best not to pick "In what city did your mother and father meet?". Similarly, if you post pictures of pets on social networks, it's probably a good idea to steer clear of "What is your favorite pet's name?".
  • Answers which you enter into the system ARE CASE-SENSITIVE

If you forget the password to your account,  you may use the "Forgot Password" button to recover access to your account. The system will send an email to your registered email address which contains a Password Reset Link. This link will prompt you with your Security Question. Enter correctly the answer which you saved for your account and you will be allowed to set a new Password for your account.

Safety is a primary concern within this website. For safety reasons, please create a new account.

Click the "Get Started" button at the bottom of the Homepage.   

Fill out the information on the Account Creation page. When you have filled out all of the required fields, click the "I Acknowledge Terms" checkbox at the bottom and then click the "Create User" button.  You should see this confirmation screen:

Once this step is complete, you will be sent an email with a verification link that you will click to complete your account registration: 

If you see this message on your screen...

then you are almost finished with the account verification process.  You have been sent an email with a link that you will need to click in order to complete your account verification.  The message below is an example of the email that was sent to your account's email address. Please click the link to verify your account.

If you have forgotten your user password, you can reset it by first simply clicking the "Reset Password" button on the Account Login screen.  You will then get a popup box that will ask you to enter your User Name or Email Address.  Enter either on this screen and then click the "Send Reset Link" button at the bottom..

You will then receive an email that will contain a link that you will click to reset your password.