Cyber stalking is the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, group, or organization. It occurs when an individual uses the Internet to harass, humiliate, damage, or threaten someone. Cyberstalking crimes are classified as felony offenses depending on aggravating factors which may include: possession of a deadly weapon, violation of a court order or condition of probation or parole, victim under 16 years, or repeatedly victimizing the same person.
Forms of Cyber Stalking
Forms of cyberstalking may include sending victims harassing or threatening emails and text messages and/or posting personal, false or humiliating information on social media. Sometimes these criminals may send viruses, spam attacks, and harmful programs via e-mail to destroy the victim’s computer.
The following security guidelines are designed to help you prevent cyberstalking by closely protecting your personal information.
- Use strong passwords
- Do not download unknown email attachments.
- Never put personal photos, account profiles or email addresses online.
- Don’t sign into accounts when using public Wi-Fi networks.
- Delete or put passwords on the details of any event you are planning to attend.
- Privatize any online calendars or itineraries.
- Never reveal your home address.
Managing Cyber Stalking
Below are some of the ways that can help you protect yourself from cyber stalking.
- Inform the person that further contact unwanted will be reported to police.
- After this first warning, stop all responding to that individual.
- Record the time, place, and details of all unwanted contacts or incidents.
- Scan and clean your computer thoroughly for malicious software.
- Change all passwords.
- Block unwanted calls/ internet contacts.
- Change phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
- Inform family, close friends, and employers.
- File complaints with the stalker’s ISP and websites.
- File a police report with documented details of the cyber stalking.
Cyber stalking is a criminal behavior which occurs when an individual uses the Internet to harass, humiliate, damage, or threaten someone. Cyber stalking can be controlled by safeguarding your personal information online.