The Internet has become a hunting ground for obsessive stalkers who relish the fact that they can retain absolute privacy while preying on innocent people under the guise of a friendly chat room dweller. Social media sites like Facebook have regularly come under attack as so much personal information can be there for the taking. Keeping yourself safe while enjoying all that the web has to offer has never been so important and could prevent you from becoming another cyber stalking statistic.
If you follow these safety guidelines you will make it extremely difficult for a stalker to get into your life.
1. Never give out your name address or phone number online or off.
2. Be aware that posting your photo online can lead to unwanted attention.
3. Don’t put your real name in an email address. Too easy for a stalker to find out where you live.
4. Keep your privacy settings updated in the social network sites you frequent. If you set up privacy guards it will reduce the number of people viewing your information.
5. Don’t agree to meet people you talk to in chat rooms offline. If you do make sure it is in a very public place and take someone with you. There has been too many recorded tragedies regarding young people who have thought they were chatting with someone their own age only to find upon meeting them they were much older and deadlier.
6. If you are talking to someone in a chat room that continually asks for personal information cut all contact and stay offline for at least 48 hours.
7. If you believe you are the victim of an online stalking contact the police or FBI immediately.
Many online stalkers try to damage the reputation of their victim. They have been known to post false information on message boards and social media sites. This is the way they try to assert power making them feel in control. They may involve other people in their pursuit tricking them into believing that the stalker and his family are the real victims. They will hire private detectives to gather information they can use to support their theory and later arrest the stalker.
A friend of mine who knows I am a victim of an online stalking began messaging me constantly. She was very persistent and wouldn’t stop. I knew something was wrong when she stopped talking to me. After we started talking again she admitted that she thought she knew the person who was stalking her.
Unfortunately when a person obsesses over a stalking they start ignoring all the innocuous things you do. This includes smiling and talking and even slowing down to a walking pace. They start ignoring the fact that you can’t see them, or hear them, or know how noisy they might be.
When this happens you can’t help but worry for your friend who may be afraid of everyone knowing about their situation. You can’t tell them that you worry about their safety because you don’t want to make things easier for them by telling them they are safe. You need to let them know you are not giving up on them and will keep you safe no matter what.
Online stalkers are very different that the dangerous ones. It is hard to connect the dots of what is happening online to reality. These people are very good at covering their tracks. They have many tools online to help them hide their tracks and meet their victims. You need to become savvy about your online safety concerns.
I became a victim of an online stalking when I received an email from a person claiming to be a attorney at Sony working on some litigation inumberland. He said he had found my website containing images and information that needed to be protected. He said he had tracked down my owner, my site and was going to put me on the face of the criminal.
Being the trusting type I am I wanted to believe this person was who he said he was. I was sure that because of our correspondence via my website, it would be a quick and easy lawsuit to sort out. I was wrong.
Within the next 24 hours, I had packed up my things and was on my way to take my computer to the police, but not beforeying a few pillow talkers.
Let this be a lesson to all of you who receive an email from someone you don’t know online: Just because they say they are FBI or Sony official does not mean you can believe everything in that email. Next time you receive an email from somebody you don’t know, don’t click on the links. Go directly to the police station and talk to the investigator in charge of the case. Get proof that this person is who he says he is. If your investigator has any doubt leave it alone. The links in these messages don’t link to thepolice or FBI websites. If you receive an email from the internet and you think it is real, leave it alone, call the source you knew it came from and ask them to confirm.