Is Cyber Stalking A Real Thing?

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On the digital frontier, stalkers have updated their weaponry and they are gunning for the unprepared. Cyber stalking is a criminal behavior which occurs when an individual uses the Internet to harass, humiliate, harm, or threaten someone. Cyber stalking crimes are classified as misdemeanor or felony crimes 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 identical person. Based on specific circumstances, these crimes are subject to punishment ranging from probation to ten years in prison.

Types of Cyber Stalking Grant Valkaria Bat Removal

Cyber stalking takes on many forms which may include sending victims harassing or threatening emails and text messages or posting personal, false or humiliating info on social media. In some cases these perpetrators may send viruses, spam attacks, and harmful programs via email to compromise or destroy the victim’s computer. Even more ominous are cyber stalkers who intend to find and confront their victim by obtaining personal information such as home and work addresses and telephone numbers.

Scope of the Issue

The Department of Justice reports that 6.6 million people are victims of stalking in the United States. More than 25% of stalking victims, report that they were harassed on the internet during their lifetime. The majority of these victims experienced considerable anxiety or fear and believed that they or someone close to them might be harmed or killed. Most victims know the person stalking them. But some stalkers fantasize or harbor grudges against public figures or celebrities they’ve never personally met.

Types of Cyber Stalkers

Cyber stalkers present mental health issues that vary from irrational anger to psychosis. They range from people who are angry ex-partners who feel rejected to more seriously disturbed people that are compulsive, vengeful, or delusional. The motivation behind these crimes is to restrain, intimidate or influence the sufferer. The harmful effects of cyber stalking most commonly include severe emotional distress and harm to your reputation. In serious cases physical, sexual, and fatal assaults have been reported.

Preventive Measures

The following security guidelines are designed to help you prevent cyber stalking by carefully protecting your personal information.

Keep antivirus software updated.
Use strong passwords.
Never put personal photographs, account profiles or email addresses online.
Do not download unknown e-mail attachments.
Don’t sign into accounts when using public Wi-Fi networks.
Never reveal your house address.
Privatize any online calendars or itineraries.
Delete or password the details of any events you plan to attend.
Managing Cyber Stalking
Inform the person that additional contact undesirable will be reported to police.
Following this first warning, stop all responding to that individual.
Record the time, location, and details of unwanted contacts or events.
Scan and clean your computer thoroughly for malicious software.
Change all passwords.
Block unwanted calls/ internet contacts.
Change telephone numbers and e-mail addresses.
Inform family, close friends, and employers.
File a police report with documented details of this cyber stalking.

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