What is Cyberstalking?
Although no universally accepted definition exists, it is generally considered as use of the Internet, e-mail or other electronic communications device to stalk or harass a person. Stalking is defined as repeated harassing or threatening behavior.
Can cyberstalkers really be dangerous?
YES! If a stalker takes it off-line and you start receiving snail mail or harassing phone calls from the stalker then they know where you live. You should contact your local law enforcement agency or the FBI immediately. When a stalker takes it "off-line" they are far more likely to pose a physical threat to the individual being stalked.
What should I do if I think I am being stalked or harassed online?
- Tell the person harassing you in straight forward terms, "Leave me alone, stop harassing me. Do not contact me again." If you are in IM or chat, log off immediately and stay off-line for at least 24 hours.
- Do not reply to anything else the harasser says. No replies to emails, taunts or lies said about you. Do NOT REPLY! Harassment is a form of power over you. If you take that power away from the harasser and refuse to "play their game" then you have become empowered instead. You are now in charge!
- If the problem only exists IM or chat, go off-line and completely change your online identity. This means changing your nickname and all the information you have listed in your profile. Everything must be changed!
- In the case of email harassment you need to contact the harasser's ISP (Internet Service Provider) and make a complaint.
- Stay out of problem chat rooms.
- Don't give out your online ID except to "very" trusted friends and tell them not to give it out to anyone else.
- Be certain all of your online profiles do not contain any personally identifying information about you, such as age, sex, address, phone number, school attended and teams you play on or where you work.
- Be sure logging is enable In your IM and chat clients.
- Keep all log files that pertain to the stalker for evidence.
- Keep all e-mails that originate from the harasser or stalker and any replies you sent for evidence.
- If you feel you or your family is in physical danger from this stalker, or the stalker knows where you live or has made physical threats against you- CALL YOUR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY OR THE FBI IMMEDIATELY!
Protecting Your Privacy
What is Cyberbullying?