Cyberstalkers use the information they find online to harass and cause distress to a victim. They may continually try to make contact against the victim’s wishes. They may scrutinise and manipulate their victim’s online activity or locate personal information about them. They may use the information against a victim to damage their reputation, purchase goods or services in their name or sabotage them online by spamming and sending viruses.
What to do if you think you’re being cyberstalked
- Change your passwords and email address. Do not share them with other people. Try not to use the same password for everything.
- Keep anything that could be used as evidence such as emails, text messages etc.
- Report it to the police, who can investigate it further.
Protecting yourself against cyberstalking
Everything you do online leaves a trace and can reveal more about your life than you may like.
Whilst we might be aware of the information you add to social networking sites or send via email, you may not have considered what other sites might hold your information.
If you have sold a car, house or any other items through a website, your personal information could still be held by the organisation or there maybe websites which you no longer use or have forgotten about which are still displaying your details.
Protect yourself and your identity online
- Check your privacy setting on social networks and email accounts.
- Search for yourself online using several search engines. If you are unhappy with what you find either delete it yourself or contact the website and ask for your details to be removed.
- Do not post anything that you would not be happy with someone else seeing.
- Remember to check what friends and family are posting about you.
- If you are using a mobile phone remember to turn off the GPS tracking function so it doesn’t automatically add your location to what you post online.