While it is fun to blog, wear fashionable clothes for your #OTDD on Instagram and share your journey on social media but let’s not trust things blindly. The technology and social media open our lives up in many ways that weren’t possible less than 10 years ago. Today it is easy for maniacs, psychos and stalkers to follow people through social media and web platforms. Learn how to keep your personal information private on the Internet and learn how to response from cyber bullying and cyber stalking.
First what is cyberstalking? Let me simplify it by literally an online stalking. It is defined to stalk someone use of technology or social media with an intent to disturb or harass for personal gain. It includes monitoring your daily or weekly posts online, giving you false accusations on email or any electronic communication that believe it can reach out to you.
How to identify someone is a cyberstalker? A cyberstalker and social media follower are two different things. A social media follower is someone who follow your post and it could be your family, friends or anyone who wants to connect with you through your platform. A cyberstalker is someone who send you disturbing messages with content of sexual harassment, inappropriate or just to disturb you. A cyberstalker is a manipulative person who will do everything to have control over you. Be warned!
How To Know If Your Images or Names Are Being Misused Online?
Be aware of your own online presence because someone out there may be misusing your images or name for online dating, adult websites, web platforms to manipulate people or simply to embarrass you. Check your full name or screen name on Google and see the results. If it happens that you found your name online, do not worry you can report to support centre to remove the article.
Contact Google, Yahoo or any web platforms support service to report the issue and they will investigate it. Even if the cyberstalker is using a proxy address, his or her real IP and information can be found easily.
What To Do If The Cyberstalker Don’t Stop Harassing Me?
Don’t panic and don’t respond to manipulative threats. Take action by filing a report with your local enforcement agent or file a complaint to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center IC3.
Cyberstalking is a serious offence.
What If The Cyberstalker Create False Evidence That We Have A Connection?
Fabricated evidence is a material or information to obtain illegally. To create a forged evidence is a serious offence and one can be imprisoned up to 20 years for felony tampering with evidence. If found guilty, the cyberstalker may be ordered to pay as much as $10,000 on a state conviction. Federal sentencing may include fines and up to 20 years in prison.
What If The Cyberstalker Will Claim He Has “Evidence”?
What Are The Options To Address Threats Against A Cyberstalker?
First, you need to take action by messaging the person to stop disturbing you. By giving a warning it will send him a clear message that it is not appropriate to contact you again. And that also means, if he insists there will be lawful actions that will be taken against him.
If your cyberstalker persists despite the warning, the best is to file a police report if you believe the person lives near you. The police will have the report that you are unsafe and they will advise you on what to do. But if the cyberstalker lives overseas and keep on attacking and stalking you online, file a report to the Internet Law Enforcement. If you believe the cyberstalker will go to the next level of stalking you by flying from one country to your country, you can report the incident to the immigration or even to airlines’ legal authorities.
How Can I Ban My Cyberstalker From Entering To My Country?
The immigration law can be complicated and may require a lot of documents to file. You may ask your lawyer to help you for immigration (prohibition of entry) order but it will take some time to process.
How Can I Continue Blogging If Someone Is Disturbing Me Online?
I know that blogging is fun but there are risks of doing it. If you’re using your blog as a platform to express yourself but worried people will take your information, images or videos against you the best way is to educate yourself how to protect and response from cyberbullying and cyberstalking.
Constantly Google about yourself online so you are aware of who misuse your information, images and videos without your permission. Report it to Google, Yahoo, and Social Media support service to remove the articles about you.
There is new cyberbullying legislation that anyone convicted of distributing an intimate image without consent could face serious legal consequence;
- They could be imprisoned for up to five years;
- Their computer, cell phone or other device used to share the image could be seized under a court order;
- They could be ordered to reimburse the victim for costs incurred in removing in intimate image from the Internet or elsewhere.
Cyberbullying is a serious offence. If your images or videos are misused without your permission, make a screenshot along with the URL of that post for reference when you file a report.
How Will I know My Stalker’s Identity If He Creates A Fake Social Media Account?
An abuser will not stop harassing his victim until he gets what he wants. Be smart on this.
Social media sites have a reporting system in place aimed at flagging inappropriate content or user. You can block and report the user and social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram will investigate it. If found guilty, they may closed the social media account.
To find out if the stalker is still checking on you on social media, download the Views For Instagram app, it will help you to keep on check who is viewing or stalking your Instagram account on a regular basis. Once you find a malicious account, check the profile link. Copy that link and give it to someone you know who is techy. He or she will advise you how to find the person’s IP address, his location and even full name register in his address. If your stalker is using a proxy address, there is still another way to find his true identity.
In my opinion, you shouldn’t stop blogging just because there are crazy people stalking you or pulling you down. If you give the harasser the power to control your life, you will let him or her win. To give up isn’t the right response in crisis. You must educate yourself how to protect, defend and response against personal threats.
- Always change the passwords of your emails and social media accounts. Nowadays, there are many hackers who can easily retrieve your passwords.
- Do not use unsafe free wi-fi in public areas. Hackers know how to code and giveaway freebies to people to get their information.
- When you post images or videos on social media available for public viewing, use a watermark.
- Do not leave full names of your family members, spouse or partners on blogging. Hackers and stalkers know how to create patterns.
- Do not click any links from unknown or strange emails. It could be a virus.
- Do not accept strange friends’ request on your private social media account.
- Block unwanted emails from strangers.
- Do not engage in arguments online. It will trigger the anger of the cyberstalker.
- Report to the authority: Internet Law Enforcement, Social Media Support Service, Police or hire a lawyer to advise you what to do for your safety.
Lastly, when you travel do not upload your photos or update it on your social media and don’t the tag the location while you’re still there. For your safety, update it on social media after you left. A cyberstalker know how to create patterns of your favourite travel locations, favourite places to hang out and even where you work or study. A cyberstalker will draw a conclusion of what you do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. If you do not have a control in a situation, I suggest do not make your social media available for public viewing for your safety. On my personal Facebook, I usually update my travel photos only after I left the location (after few days or event months, that’s why most of my travel blog post are outdated). I also do not tag the exact name of the location as where I am and I don’t tag people in the group photo on my Facebook, unless they tag themselves.
Social media and blogging are fun but you must also be aware of the risks of over exposure.