TIP OF THE WEEK: Cyberstalking: When It Gets Personal and Digital

Common indications of online harassment include: Threats via email, posts, and any form of online messaging and communication. Any public online publication of vicious posts that expose or attack you. Attempts to defame or slander your reputation by posing as you online. Harassment of friends, family, and colleagues in order to frighten or isolate a person, family, or organization.

Search for yourself online, using your name, username, phone number, or any other personal information. Is there anything out there that’s too revealing? Worse, is there anything out there that you haven’t created yourself?

If you’ve recently broken up with a spouse or significant other, ensure that you change each and every password that they do (or might) know about—particularly if the person or break-up was difficult, abusive, angry, or otherwise troublesome.

Change your passwords to something that person wouldn’t be able to guess.

Have your computer inspected by a professional if you believe that you may be targeted. They need to check for spyware and other viruses, too.

Check your credit report status regularly, particularly if you’re in the public eye (as a businessperson, professional, celebrity, etc.).

Ignore annoying but non-threatening messages. Sometimes a stalker just wants some attention; when you refuse to give the attention, the person will choose an easier target.

Avoid responding to any suggestive messages or comments, even if it seems fun, tempting, or harmless.

Do you believe you have a cyberstalker? Then trust your gut about that. It’s better to be wrong than to be… in a very bad position. Consider the following internet safety tips:

Record and report each incident.
Change your screen-name.
Consider closing your account altogether.
Don’t panic; reach out for support from people whom you trust.
The faster you block that person’s ability to hurt or harass you,
the sooner he or she will leave you alone.
If you’re worried about your safety and well-being, don’t hesitate
to contact police and law enforcement authorities. NOVA Police are available 24/7 at 703-764-5000.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *