More people are spending time on the internet than ever before. There is easy access to every kind of information available online, chat rooms, social networks, instant messengers and emails. We also get to know many new people from all over the world. It is fun and exciting, but it can also be dangerous. Talking to strangers online is just as dangerous as talking to a stranger on the street.
Here is some information to help everyone learn about internet stalking and how to protect themselves from that.
There are three general types of internet stalkers:
1. Obsessional Stalkers: You may have known them, had a friendship with them, and ended it but they refuse to accept that the relationship is over even when they have been told repeatedly it is. They may still contact you in emails and instant messengers, or persistently try to add you on Facebook, MySpace, or other social networks. Do not think they are harmlessly in love because many of them may have been emotionally abusive, controlling and even carry a criminal record for stalking.
2. The Delusional Stalkers: They have never had a relationship with the person outside of their own mind. They could have mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or erectomania. What they have in common is a false belief that keeps them tied to their victims, even things like walking on the same side of the street, buying the same brand of orange juice, etc. There may be delusional stalkers who are determined to prove their love to the victim somehow believing they will return the same feelings. This can be dangerous, like the stalker of Jodie Foster who shot President Reagan for her.
Delusional stalkers are often loners, unmarried, socially immature, and don't really have much people skills to keep friendships and relationships. They often stalk victims who are unattainable such as celebrities, married people, and tend to draw to those in helping professions such as doctors, thearapists, teachers etc. They can be very difficult to get rid of and can be around for years.
3. Venegeful Stalkers: They get angry at their victims over slight (either real or imagined) problem. They are dangerous because they can stalk the victim but believe themselves to be the "victims." This commonly includes disgruntled employees, ex-spouses, etc. They may show a flame war, want to argue with you, disagree with you, and may even create a website about you. They can go as far as tracing you, calling you at home, at work, sending you hate mail or even going as far as finding you offline.
How to Protect Yourself.
-If you are a minor, please contact an adult immediately. This kind of thing cannot be kept a secret. Let your parents know right away! And parents, guard your children. Always know who they are talking to!
-Stop all contact with this person. Do not respond to them anymore. Do not continue the conversations, do not argue with them, just cut off all ties with them.
-Block their emails, their IMs, and any other access they may have to you. Disappear online by changing your identity and if necessary your Internet Provider. Your safety is more important than the inconvenience of having to change your online identity.
-If there are threats being made, make a report to your local police station. Bring any logs or emails with you as evidence. Keep all correspondence in order for them to be able to be traced.
-Be on guard when you are online. Do not share your information. Do not give out your home address or phone number. Do not give any information that could reveal where you are.
-If you feel uncomfortable around someone online, listen to your feelings!
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