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Protect Yourself from Internet Stalking

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!


Go to this website for more information:
http://www.wiredsafety.org/cyberstalking_harassment/stalker.html

5 Comments:

  1. Martha said...
    Oh we both know I had problems with a "TYPE 1" stalker since high school!! You're right, the problem finally ceased (for now) the moment I ended ALL contact with the person. Even if I did not communicate with the person, I was still fueling his interest by leaving everything public. In a way, we were still 'friends' through public information so I had to make most things private :o) it was a lot of work but well worth it, I have a peace of mind now ((wipes forehead)). Very insightful post, kudos to you for researching into the matter :)

    <3
    Sisterlisa said...
    Great information Charlene. I knew a girl once who had an online relationship with a guy who agreed to meet with her. She was a teen and he claimed to be one too. He wasn't, it went BAD.

    Then there's that girl who thought a guy on Myspace liked her and it turned out to be the mother of her teen enemy who lived down the street. The mother, under the disguise of the 'teen boy' manipulated her so bad that she ended up taking her own life.

    When a person, whether online or IRL, says the friendship needs to end, the person should STOP. If not, it IS a crime and IS punishable by LAW.

    There are authorities that they can be reported to. I would like to also add that if it gets out of control every email FB message IM etc should be saved!
    Lady Jess said...
    Very good tips Charlene. My mom has a friend being stalked online by some creepy lady who won't leave her alone on Facebook and Yahoo IM!
    MrsD/Jacque said...
    This is very good Charlene. I am going to link it on my blog. We have experienced this problem in blog world with another home school mom. She did this for over a year and also made comments about Jocelyn and her relationship with another blogger in CBoxes.
    She emailed her privately, left her anonymous comments we tracked through her IP, then even threatened to show up at Amanda's 18th birthday party to me in an email when I asked her to PLEASE FINALLY leave us alone. When she was approached by the blog hoster's owner, she said it was just a mistake.

    We are still perplexed as to how to expose these people and not look like hateful people, when they would never allow others to see their stalking techniques.
    One thing is that parents need to be involved online with their children.
    Even then you can't catch everything, but if they partner with you, at least you know what is going on and you can be a part of it instead of them doing it alone and making bad decisions.

    I hate it that this woman is out there, on THL, blogging, hosting blog events, etc... and people have no idea the effect she had on our family daily for over a year. It was horrible.

    Oh man... and Candy has had a problem with vengeful stalkers. It is horrible to think that someone thinks it's ok to make a website devoted to bashing a person. I agree with the term "Vengeful Stalkers". I think they did all mentioned in that one too. :(

    Sorry for your troubles. We know what it is like. :( I pray the LORD will keep you safe and protect you and end this soon!

    Blessings and great info!!
    Lesley said...
    What a wonderful article with some great tips. I pray that it will reach many and help in preventing women being placed in a situation that could end badly.

    When I was younger, I had a run-in with a 'TYPE 2' stalker. He was someone I had spoke with in a chat room and he thought there was more to it and visited my workplace one day. I was really upset and was glad there were so many people around at the time, so I didn't have to be alone with him. A man I worked with saw him and later came to me and asked if he was bothering me and told me he would take care of it. I don't know what was said but I never heard from that guy again. I was very lucky to have had someone on my side. Looking back it was a really stupid situation to be in and had I been more selective in what I shared online it would have never happened.

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