Digital Stalking – How To Tell If You Have An Online Stalker


How Do You Know You’re Being Stalked Online?

In today’s world, it’s so simple to find out what everybody else is doing. Just follow them on Twitter or log onto Facebook or Myspace. From these social media sites, you can discover what your family, cousin, friend or friend’s friend is doing.

Today, popularity is not just about becoming the most well-known girl or guy in school. It’s also about getting the most “likes,” the most views, and the highest number of followers. What some people don’t realize is that being online can greatly impact their privacy. For instance, some individuals who aren’t really looking for attention may have to deal with cyberstalkers.

Learning About Cyberstalking

Cyberstalking is the modern version of stalking, wherein one person does certain activities that make another fear for his or her safety. In the past, a person might start following you everywhere, or you’d notice him turning up wherever you happened to be. You might also receive gifts left at your workplace or at your doorstep.

Today, a stalker can do all these things and more. With the use of social media and other online resources, a person can hound your every step without difficulty. He’ll know your whereabouts, and, if you overly-share information on Facebook, he could even know what you’re eating, where you’re going on vacation, what gifts you received last Christmas, and other tidbits that you reveal to the public. Aside from this, stalkers can now use the internet to communicate and to establish relationships with their targets via chats or emails.

Am I Being Stalked Online?

Before, it was somewhat easier to know if you were being stalked because you could actually perceive the person that was following you or sending you letters and gifts. Today, cyberstalkers are quite furtive. With the use of modern technology, they can “follow” their victims without leaving the confines of their residence. Even though it is a bit harder to know if you’re being stalked on the internet, there are still certain things that will clue you in, such as:

1. He (or she) has an unhealthy interest in you and your activities. A stalker wants to know everything about his victim. He spends hours learning more and acquiring as much information as possible about the individual he is interested in. It’s common for a stalker to even miss work, meetings and other social get-togethers while he is focused on his target.

So, how do you know if his interest goes beyond normal? Because of his fanatical interest in you, he is likely one of your followers or online friends. What sets him apart from the others is that he’ll be asking you all sorts of too-personal questions, like where you live or work, or what your real name is. If you refuse to answer, he’ll not give up. He’ll paraphrase and ask you again and again. If this makes you fear for your safety and if a stalker’s actions are already gravely affecting your daily activities, check out to learn more about how you can get a restraining order. This is for your own protection.

2. He “follows” you everywhere. One thing that gives a stalker away is the way he “follows” you. For instance, you’ll notice that he has joined chatrooms that you’re also in, and he’ll visit the same message boards or websites that you like. It’s hard for you to avoid him because he pops up wherever you are.

3. He sends you numerous emails or messages. If someone online is making you feel uncomfortable, it is your right to un-friend him and to ask him to leave you alone. A stalker, however, will keep on contacting you. Even if you’re no longer online buddies, you’ll still find countless emails or messages from him. How do you deal with this problem? Ask for help from the authorities. Most local police stations already have a cybercrime unit.

4. He threatens you online. Your stalker can send you letters that declare how much he adores you. Things, however, can turn sour quite quickly. Certain factors could trigger his temper or maybe he’s just having weird mood swings. During such times, he could send you hate mails or threatening emails. It is also common for a stalker to bully or harass his victim.

Featured images: License: Creative Commons image source

Author Claire Taylor is a freelance blogger. She is aware that the internet can be quite dangerous, and she wants to spread information about online safety to readers.

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