With the Internet and social media reaching every nook and cranny of the world, cyberstalking is becoming more rampant and dangerous. Today, stalkers have grown more vicious, both in their intent and actions.
Online stalking has an extremely harmful impact on the minds of the victims. It can disturb their mental peace and make it difficult to lead a normal life. Online stalker usually threatens their target by sending unsolicited messages, getting unauthorized access to their online accounts, monitoring their online activity and location check-ins, or spreading misinformation about their target.
If you feel that you have become a victim of online stalking, it is vital to take necessary actions as soon as possible. Cyberstalking is serious harassment, and taking swift action is essential to deal with it. However, if you aren't quick with your actions or delay taking the required steps, cyberstalking can take an even more dangerous form like real-life stalking, harassment, and abuse.
This article will discuss 8 ways to deal with an online stalker and ensure your safety, both on the world wide web and in the real world! Read on!
Before discussing the best tactics to deal with an online stalker, let's talk about the basics first. Simply put, cyberstalking or online stalking is a pattern of obsessive, intrusive, and repeated behavior over the web that causes a feeling of fear, alarm, and distress in the mind of the victim.
An online stalker leverages advanced technologies and online tools to follow the digital footprints of their target, keep a check on their online activities, and harass them.
Cyberstalking can take many forms identity theft, sending violent threats, stealing the victim's social media details, monitoring the victim's online movements with the intention to cause harm to them, and so on.
More often than not, the preparator is someone known to the victim like an ex-partner, a colleague, or an acquaintance. But in the case of online stalking, the stalker can also be a total stranger.
One of the most important ways to protect yourself is to be aware of the warning signs that indicate you may be being cyberstalked.
If you are sure that an online stalker is on your trail, here are eight ways to deal with the stalker effectively.
The major aim of an online stalker is to capture your attention, build a relationship with you, and then cause you harm or distress. So, once you have recognized your stalker and given them an initial warning, it is best to end all forms of communication with them.
Do not respond to their texts, emails, or phone calls. No matter what the stalker says or how honest they sound, you should agree to meet with them under no circumstances. You can never guess how dangerous the stalker is, and meeting with them in person can be a significant risk to your safety.
The best thing to do here is to sever all forms of communication with them. Make sure to block them from all your social media accounts as well.
One of the most common ways people deal with their cyberstalkers is to confront them, give them multiple warnings, and scare them with legal actions. Unfortunately, this can cause them to retaliate and make things even worse for you.
You need to be tactful while dealing with the situation of online stalking. Do not let them have the upper hand in the situation. So, take legal actions if needed, but do not let the stalker know about your next move.
Once you have identified a cyberstalker, it’s important to block them online and on your phone.
To do this, start by removing the stalker from all your social media platforms and blocking them from being able to contact you.
Additionally, if they ever call or text message your phone number, add their number to your blocked list.
Finally, consider using applications that are designed specifically for detecting and blocking cyberstalkers such as TextRazer or Silent Circle.
It is important to adjust your privacy settings on social networks and web browsers, in order to better protect yourself from cyberstalkers.
On web browsers, ensure that the browser or search engine you use has strict privacy controls enabled and opt for setting your computer or device to not save passwords.
Privacy settings on social media sites should also be periodically checked to make sure that the stalker isn't able to find out additional information about you.
Before you contact the police, make sure to document all the activities of the stalker. For example, take screenshots or printouts of all abusive comments, messages, or emails. In addition, make sure to document the perpetrator's profile page, username, and profile handles.
Doing this will ensure that you have all the necessary information in case the stalker deletes their comments, posts, and profile. In addition, if you are facing online stalking on a specific social media platform, like Facebook stalking or Instagram stalking, you can contact that platform directly with relevant documents and proof.
These platforms usually take such matters seriously and can help you resolve the issue.
If you notice any alarming offline activity by the online stalker-like following you to or from work or turning up at your home or office, make sure to keep a record of that as well. All of this can act as crucial evidence for the police. It will help them take action against the perpetrator if things get more serious.
If you have an online stalker, alerting your family and friends is one of the best things that you can do. Never feel awkward or hesitant in taking their help or asking for support during this phase.
The stalker will likely try to contact your close friends and family members too.
So, informing your near and dear ones about your online stalker will help them ensure their own online security. You should ask them to watch your social media activities closely and inform you if they notice anything suspicious.
Law enforcement officials take stalking reports very seriously now with the ever-increasing number of cyberstalking cases. So, if nothing else seems to work or you feel a serious risk to your safety, contact the police immediately.
Contacting law enforcement officials and seeking legal counsel will ensure your safety is not compromised in any way. It will also help you deal with your online stalker in the most legally suitable way.
After taking the precautions above, it's important to create a safety plan that will protect you from cyberstalkers both online and offline.
Cyberstalking is a concerning issue, and if you are dealing with it, it is necessary to know your rights and explore all the avenues available to you. If things seem to get out of control, we recommend that you contact the relevant law enforcement agencies or contact a stalking expert for assistance and support.
If you are dealing with an online stalker and looking for assistance, NewReputation.com is here for you. We can help you boost your online privacy, protect your identity, and give you personalized expert advice.
We understand how frightening and stressful such situations can be. So, don't worry; we keep all our consultations highly confidential.