(part 1 of 3)
Can you imagine someone stalking you, and making your life miserable, and yet you feel so helpless because you have no idea who the person is? And there’s no way to figure out the identity, location or any other information on this real person who won’t leave you alone? Someone could be cyberstalking you.
Anonymity is a very easy feat to accomplish on the internet. All it takes is fake identities and untraceable sources. Unfortunately stalkers and abusers of all types have thrived on this to commit their crimes.
The challenge for victims and law enforcement officials is a simple one: they can’t figure out who is doing the cyberstalking or where it’s coming from. However, there are ways to protect yourself, your friends, and your loved ones from such terrifying circumstances.
As well, the anonymity makes prosecution much more difficult. The fact that cyberstalking doesn’t involve physical contact doesn’t mean it is any less dangerous than “real life” stalking.
How Do Cyberstalkers Find You?
Bear this in mind: an experienced Internet user can easily find enough of your personal information, such as your phone number or place of business, to establish some sort of “anonymous communication” with you. Cyberstalkers find their victims through chat rooms, message boards, and discussion forums, to name a few. Once they get some information on you, they can easily research out more information about you online, like through Google or other search engines, phone directories, business directories, and such. Even if you have an unlisted phone number, that is not beyond the reach of a skilled online researcher.
Ready, Aim, Threat
Once they’ve created a file on you (ready), they then aim the cross-hairs of their cyberstalking “gun” on you and fire….
Cyberstalking takes many forms such as: threatening or obscene e-mail; spamming (junk e-mail); live chat harassment or flaming (online verbal abuse); leaving improper messages on message boards or in guest books; sending viruses; sending unsolicited e-mail; tracing another person’s computer and Internet activity, and electronic id theft. Just because someone is a cyber stalker does not mean that this fascination won’t lead to a real world physical confrontation either.
For children, online stalking can be a particularly terrifying experience. Being that children have a fragility and an innocence that comes with their youth, they are at a very high risk of psychological trauma, and possible physical harm. Many cyberstalking situations evolve into off-line stalking which includes such actions as: abusive and excessive phone calls, vandalism, threatening or obscene mail, trespassing, and physical assault. The reality is that any type of stalking can lead to a physical attack if the situation is not properly dealt with as soon as possible.
Protecting our children and the children we may be involved with on a regular basis is of great importance. CHW Solutions!
In Part 2 of 3:
Potential Effects of Children who are Cyberstalking Victims
Child Protection From Cyberstalking
Tips To Protect Children In School And Sport Activities
Your CHW Partner
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