With over 30 years experience within the private investigator industry, Insight have undertaken and investigated many cases of stalking over the years. Stalking can be a terrifying experience for the victim of such as crime. The global explosion and rapid expansion of internet users has helped to evolve this type of criminal activity and make it one of the leading crimes in terms of numbers.
Stereotypically a stalker would be envisaged as someone making silent phone calls, heavy breathing or hanging around in dark alleyways watching their intended victim. In the modern-day this only scratches the surface of such a complex and massively varied crime that has seen victims targeted through many channels by online stalkers.
The figures for reports and cases of stalking, especially online stalking, have increased at an alarming rate year on year as people have more and more access to their targets personal and sensitive information. There have been reports of people placing ex partners information on dating sites to attract unwanted attention, hate campaigns, harassment, celebrity stalking and sensitive photos being circulated but to name a few online stalking crimes. With so many potential ways to carry out online stalking it is little wonder that this is one of the most complex and rapidly expanding criminal activities.
Knowing how to prevent online stalking and the vital steps to take could save you from days, weeks, months or even years of potential mental and physical abuse. Insight would recommend that anybody who suspects that they may be falling victim to online stalking should do the following;
Do not advertise your personal information
Websites such as Facebook and Twitter have taken over the internet globally with almost everybody, be it young or old, setting up personal profiles to interact and keep in touch with friends. A massive part of the social media experience is made up of people filling out detailed profiles of themselves and their lives, from dates of birth, marital status, children’s names, photos and hobbies through to sharing your location, posting personal status updates such as future holiday locations and daily life. This information is very appealing to a potential stalker who often thrives on the ability to be able to use their own “power” or “hold” on their victim’s information to carry out cyber stalking.
By taking simple security measures such as setting your social media website profiles to custom setting such as friends only will prevent any strangers from getting your information, also never accept friend requests or approaches from someone you do not know. If an online stalker cannot access your personal information or even begin interaction it is unlikely they can progress their criminal activity with you.
Clearly Make a Point of Asking the Online Stalker to Stop
If you feel that you are being infiltrated by an online stalker clearly state your desire for them to stop contacting you and also not to try to contact you ever again. Always take a copy of your statement to them and never respond to any further advances from the stalker. If you have a record of your wish for the potential stalker to stop contacting you this is solid evidence that you do not condone or wish to interact further.
Whatever type of harassment you are falling victim to, it is absolutely crucial that you save and store any evidence, it could be instant messaging, direct messages, emails or even malicious information about you online. By saving the times, dates and details of your harassment will prove crucial if you need to prosecute the said stalker.
Report the Crime No Matter How Small
If you feel in any way threatened or intimidated always report the crime. It might be that somebody is constantly messaging you even after attempts to tell them not to or they could be sending threatening messages, whatever the scenario contact the police and get them to log the details so that if the matter progresses there is solid evidence of ongoing harassment and not just a one-off contact. The police may act on what you feel to be a minor case of online stalking to prevent any progression.
Taking notice of these four measures on how to prevent online stalking is vital and will potentially save you from being a victim of online stalking. Insight have a proven track record and offer a discreet private security services portfolio to assist you with any security measures.