A Very Real Threat: How to Protect Yourself from Cyber Stalkers

Isabell Agumbah Protect from Cyber Stalking

Safety Alert: Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your internet usage might be monitored, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224” (National Domestic Violence Hotline).

With everything that has a bright side, there is surely a dark side. With the birth of the digital age has come great triumph, profitability, and success. However, a deep, mysterious, and abusive act has come about as a result; people no longer just stalk others in person, they also do it online. This is known as cyberstalking.

How to Identify a Cyberstalker

According to Emily Thomas of BBC’s Newsbeat, “Psychologist Dr Emma Short,” says,” people don’t always know when they’re crossing the line… ‘You are now more likely to be a victim of crime online than in the real world,’” she states. According to Dr Stone, there are three key signifiers of a cyberstalker:

  • They may have some form of mental issue or illness.
  • They may be exceedingly antisocial.
  • They may have addictive behaviors, particularly addictive behaviors resulting in spending exuberant amounts of time online.

Why Do They Do It?

Cyber stalkers might have a mental issue or illness. They might have been abused when they were younger. Cyber stalkers sometimes even start off as bullies when they are younger. Maybe they used the internet to tease their peers through abusive language and finding where they are to make fun of or follow them. There is usually a long story behind how these people got to where they are today; they usually do not become this way overnight.

Regardless of the motivation behind their actions, cyberstalkers cannot just view this as a simple or non-harmful act. The internet is a “toy” for many, but this type of behavior is unacceptable and severely dangerous. Not only is it harmful to the victims, it is also harmful to the bully. He/she might grow up to think this type of behavior is okay and implement the same tactics in a more severe way, such as mentally, emotionally, socially, physically, or spiritually harming or killing them.

There are an assortment of things that might drive their behavior, but what we know is that this type of behavior should never be encouraged, supported, or, especially, ignored.

How to Know if You Are Being Digitally Abused

If the behavior of the person interacting with you becomes stressful or harmful in any way on any level or even if the person is not interacting with you online but is rather trying to control your digital engagement, then you may be a victim of digital abuse and/or cyberstalking.

How to Protect Your Loved Ones

  • Inform Them of How to Identify Cyber Stalkers
    • Click here for the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s Digital Abuse Awareness Toolkit to share with your loved ones in print, on websites, and on social media.)
  • Give Them Tools and Procedures on How to Respond Should They Face a Cyber Stalker
    • See here on how to safely reach out to the police.
  • Notice the Symptoms of Abuse Should They Not Reach Out to You for Help
  • Intervene
  • Support Them

Remember: The three most powerful things you can do as preventative measures to save your loved ones from cyber stalkers are to do the following:

  • Raise their awareness of the issues,
  • Help them create a plan of action should they find themselves being stalked, and
  • Share preventative resources to aid them should they face an abuser.

Has you or someone you love been a victim of digital or domestic abuse? Reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline here.

Get Immediate Help Here

Safety Alert: Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your internet usage might be monitored, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224” (National Domestic Violence Hotline).

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