With today’s world being so technologically advanced now there are new issues that society has to deal with. One major issue that has surfaced is Cyberstalking. So, what is Cyberstalking? This is when a person or persons are attacked, harassed, or tracked through social media platforms, the internet, or text and phone services.
This has become a very serious issue for society to deal with. In order to combat this problem, one needs to understand it first. Cyberstalking is occurring in all age groups, anyone using computers or phones can become a victim. Here are some characteristics of cyberstalking.
What is Cyberstalking?
- Repeated unwelcome contact through internet media channels or texts
- Researching a person on the internet to find out personal information about their relationships, workplace, school attendance, an area where they live, and other personal information.
- Spreading personal or private information through social media and the internet whether it is true or not.
- Spreading rumours about a person and encouraging others to do so on the internet.
- Posting or storing pictures of persons through unknown or unwanted contact.
- Sending viruses to someone’s personal computer.
- Trying to arrange meetings while coercing a person or repeated attempts at meetings.
Cyberstalking is done by someone known by the person or by someone unknown. The cyberstalker may have a sick obsession with a certain person stemming from greed, jealousy, physical or mental attraction, resentment, and other reasons. a cyber stalker is anyone at any age and social or professional status who threatens to stalk or libel any other person whether they know them or not. Normally it is done by someone familiar with the victim either through social or professional connections.
Women, young girls, and children are the most common victims of cyber stalking but males are affected too. Cyberstalking can cause mild to severe mental distress for the victim. The stalker may only hold a fascination for harassing or obsessing over their victim for days or weeks, this is the most common type of stalking.
There is not an acceptable amount of cyberstalking in any case, it is very important that if you or someone you know is being harassed in any way through the use of technology not to blow it off immediately. Parents have a special responsibility to protect their children when they are on the internet.
Learn more about Stalking and what it is Cyberstalking!
When children are using technology they are susceptible to cyberstalking. Parents should regularly check their children’s internet usage. As parents, we have a responsibility to protect our children and it can be easy to overlook the dangers of internet connections. Children often give away personal information such as addresses and phone numbers through public social media platforms. This exposes them to the risk of cyberstalking.
Parents should talk to their children and teenagers about the dangers and effects of cyberbullying. There have been many unfortunate instances where a child or teenager has been cyberbullied which has led to depression, mental stress physical attacks, and much worse. Talk to your children about the importance of privacy on the internet.
Parents should also know the passwords to the social media sites that their children visit. This is a good way to check their children’s activity and social connections. There are many people who visit social media sites that visit under false names and age groups in order to stalk people for personal information and this can lead to a dangerous situation.
Some of the ways to protect yourself and your children from cyber stalking are:
- Explain to your children what is cyberstalking
- Talk to your children about internet safety.
- Never publish personal information such as addresses, phone numbers, and birth dates.
- Do not accept unsolicited friend requests from unknown persons.
- Do not ‘click’ on unknown links and websites.
- If someone is threatened with mental or physical harm report the situation to parents or the proper authorities.
- Take all threats seriously.
- Immediately end contact with anyone who is threatening you or making undesired advances
There are laws in place that defines what is cyberstalking in order to protect internet users. Many countries and states have enacted laws that make it a crime to stalk or harass anyone on the internet in answer to the rare but serious situations that have occurred since the introduction of cyber technology to the public.
The benefits of the internet have opened up a vast wealth of information for us as a society, but unfortunately, it has also made us vulnerable to these kinds of attacks. With the proper caution, these unfortunate situations can be avoided and we can enjoy all of the benefits of being part of a cyber community.