Online stalking has become a widespread issue in the digital age. Where people can follow and track others online without their knowledge. It cannot be very comforting to know someone is watching your every move online. If you suspect someone is stalking you online, you must take prompt action. In this article, we will discuss what you can do if someone is stalking you online.
What is Online Stalking?
Online stalking is also known as cyberstalking. Cyberstalking is the intentional use of the internet or other electronic communication channels to harass, intimidate, or threaten an individual. It can include sending unwanted messages, posting negative comments or photos, spreading rumors, or even hacking someone’s accounts.
If you suspect someone is stalking you online, taking swift action is crucial, as online stalking can happen to anyone. It’s vital to act to protect yourself and your personal information.
Domestic Violence Definition
Domestic violence involves a repeated pattern of behavior aimed at obtaining and retaining power and control. It can include physical, emotional, sexual, and economic abuse. Domestic violence is a serious crime that affects millions of people every year.
Domestic violence laws vary by state. But all states have laws that prohibit domestic violence and provide protection. The charges for domestic violence can vary and may range from a misdemeanor to a felony offense. Depending on the severity of the crime. The consequences of a felony charge can be severe, including longer prison sentences and higher fines.
Indicators that say someone is stalking you
- They track you or appear at the same time.
- They are aware of your scheduled activities and where to locate you.
- They continue to call messages, texting, or even send gifts.
- They pose invasive queries about you, your friends, or your relatives.
- They track your online activities.
- They may take pictures or videos of you without your knowledge or consent.
- Your accounts are hacked or impersonated on the internet.
- They disseminate rumors or falsehoods about you.
- They try to intimidate or threaten.
If you’re online searching for answers to questions such as, “Is someone stalking me?” It’s a sign that the behavior of the person stalking you can be alarming and risky. Being safe when you’re the victim of a stalker begins by knowing what you should do when someone is stalking you.
What should you do if someone is stalking you online?
In case you believe someone is stalking you on the internet, there are specific steps you can take to safeguard yourself:
- Block the Person
Blocking the individual stalking should be your initial step in dealing with the situation. You should block their contact number and email to prevent them from contacting you in the future. Also, you’ll need to stop them from using social media Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Kik–be thorough. Remember to include Whatsapp too. It will prevent them from sending you any further messages or contact.
- Document Evidence
Document any evidence of the stalking. It can include screenshots of messages, emails, or social media posts. As well as any other evidence that can help identify the stalker.
- Report to the Police
If you feel in immediate danger, file a domestic violence report. Contact the police right away. Police can help you file a restraining order or take other legal action to protect you.
- Seek Legal Help
If the stalking continues or escalates, you may need legal help. Domestic violence lawyers can provide legal guidance against cyberstalking by helping their clients obtain legal protection, gather evidence, advocate, educate them about online safety, and refer them to counseling or support services. They can also work with prosecutors to ensure the abuser is held accountable for their actions. You get a restraining order against the stalker.
- Seek Support from Those Around You
Informing those around you should be one of the primary steps when dealing with cyberstalking. Talk to your friends and family about what is happening and ask for their support. Having someone assist you in monitoring your online accounts and reporting suspicious activity is highly beneficial. It’s also essential to ask them to be careful about what they share about you. And to not engage with the stalker in any way.
- Consider Your Offline Safety
Stalking can occur both online and offline. It’s essential to assess your offline security and personal safety during stalking. It can include taking measures such as installing security cameras and changing locks, and being more aware of your surroundings when out in public.
- Review Your Privacy Settings
To protect your online privacy. It’s important to review your social media privacy settings. Check your Facebook friends and connections and other platforms. Remove anyone you don’t know in real life. Make sure to lock down who can see your profile and content by adjusting the privacy settings.
- Reduce Your Online Footprint
Another approach to dealing with cyberstalking is to reduce your online footprint. Review your personal information online and try to remove as much as possible. For instance, Google yourself and see if you can find your address and phone number—or other identifying information. When you find it, contact the website owner and ask them to remove it.
- Disable Location Tagging
Many social media platforms use GPS tracking to tag your location in posts and photos. Enter your account settings and turn off location tagging to protect your privacy. This way, you can prevent cyberstalkers from tracking your movements.
- Seek Professional Help
If you feel overwhelmed or unable to cope with cyberstalking, seek professional help. Many organizations and services specialize in helping victims of online harassment, such as the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative.
If someone is stalking you online, it is crucial to take immediate action. You can try to block the stalker or report them to the appropriate authorities. Be mindful of your online presence and the necessary steps to protect your privacy, such as using strong passwords and limiting the amount of personal information. Remember, your safety should always come first.