The internet has brought us all closer than ever. Never before in our history has humanity been able to communicate so directly. However, in the darkest "alleys" of the internet, this freedom is often used for evil purposes.
Cyberstalking is defined as online harassment of a person. Cyberstalking comes in a variety of forms ranging from slander and spam to death threats and physical violence.
Before the introduction of social media, harassment was much more difficult due to the lack of information available about a particular person. Today, however, people are free to share sensitive information and post photos of themselves and their families. Therefore, it makes it much easier for an cyber criminal to gather information about his victims or even to locate them.
Often, users are unaware that they are victims of cyberstalking. Social media such as Facebook and Instagram have made it extremely easy for a criminal to watch his victim from afar without noticing.
However, when regular unwanted or threatening comments are received, then the victim should be aware that the perpetrator has exceeded the limits. The perpetrators of cyberstalking tend to be guided by various reasons with the most common being jealousy, revenge and lust.
Keep one low internet profiles
The internet exposes us to all kinds of people from all over the world. While most of them are decent people, a small percentage are not good at all. Therefore, it is best to keep your profile as low as possible while you are online.
Avoid sharing information related to your place of work, homeland and family. Hackers and criminals are known to collect such information in order to use it to intimidate or harass their victims. Obviously avoid disclosing your information such as phone numbers and addresses at all costs.
While we believe that we display it if you have it, social media is not really the kind of place to share "sensitive" images of yourself or yours. You will never know who could get this information. As we have seen since the 2014 iCloud breach, you will never know what can end up on the internet and be used against you.
Keep your software up to date
While application and software updates can be annoying at times, they are extremely critical. They often contain important patches that address potential security breaches.
So whenever you have an update available, take the extra time to make sure you have updated everything. Ultimately, it only takes a few minutes and ensures that your privacy remains protected.
Take time for yourself
Social media has provided us with a platform to share aspects of our lives with friends and relatives. Most of the time, however, people tend to go to extremes and turn Facebook into a political battleground.
Often, you can say a lot about a person based on what he or she shares on social media. Although you may be tempted to add your own opinion, sometimes it is better to follow a separate course. Make sure you stay away from social media and live your life freely, without the dangers and fears of the internet.
Posting aggressive posts about race, religion, or politics can be used to hurt you later by someone who may disagree with you.
If you find yourself being monitored or harassed online, do not hesitate to block the person and report it to the relevant facilitators. The harassment should be done immediately and you should make a police report and the perpetrator should stop social media. Removing your online presence makes it much harder for a criminal to track you down.