Cyberstalking is the use of internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, a group, or an organization. It may include false accusations, defamation, slander and libel. It may also include monitoring, identity theft, threats, vandalism, solicitation for sex, or gathering information that may be used to threaten, embarrass or harass.
Cyberstalking is often accompanied by realtime or offline stalking. In many jurisdictions, such as California, both are criminal offenses. Both are motivated by a desire to control, intimidate or influence a victim. a stalker may be an online stranger or a person whom the target knows. He may be anonymous and solicit involvement of other people online who do not even know the target.
Cyberstalking is a criminal offenses under various state anit-stalking, slander and harassment laws. A conviction can result in a restraining order, probation, or criminal penalties against the assailant, including jail.
Cyberstalking includes but is not limited to:
• harassment, humiliation and embarrassment of the person targeted
• harassing family, friends and employers to isolate the person
• tactics to make the target fearful
• taking on the identity of the other person
• monitoring (e.g., using Facebook notifications to find out where the person is going, using spy ware, activating GPS)
Cyberstalking can be difficult to address due to:
• stalker anonymity
• law enforcement assumption that a stalker located far away will not travel to follow up
• the stalker encouraging online buddies to participate in the harassment, increasing
How people experience cyber stalkingThrough mobile phones
SMS/Calls If a stalker can obtain your mobile number, they may harass you through SMS messages and phone calls. They may use it in combination with GPS to reveal that they know your location. Stalkers can also use spyware to intercept your messages and calls.
GPS GPS may tell you what coffee shops are nearby, but it can also let others know where you are. The fortunately defunct Girls Around Me app was a perfect storm of GPS info and unscrupulous developers.
Photos Photos have information embedded in their properties that include when and where you took them. It can also be possible to decipher the location based on what's in the image.Through laptops
SOCIAL MEDIA It's very easy to glean information about where you live, the places you visit regularly and the people you care about from posts and pictures. Your friends might also unintentionally reveal information about you.
ONLINE CHATTING Stalking from online acquaintances can happen in chatrooms. Also, if you use the option to "automatically remember your password," anyone using your computer can log in to your messenger services.
BLOGS Stalkers like to hang out in comment spaces and post threats and insults. This is especially common when the stalker is someone unknown to you.
EMAIL Email addresses are often attached to real names and profiles, and stalkers may use these to contact you directly. Again, spyware can be used to access your private email.
WEB CAMS Stalkers use spy ware to access webcams and film people without their knowledge or consent.