Finding out that you are being cyberstalked is one of the most feared things. Did you know how many ways you can be cyberstalked and what you can do about it? Read on for some signs.
According to recent statistics done by the Justice Department, one in twelve women will be stalked and about 75% of them know their stalker somehow. The law is also not very protective of the victims stating that the stalker must inflict fear and emotional distress to be legally called a stalker.
Suspiciously at all the same places as you
Do you often bump into the same person when you go out to public places? Someone that you didn’t invite or barely know? Do you or your friends often “check-in” online when you go out? They might be watching your online activity and where you frequently go to socialize or shop.
If this potential stalker starts appearing at your workplace or neighborhood, there is a cause for concern.
Constant messages online
Chatting with a person you see regularly socially online is completely normal. However, when someone messages you more often than your social friends and you do not see them often, it could spell danger.
How much is too much? Multiple messages in a day from someone you only know casually after a period of a few weeks could be a reason to worry. If you can ask them to stop, or just ignore their messages.
Sending inappropriate messages online
Some stalkers will try their luck by sending you inappropriate pictures or messages. When the message is not reciprocated by the victim they may escalate it and send more inappropriate messages, sometimes even pornographic pictures.
Sometimes they may post publicly, tagging you in it, making it seem that you are quite close, but in actual fact, you hardly know the person. This makes it embarrassing if you share friends, as that might make them think something else. You can always create a setting that you need to approve everything that you are tagged in.
Standing up against trolls
In this internet age, everyone has experienced the wrath of the trolls. Often they are mean and insensitive. Sometimes a stalker will create a fake troll persona and bully you online, just so they themselves can stand up against the troll for you and look like the hero.
These incidents can occur randomly. Pay attention if someone random just suddenly starts publicly cyber bullying you and if you suspected stalker starts defending you. Also, pay close attention to the time the responses are sent. If they are close together, it might be your stalker.
As polite as their defense of you is, you should politely tell them that you can handle the troll and thank them.
Some “hero” stalkers are less obvious and will watch for when you post something emotional and comment on it with words of encouragement every time.
Manipulating into talking to them
Some stalkers may go as far as threatening legal action against you if you block them. They are bringing you into their world, forcing you to protect yourself.
Some even use self-harm, threaten suicide or hurt others. This brings you in, forcing you to intervene. They may even use this to make you return their affection.
If you find yourself being manipulated this way and someone wants you to do something that doesn’t fit with your ethics and moral, you are being stalked and you need to report it to the police.
Following you all over the Internet
Some stalkers will find everywhere there is mention of you on the internet and watch your every move online. They may email, Facebook message, Tweet or react to any other Social Media activities you may do. They might even just be a watcher. Pay close attention to your followers, one of them may be stalking you.
Liking a post from last year or sending suggestive website links is a red flag, especially if you are not romantically involved. If they like a post from 2012 (and they are not your close family or friends) they have most likely gone through all of your posts from now till back then.
Following you on the web is normally an extension of physical stalking, however in some cases they stalker may have stumbled on you online and developed an obsession.
You can block and report your stalker to the social site in question or even report them to the police if their behavior has caused severe fear or harm.
Disconnecting you from Family and Friends
Stalkers often want to isolate you so they can have you all to themselves. Have recent private messages or pictures of yourself been leaked? Have rumors or damaging information about you been shared with your close social circle?
When private and sensitive information about you is shared, you might want to withdraw. That’s what the stalker wants, he wants to step in as your knight in shining armor.
The best thing to do here is, to tell the truth and your true friends will stick by you.
Too much, unwanted, communication
Perhaps no particular incident stands out in your mind as dangerous, but when you look at the entire picture, you’re alarmed. For example, maybe you’ve simply experienced repeated unwanted contact from the same person. If it’s someone you know, tell him that he’s making you uncomfortable.
These questions from our friends at SaveTnet should help you work out if you are being cyberstalked.