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Cyberstalking

Cyberstalking

Cyberstalking definition

Cyberstalking is a type of harassment in which the perpetrator uses technology and digital means like location trackers, email, and social media in order to harass, stalk, and monitor their victims. Motivations for cyberstalking are usually the intention to control, intimidate or influence their target. Cyberstalking goes hand in hand with other crimes such as identity theft, doxxing, blackmail, and even physical threats.

Cyberstalking examples

  • Tricking the victim into revealing personal information about themselves through catfishing.
  • Installing stalkerware onto the victim's phone or laptop.
  • Monitoring the victim’s location check-ins.
  • Hijacking the victim’s webcam to watch them.
  • Using Bluetooth trackers like Apple Air tags to stalk the victim.

Protecting yourself from cyberstalking

  • Limit information about yourself online and review your privacy settings.
  • Never tag your location on social media.
  • Use strong and unique passwords.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication where you can.
  • Don’t open suspicious links and attachments.
  • Protect your internet connection with a VPN.

Dealing with cyberstalking

  • Keep records of inappropriate messages, calls, and other forms of contact as evidence.
  • Report your harasser to the platform on which the harassment is taking place.
  • Block your stalker and don’t engage with them.
  • Consider reporting the stalker to the authorities.
  • Do some research for local supportive organizations that help cyberstalking survivors.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security