How to Keep Your Children Safe from Online Stalkers
Online stalking has been around for a while now, with it first emerging back in the ‘90s. New technology has begun to blur the boundaries that usually stand between the digital and physical aspects of life, making this problem more dangerous than ever.
The best way to protect yourself from stalkers online is to use proactive and preventative measures, include online reputation management. We are going to show you what you can do, using reputation management and privacy protection, to keep yourself and your children safe online.
Who Is Stalking People and Who Are They Stalking?
While the victims of cyberstalking encompass all ages, those who are most likely to experience stalking are white females. However, the number of males being stalked online has increased steadily over the last decade. In fact, just about every group of people is being stalked more since records first started being kept by WHO. The organization estimates that about in one every twelve women has been stalked at some point, either online or offline.
The Kinds of Stalkers Out There
Online stalkers can be divided into two categories- those who only did it once and those who have become obsessed and who constantly look for new victims. The male to female ratio of cyberstalkers is about evenly divided, and more than 50% of them are familiar with their victims before they begin stalking them.
In order to protect yourself against stalkers, it is important to know what kind of people are likely to become stalkers.
Online stalkers can be:
Someone who has a crush on you
Someone you work with
A member of your own family
An extremely religious person
You may have read about stalkers who are considered rejects from, society, who never go outside and who look dirty all the time. This applies more to serial stalkers rather than people in your own life who are likely to stalk you because they know you. Most stalkers seem like normal, everyday people. They may become more jealous and needy over time, and they may try to guilt you into not giving in to what they ask of you. They may also berate you for spending more time with other people than with them.
Cyberstalkers may use technology against you, hurting your reputation with lies or by disseminating private information. They may try to get you to do what they want you with threats, blackmail and the spread of malicious information.
You should know how to protect yourself against them.
If online stalkers cannot find you, then they can’t hurt your reputation. If you take a few precautionary steps, you can protect yourself against many of their attacks and reduce your chances of being stalked.
Here are some of the best tips for prevention:
Use screen names that are not sexual or suggestive
Get rid of any information that can be used to identify you on your profiles
Do not give anyone online your address or phone number
These are going to protect you on social media pages and chat rooms, but you have to make yourself even harder to find if you want to keep all stalkers at bay. Your information may be found on some people-finder databases. These sites collect your information and spread it around the internet or sell it. You can actually have your information removed from these services simply by request.
Cyberstalkers will have an easier time going after children, in many cases. Children are more likely to share personal details that they shouldn’t and make it easy for cyberstalkers to follow them. You need to teach your kids safe online behaviour to protect them. Here are a few ways to can ensure their safety and privacy online:
If someone is following or bothering you online, tell them “no” firmly.
Don’t keep replying to their messages, even to say “no” more than once.
Do not engage them or give them any reason to keep following you.
Make sure you keep track of all emails, messages and other correspondence between the child and stalker.
You can find more detailed tips at a few other helpful sites:
National Cyber Security Alliance
Get Professional Help
You can get some assistance form those resources already listed, but you may need better protection against the growing threat of cyberbullying in this interconnected world. The internet is becoming more and more social, and there are more ways than ever for people to steal information from you.
If you feel like a cyberstalking incident is too much for you to handle on your own, then you need to get help. Police and other law enforcement agencies can assist you. You may be able to get a restraining order, if you ask for police help in the matter. Just be sure to save all communications so that you can pass them on to the relevant authorities.