With so many social media apps, we are sharing too much of our personal lives online that it has become much easier for anyone to stalk, intimidate or track our private life. Cyberstalking has started to ruin lives everywhere.
The places you visit, the items you shop and your personal interests are now accessible at just one click. All of this has resulted in cyberstalking. 40% f the adults in the US are a victim of cyberstalking (especially the women) People from all over the world target these victims and harass them online.
What exactly is cyberstalking?
There is a reason why celebrities hate paparazzi. They stalk them around, take their pictures without their consent and ruin their personal moments. This is almost equivalent to harassing someone. The same is the case with cyberstalking and online stalkers. They target a victim, gather information about them and start harassing or bullying them by sending vulgar or threating messages, inappropriate pictures and spreading the bad word about them on other platforms.
We have to take cyberstalking seriously becuase it can and had ruined people’s privacy and mental health. Cyberstalkers can also blackmail you in exchange for an unwanted meet-up, money or other intentions. They attach others with them in their mission to harass someone and ends up ruining that person’s life.
What are the examples/types of cyberstalking?
Checking your locations:
We often like to tell others where we are eating, exercising and/or meeting with our friends. This is one of the easiest ways for a cyberstalker to learn about our behavioral patterns. For example, if we keep posting about our gym routine, a cyberstalker can learn about our location and misuse it against us.
Catfishing is when a cyberstalker approaches you through a fake profile on any social media platform. They design the profile to pretend as someone that you might know (a friend of a friend, an old classmate) and try to get closer to you for nefarious intentions. So, please think twice before accepting someone’s request.
Another creepy way of checking in on their victims to invade their privacy is to access their webcam. They do this by luring you into downloading some software and then injecting malicious data in your device to gain access to your webcam or camera. This will show them all of your actual physical activity without you even knowing it. That is why you see people putting a sticker on their webcams.
Some cyberstalkers even go so far as to install the software in your device that can access your voice media, pictures and browsing history. Once they get access to these folders, it is really easy for them to keep track of you and gather every bit of information about you.
How to prevent cyberstalking?
- Put a limit to your sharings on social media platforms. Stop sharing too much information and especially one that might prove to be too sensitive.
- Turn off auto-location on your devices.
- Modify and update privacy settings on your devices.
- Change security settings n your devices and social media platforms.
- Don’t share your passwords with anyone (including your closest as well)
- Enable two-factor authentication.
- Don’t click on links that sound or seem suspicious.
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