Learn How to Deal With a Stalker!
Cyber stalking is, unfortunately, becoming more and more commonplace. It can be done via social media sites, mobile phone, on gaming sites and via other online avenues. Cyber stalking frequently leads to physical stalking, which then gives rise to crimes such as robbery, murder, suicide and other forms of violence. Learn how to deal with an Cyber Stalker.
Parents whose children spend a great deal of time online need to teach their children how to spot a stalker and what to do about such an individual. Following is some helpful information along these lines, along with tips on how to prevent cyber stalking in the first place.
How to Spot Internet Stalkers and Online Stalkers
Stalkers commonly engage in a practice called “grooming”. This involves getting to know the victim and earning his or her trust through deceit, lies and flattery. So you need to learn How to Spot a Stalker?
Young people who chat with others online do not need to be overly fearful of being accosted by an Cyber Stalker. There are many people who enjoy the freedom of talking with others via the net in an ethical, safe manner. However, a person should be wary of an online “friend” who is overly interested in getting to know him or her. Stalkers commonly ask not only for a person’s full (real) name but also information such as address, where one goes to school, interests, sports played, etc. A young person should never answer personal questions of this nature unless he or she actually knows the individual in question. This information can be used by a stalker to physically stalk the individual in question and will put a victim at risk.
Facebook “friend” requests should be treated with caution, especially when they come from third parties that one does not know. Finding out more about a potential “friend” before accepting him or her into one’s circle of friends is always wise. Visit the person’s Facebook page and see if he or she has mutual friends. Look at his or her interests; most young people are not shy about stating what they are interested and not interested in. Stalkers, on the other hand, provide limited information about themselves so as not to get caught by the people they are trying to befriend.
Another sign that a person may be a stalker is if he or she seems to only have a certain type of friends, i.e. teenage girls, teenage boys, etc. Most people have a wide range of friends of both sexes, along with of course family members.
It should be noted that stalkers also make liberal use of flattery. Young people who have low self esteem are particularly vulnerable, as they naturally enjoy comments about their looks, intelligence, capabilities, etc. Young people then respond to these comments and are drawn by someone who obviously likes them a lot.
Flattering comments from people that one does not know should be treated with caution. Ignoring the comments without responding is fine; however, a person should attempt to find out more about the stalker if the comments continue to pop up. Comments on blogs should be treated with extreme caution, as a stalker reading a person’s blog will likely know details about a person such as name, age, location, etc.
Another form of stalking involves mean comments, harassment and/or threats of violence. These forms of stalking give a stalker pleasure in that he or she is able to rile a person up and get him or her upset. Young people should understand that these comments should be reported to parents and not simply ignored, as stalkers of this nature may become even worse in order to try to get a person’s attention.
What to do About a Cyber Stalker and Online Stalkers
Unfortunately, many law enforcement officials do not have the training and/or resources needed to respond to stalking in an adequate manner. WiredSafety.org recently noted that police are usually hesitant to respond to complaints of stalking if the victim cannot provide any form of identification that would pinpoint the stalker and/or there is little to no chance of the victim and stalker actually meeting.
Even so, serious cases of stalking should always be reported to local law enforcement officials. If there is a possibility of the stalker being a student or employee of a young person’s school, then the school administration should be notified as well. If the stalking is occurring on a gaming site, forum or some other site, then the site administrators should be notified as well, as they can shut the stalker’s account down for such behavior.
Parents should do what they can to provide police and school administration members with information that may indicate the stalker’s identity. If the stalker is commenting on a young person’s blog, it is not hard to find his or her IP address, which is the address of the computer the comment is being made from and can help pinpoint a stalker’s geographical location. The WordPress.com blog platform provides the IP address of every single person who leaves a blog comment and this can be used by law enforcement to find and stop an Cyber Stalker. Extremetracking.com is a helpful free tool that can be used by anyone to see the IP address of a site visitor and is helpful in pinpointing whether an unknown individual is coming to one’s blog on a very regular basis
If the victim knows the stalker’s social media account names, then these should also be provided, along with information regarding when the conversations started, what means of communication have been used, etc. If phone or texting was involved, then these records can be obtained from one’s service provider. The more information the police have, the more likely they will be to follow up on reports and find the guilty party.
How to Deal With a Stalker: Taking Protective Measures
Many Cyber Stalkers simply enjoy harassing people online and making them feel uncomfortable. Unfortunately, as was noted above, a large number of stalkers move on from online stalking to physical stalking. A person who has been accosted by a stalker online may be in very real danger, especially if he or she has posted or disclosed personal information that indicates address, school, circle of friends, daily habits, etc.
We encourage you to check Stalker Issues and How to Solve Them, What is Cyberstalking? and How to Prevent Stalkers From Harassing You
A young person may need to shut down all social media accounts and open new one that restrict access to known friends and relatives only. If the stalking occurred on a gaming account or forum, then a person should create a new account with new information (username, location, etc.). If a mobile phone was involved, one should contact his or her service provider and ask for a new phone number.
Changing daily habits and never heading out to a lonely place on one’s own are also important. A young person should also be taught how to be aware of his or her surroundings and notice suspicious behavior such as the same, unknown vehicle parking outside of school, near the house and/or close to where a person hangs out, shops, plays sports, etc. A person who suspects that a stalker may be in the neighborhood should immediately report this to law enforcement officials.
If a stalker is caught, then press charges. Never let a stalker off the hook, even if you know the individual in question and he or she seems sorry. Stalkers are very good at manipulating people and will make victims feel that the problem was at least partly her or her own fault. Young people should be taught that this is never the case. Bringing a stalker to justice not only protects the young person who was being harassed but also prevents the stalker from harassing others.
How to Spot a Stalker? Preventing a Cyber Stalker
There is no 100% foolproof method to prevent stalking from occurring, but there are measures that a young person can take to reduce the odds of being harassed by a stalker.
First of all, a young person should be taught that private information should remain private. As was noted above, a young person should never give information to a person that he or she has not met “in real life.” In many cases, a stalker who cannot get a young person to talk to him or her will leave this person alone in search of an easier victim.
Keeping a blog private is also important. Keeping a blog locked with a password is one of the most secure ways to maintain one’s privacy, but young people who are unwilling to go to such great lengths should at least make sure that the blog is not showing up in search engine results. Facebook requests from unknown individuals should always be denied, unless a young person is able to verify the identity of the individual making the friend request.
One’s phone number should also be guarded with care. While this may seem like a simple bit of information, it can be used to find a person’s real name and address, thus leading to not only online stalking but also physical stalking or worse.
How to Spot Online Stalkers?In Summary
There are a number of things that a young person can do in order to avoid becoming a victim of cyber stalking. However, any young person who uses the internet on a regular basis can be accosted by an Cyber Stalker, so it is important for parents to teach a young person how to handle potentially dangerous situations. A young person should be taught to never give personal information to online friends. A genuine online friend will be happy to chat with a person without needing to know what school he or she goes to, home address, etc.
Young people should also be taught to report attempts at stalking to parents as soon as possible. Many stalkers are not in their right mind and can cause serious harm if allowed to continue in their pursuit. Parents, together with their child, should file an official complaint with law enforcement and provide as much information as possible about the stalker. This makes it possible for police to follow through, find the guilty party and bring him or her to justice.
Young people who learn how to use the internet in a responsible manner will be able to enjoy the company of online friends without danger. This skill is an imperative one, as it not only protects a young person now but also in the future.