The internet can be a mysterious place. While it’s amazing for finding information and answers to questions (or simple entertainment), it can also be a source of problems. You might not know this, but your online activity can enable unpleasant encounters and even lead to violations of online data protection. It’s a complicated world out there, and one of the least understood threats is cyberstalking. That is why you are going to have cyberstalking explained right here and now.
What Is Cyberstalking?
Stalking or harassment that takes place via online mechanisms is known as cyberstalking. That is a pretty broad definition, and it is hard to pin down specific activities that would fall under this purview. That said, cyberstalking does happen, and it is a violation of laws and regulations.
To better understand cyberstalking, you can simplify the concept with this one check. Someone viewing publicly accessible information is not a crime. It is typically only a violation of rules when there is an interaction between two people. When the situation devolves into negative comments and interactions, it can move into the technically considered cyberstalking territory.
Protecting Yourself From Cyberstalking
If you want to prevent cyberstalking from being a problem in the first place, there are measures you can take to defend yourself. One of the most important is to hide your IP address. VPNs are great for this. So is private browsing. When your potential stalker cannot find your IP address, they have fewer means for finding, contacting, and harassing you.
Additionally, you want to be reserved with what information you post online. Leaving geotags off of pictures and minimizing the personal information that people can see helps to prevent these situations from arising in the first place.
If you’re worried that you are already at risk, you can look into personal information removal to improve your defenses.
Dealing With Cyberstalking
If you do end up facing cyberstalking, your recourse depends on the level of harassment. If you don’t feel threatened, you can take the course of action that seems right to you. If you do feel threatened or unsafe, contact law enforcement. There are laws for these things, and they empower law enforcement to take action on your behalf.
Outcomes range from restraining orders all the way to jail time — depending on the scope of the harassment.
Managing the Aftermath
Even when the stalking ends, negative comments can survive online forever. You might want them removed, but achieving that can be a process. You can start by contacting administrators of the websites hosting any comments that present a problem. Unfortunately, some might prove unwilling.
The easiest way forward is to enlist a professional who specializes in removing unwanted information from the internet. Such a service can sweep through many websites and eliminate the lasting record of your unpleasant experience.
If you want to take immediate action to remove negative content, contact us.