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The rise of social media platforms has led to emergence of a new type of crime, cyberstalking. In Cyberstalking a person is followed and harassed online, i.e. the criminal doesn’t follow the target physically but the victim’s online activities to gather information to harass them.
What is Cyberstalking?
Cyberstalking is the fastest growing online crime. It is done with the aid of Internet or any other electronic device. It is different from offline stalking, where victim is followed and harassed by the attacker in real world. Concept of cyberstalking is same as offline stalking, however, in this the stalker harass and follow victim in virtual world.
Women and children are usually the soft target in cyberstalking. Criminals attack inexperienced users who are not much aware about online security. Cyber stalkers could be anyone! They can be someone you know or even a complete stranger.
Criminals harass and follow their victims via social media, chat rooms, email, web sites, discussion forums and open publishing websites like blogs.
How Is It Done?
Strangers: Strangers often harass individuals for fun, they generally do not have a motive.
Opposite Gender: They are the people who are gender biased. Most of the time it includes people who opine that their gender is superior over the others. They often harass individuals who are of the opposite gender.
Intimate partners: These are the former partners who feel betrayed. They repeatedly send insulting emails and messages to disturb their exes.
Fan and strangers who target celebrities and public persons: There are many strangers who are jealous of stars and people who are successful. They often target celebrities and public persons to destroy their image.
Some fans also stalk their favorite celebrities and public persons. They get obsessed about their favorite stars, that they start stalking them. They often try to reach their personal lives and want to be a part of it.
Anonymous online mobs: They are group of individuals who often harass their victims. They often make their victim perform destructive acts like suicide or make them kill other individual.
With increasing cyber stalking instances, it is better to stay protected and be aware of online world.
- Always keep a check on your online activity.
- Do not make friends with unknown people.
- Keep a check on your children’s Internet activities.
- Any suspicious activity should be reported to authority.
- Remove any friends whom you do not know and do not trust.
- Always add minimum information to your social media accounts.
- If you find any individual who is obsessed with you then he or she should be blocked immediately and reported to concerned authorities.
Cyberstalking is a prevalent issue which can only be kept at bay by staying cautious. This crime is most common with teenagers who are new to this Internet world or have little understanding of social media crimes. For households with youngsters, one should be observant about any sudden negative change in behavior. Also, it is important to make them aware about how harmful this crime can be and how to be cautious against cyber stalkers.
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