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What is cyberstalking?

If you are a Florida domestic abuse victim, you probably have done and are doing everything you can to protect yourself and your children. This may include getting an order of protection against your abuser preventing him or her from coming near you. However, in this day of ever-increasing technology, determined abusers have other ways of harassing you and keeping track of your comings and goings. One of these is by cyberstalking you.

As explained by Attn.com, cyberstalking is using the internet and various access devices to it in such a way as to stalk you electronically, often without your knowing that it is happening. The Stalking Resource Center reports that upward of 7.5 million people are stalked in the United States every year. Per Bureau of Justice Statistics, nearly 25 percent of them are victims of cyberstalking.

Ways to protect yourself

If you are being cyberstalked, the unfortunate truth is that you may be helping your stalker without even realizing it. If you are like most people, you are constantly on social media, innocently posting messages and photos that your stalker then uses to feed and enhance his or her obsession with you.

Your Facebook account is a prime source of personal information about you. You and your friends share all sorts of information between and among yourselves. Most of this is accessible to the general public as well, including your stalker. It is not difficult for him or her to know where you are going, when you are going there, and who you are meeting if you voluntarily supply that information.

In addition to being extremely careful about what you post online, you also should review everything that you have posted in the past and delete anything you think could trigger your stalker’s harassment of you. Other online precautions you can take include the following:

  • Change all your passwords, especially those that access your bank and credit card accounts.
  • Create new unique passwords that will be difficult for your stalker to guess.
  • Create one or more new password-protected email accounts and deactivate your existing ones.
  • Create two-step authentication processes for accessing your smartphone and computer files.
  • Install and use a good antivirus program on your computer.

While this information should not be taken as legal advice, it can help you understand cyberstalking and what you can do to protect yourself against it.

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Law Office of Philip J. Schipani
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