The Internet has become a part and parcel of our lives so are the crimes related to it. Cyberstalking is on a rise lately with many cases being reported all over the world. The main reason for such incidents to occur is an addictive personality.
Email, instant messages, phone calls, and other communication devices are used to stalk by Cyberstalkers. Cyberstalking takes the form of sexual harassment, inappropriate contact, or just plain annoying attention to your life and to your family’s activities. People generally get confused with the term “stalking” to describe following someone’s activities via their social network. It is important that we do not decrease the nature of the crime of cyberstalking by defining it wrongly.
It noticed that people with such personality tend to be addicted to the picture of a person on social media sites. He starts by following every move of the person online. His or her posts and comments. There have been many cases reported in the USA, in one such case a woman was continually harassed by Ramos after he contacted her on Facebook. A person with such personality tends to follow profiles on Facebook in love with the person.
Similar incidents have also happened in India, Pune where a security guard used the number entered in the register by a girl who came for an interview. The number was used to send obscene messages via Whatsapp, as well as obscene calls were made. The girl was lucky to have got justice within 48 hours. The call details were traced in 24 hours and with witnesses of 5 people on 11/01/2017. Convicted of crime was punished for 2 years rigorous imprisonment and Rs.500/- fine was pronounced in Khed (Rajguru Nagar) JMFC Court near Pune in the state of Maharashtra in India which Presided by Judge Mr. Y J Tamboli. The Scary Reality Of Cyberstalking in India: The Law Can’t Protect Us
Initially, you might feel flattered by the attention of the stalker but the end result might be scary. With technology playing a huge part in our lives it has extended to our romantic lives, regardless of whether that be dating, married or a committed relationship. Prevention is always better than cure, it is always advisable not to take it lightly as you may be more vulnerable to being cyberstalked.
It has been seen usually the cyberstalker would back off or change his behaviour towards the victim when he hits the bottom ie. either a loss of job, spouse, or having significant legal or financial troubles. But we would definitely not suggest you to wait till the cybertalker hits the bottom.
How to protect yourself Protect Yourself From Cyberstalking
- Always be aware of your devices like cell phones, laptops or desktops as cybertalkers may use software or hardware devices which might be attached to the devices, to track the victims details.
- Never disclose your last name or phone number when engaging on dating sites online.
- If you are in a relationship have an open conversation about the boundaries you are putting in place and never share your password.
- Always have a habit to logout of your accounts after you finish, inculcate the same habit in others in the family.
- Make it a habit to change your passwords every 30-45 days for all your online accounts like Facebook, emails, voicemail as well as all other online sites which require a password.
- In some cases, people use fake profile picture incase you have doubts you can opt for skype via webcam.
- Sometimes sites offer to auto generate a password opt for it as humans we could end up creating a traceable passwords than an algorithm.
- Turn off Metadata from your photos, generally, metadata comes from photos taken on a mobile phone. You can turn it off by going to your phones setting and there is a feature called geotagging – turn it off.
- Always install a strong security software to prevent spyware from being installed onto your computer via a phishing attack or an infected Web page.
- It is always a good practice to accept people whom you have met in person.
- Do not reply to private messages from strangers on social media sites.
- In case of a social site like Facebook, you can protect what you wish to share, set the security setting to limit the ability of friends to post on your wall.
- Use the feature to block anyone who you think has a suspicious behaviour on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
- Never share details about yourself ie your address and location which can easily be traced on social media platforms.
- If someone click a picture or shoot a video to upload on the internet, you have the right to deny them from doing so.
- Last but not the least always report it to police if the behaviour of the stalker becomes serious or you receive threats.
- Keep the screenshot of conversations, emails etc as it can prove to be a vital evidence in convicting the cyberstalker.
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