“Cyberstalking is threatening behavior or unwanted advances directed at another
using the Internet and other forms of online and computer communications.”
Internet is another form of communication vulnerable to abuse by stalkers.
Cyberstalking can take forms such as:
Live chat harassment or flaming (online verbal abuse)
Harassment through texting
Hacking and/or monitoring a victim’s computer and internet
Forming a website in honor of a victim
Can include off-line stalking/harassments such as following a
victim or actual physical contact between a stalker and his/her victim
cyberstalking is a specific kind of stalking, the possible severity of its
emotional and physical threat is similar to the fear caused by offline stalking,
with the same potential consequences. As a result of their victimization, many
victims have physical and emotional reactions such as:
Changes in sleeping and/or eating patterns
Feeling anxious or helpless
Fearing for one’s safety
of technology to stalk is increasing due to the rapid development of technology
in today’s world. Like offline stalking, cyberstalking is a form of personal
terrorism. Similarly, cyberstalking may precede offline stalking, sexual
assault, physical violence, or even murder.
states have laws that explicitly include electronic forms of communication
within stalking or harassment laws. New Jersey, New Mexico, Nebraska, Kentucky
and the District of Columbia do not have cyberstalking laws.
Do not share personal information in public spaces anywhere
Do not use your real name or nickname as your screen name or
user ID. Pick a name that is gender- and age-neutral.
Do not post personal information as part of any user profiles
(i.e. Facebook, Myspace, Twitter).
Use a "nonsense" password that has no relation to you as a
person; use a combination of numbers, symbols, and letters and make sure it is
at least 6 characters long. Also, try to change your password frequently and
avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.
Be VERY cautious about meeting online acquaintances in person.
If you choose to meet, do so in a public place and take along a friend.
Make sure that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) network have an acceptable user policy that
If a situation online becomes hostile you should log off or
Do not share passwords to email or social networking sites
with friends or acquaintances.
Activate password protection on cell phones.
If a situation places you in fear, contact a local law
To Do If You Are Being Cyberstalked
If you are receiving unwanted contact, make clear to that
person that you would like him or her not to contact you again.
Save all communications for evidence. Do not edit or alter
them in any way. Also, keep a record of your contacts with Internet system
administrators or law enforcement officials.
You may want to consider blocking or filtering messages from
the harasser. Although formats differ, a common chat room command to block
someone would be to type: /ignore
(without the brackets). However, in some circumstances (such as threats of
violence), it may be more appropriate to save the information and contact law
If harassment continues after you have asked the person to
stop, contact the harasser's Internet Service Provider (ISP). Often, an ISP
can try to stop the conduct by direct contact with the stalker or by closing
their account. If you receive abusive e-mails, identify the domain (after the
"@" sign) and contact that ISP. Most ISP's have an e-mail address such as
abuse@ or postmaster@ that can be used for complaints. If the ISP has a
website, visit the site for information on how to file a complaint.
Contact your local police department and inform them of the
situation in as much detail as possible.
obtain more information on how to report an Internet crime such as stalking,
harassment, or exploitation, visit the U.S. Department of Justice website
Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.