When someone uses social media, email, blogs and other forms of electronic communication to repeatedly threaten and harass someone else.

Cyberstalking is a crime, and should be taken seriously.

Cyberstalking is similar to physical stalking in that…

  • The person being stalked usually knows their stalker.
  • The stalkers motivation is to exert power and control over the victim.
  • Cyberstalking can lead to physical violence.
  • Victims suffer psychological trauma, often resulting in anxiety, depression, insomnia and even loss of employment.

Cyberstalking is different from physical stalking in that…

  • The stalker and victim can be located in different geographic areas (cities, states, countries, etc.).
  • The stalker relies on the internet to harass and threaten.
  • The stalker can easily encourage other users to harass the victim by pretending to be a victim themselves.
  • The lack of direct contact can sometimes make it difficult to arrest the offender.

Tips to prevent cyberstalking…

  • Use safe sites that have an anti-harassment policy.
  • Never give out your personal information.
  • When online, only say things you would say to a person face to face.
  • When typing things online, consider the interpretation of it without the use of sound and body language.
  • Be very cautious about meeting an online acquaintance in person.
  • If you are being harassed by someone, block them immediately.

If you are being cyberstalked…

  • If you are under 18, immediately talk to a parent, guardian or an adult you can trust. You may be in physical danger
  • Most social sites have filtering capabilities, so block the user.
  • Report the person on the site you are using for harassment.
  • Keep a log of all the communications you had with the stalker. Do not alter them in anyway; they could be used as evidence.
  • Make it clear to the stalker that you do not want them to contact you again in any way.
  • If the harassment does not stop, call 911 and contact your local police department and inform them of the situation.