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What is cyberstalking?

Published: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 @ 4:48 PM
Updated: Monday, February 18, 2019 @ 2:06 PM

Cyberstalkers digital extra
Cyberstalkers digital extra

Cyberstalking is when the criminal uses online means to harass a person or an organization. Online can refer to many things, including: emails, instant messages, tweets and blogs.

REGIONAL CASE: Guilty plea by Ohio man accused of cyberstalking sheriff

In most of the cases, cyber criminals have the luxury of anonymity provided by the Internet. Some might use advanced techniques such as hiding IPs and using special browsers to confuse the law enforcement authorities if anyone reports them.

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Snapchat being used for stalking

Motivations for online harassment:

  • Seeking a romantic attachment

  • Rejected partner trying to reconcile

  • Rejected partner seeking revenge

  • Delusional or imagined attachment to the victim, be it romantic or another connection

  • Revenge for actual or perceived injustices

  • Hate or intolerance towards a specific group

  • Random attacks – the victim being in the wrong place at the wrong time

WATCH: Wright State professor talks about cyberstalking experience

Indiana woman cyberstalked for years

Types of harassing online behaviors:

  • Unsolicited emails involving contacting someone person against their wishes

  • Spamming – sending bulk messages to someone which may jam their e-mail address or make it hard to find legitimate communications.

  • Flaming – online verbal abuse.

  • Infecting the victim’s computer with malicious programs, such as Trojans, keyloggers, spyware or viruses.

  • Identity fraud, which can involve a wide range of activities, including posting communications as if they are from victim that may include personal ads of items for sale or of a sexually explicit or provocative nature, bidding in online auctions in the victim’s name or simply communicating with others as if they were the victim.

  • Spreading rumors or revealing extremely personal information or posting intimate photographs.

  • Abusive messages that attack the victim’s reputation personally or in the workplace.

  • Threats to harm the victim or someone they care for either physically, by reputation or some other means.

All info from stalkingriskprofile.com.