Cyberstalking is online stalking. It has been defined as the use of technology, particularly the Internet, to harass someone. Common characteristics include false accusations, monitoring, threats, identity theft, and data destruction or manipulation of data equipment in the victim’s home.
The harassment can take on many forms, but most of the time it is unwanted, often obsessive, and usually illegal. Cyberstalkers use email, instant messages, phone calls, computer hacking, and other techniques to stalk.
How is Cyberstalking Harmful?
Cyberstalking is a frightening experience. Victims of domestic violence are often cyberstalking victims. They, like everybody else, need to be aware that technology can make cyberstalking easy. With the increase in the use of “smart home” devices stalkers are able to control home systems such as heating, air conditioning, lighting, sprinkler systems, door bells, and even ovens. As each month passes, more and more such products are available at increasingly lower prices putting such technology in the hands of many.
Unfortunately, the ones who use the technology for stalking and harassing are the also ones who set it up initially and thus know how they can use it remotely or reprogram it to operate in an annoying or abusive manner.
Please visit the Resources to Help page if you have been the victim of cyberstalking and need assistance.