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How to avoid being a victim of cyberharrassment

Being a target of cyberharassment and being a victim are two very different things. It is very difficult to avoid being a target, but becoming a victim is all up to you. If someone really wants to harass you over the Internet, they will do everything within their power to do so. You most likely will not be able to stop them from sending the messages in the first place, but you can guard yourself against their effects. Different harassment behaviors require different defenses, and it’s extremely important to take action to protect your family against cyber attacks.

One of the first and best lines of defense against cyberharassment is a careful guarding of your passwords and personal information. A stalker will often take advantage of the fact that he knows you or your passwords to wreak havoc on your life. If you feel that you may become the target of cyberharassment, change your passwords frequently and never give them out to anyone. This lessens the chance that someone will be able to break into your email account or computer. If a perpetrator can’t get into your accounts, there’s a lot smaller chance that he can send emails and post message posing as you. If your child is having a problem with a cyber attacker, take over their password management and help them to protect themselves. If needed, there are free programs online that will help you to generate a secure, random password. Put these to use on both your accounts and your children’s accounts.

If, somehow, the person who is targeting you manages to break into your accounts or your children’s accounts, you’ll need to go into overdrive to run damage control and prevent any further intrusion of your privacy. In the case of someone sending out offensive emails from your account or another account posing as you, you’ll need to contact those people personally as soon as you know that the messages were sent. Let them know what is going on and that you would never send anything like that. You’d be surprised to find out how many people would be on your side, saving emails, keeping a watch for you, or even working with the police once they find out that you are the target of such a despicable crime.

Victim support and action groups have popped up around the country to help people deal with the effects of being a target of cyberstalking and online harassment. These support groups help connect people with the support of local law enforcement for sure, but also day care, mental health providers, welfare and child services. Groups like this often have relationships with local schools to help watch the kids and make sure that their behavior isn’t changing for the worse. If you feel that you’ve become a target or a victim, be sure to consult a support group or law enforcement agency. They’ll be able to help you to get the help that you and your family deserve.

Have a great day!


How cyberstalkers hide their identity

A cyberstalker may or may not be someone that you or your children know in real life. Often, it can be incredibly difficult to figure this out, as these criminals are adept at hiding their identities. The often have a specific grudge against your child or your family, and are extremely determined. For this reason, if you suspect that you or a family member are the victim of cyberstalking, you should contact your local authorities immediately.

As you and the police begin to gather information about your stalker, however, you may find that it is harder than you’d think to figure out who they actually are. Cyberstalkers and other cybercriminals are accomplished at hiding their identities, and they have a variety of ways to do so.

Cyberstalkers may use a variety of Internet Service Providers to hide their actual IP address. They may change screen names frequently, or use disposable email accounts. With the advent of web mail, anyone can get an email account, and these free accounts are incredibly easy to set up. This means that a stalker can change his or her email address on a whim, even targeting you or your child from multiple email addresses.

More advanced cyberstalkers may use email remailers, making it nearly impossible to track their actual email address. They may cloak links to websites that they send, so that you cannot see where you would be going if you click the link. Unfortunately, these predators often have large amounts of technology and software at their disposal, making them difficult to track or identify.

Anonymity is one of the most threatening tools a stalker has. If your child doesn’t know who is targeting them, they constantly live in fear. Their stalker could be a neighbor, school mate, or someone halfway around the world. The trigger could have been an in-person argument, or simply a comment that they posted on a blog. Stalkers play on the fear of the unknown and strive to keep their identity a mystery.

If you feel that you or your child is being targeted, keep careful records of emails sent, web pages posted, and instant message logs. Print this information out, so that you have a paper record of the information posted online. Consult the authorities to see what types of cyber harassment legislation your state, city, or province has. Law enforcement officials have technology and software that you may not have access to, and may be able to help you track down a stalker when you thought it was impossible.

Have a great day!