Don’t worry—if you’ve merely Googled your internet date or the home contractor you’re considering hiring, you can rest easy knowing you haven’t engaged in cyberstalking or internet harassment. However, many people have been the victim of cyberstalkers, and the effects are nothing to laugh about.
What is cyberstalking in Lubbock, TX? Cyberstalking and internet harassment are targeted and malicious campaigns to disseminate personal details (such as home address or phone number, or other private information such as photos) over the internet in order to cause someone distress or fear. It requires that there be a credible threat of harm. The standards for what constitutes a “credible threat” vary from state to state, but can range from direct threats of physical violence to implied threats.
Who is affected by cyberstalking and internet harassment?
You might be surprised to hear that 40 percent of internet users have experienced cyberstalking and internet harassment, usually over social media. Online gaming and email are the next two leading playgrounds for would-be stalkers.
Generally, young adults ages 18 to 24 are the victims of harassment, especially young women. Often, the abuse is perpetrated by complete strangers or anonymous harassers. This can range from sexual harassment to physical abuse, sustained harassment and “doxxing” (revealing sensitive personal information such as home address or personal phone number). This is extremely traumatic for the victims.
Identity theft is also prevalent, including opening and closing accounts in the victim’s name, or paying for purchases from the victim’s credit card.
Prevent cyberstalking and internet harassment from happening to you
Because cyberstalking is so difficult to prove, and it’s so hard to identify the harasser (they could, quite literally, be anywhere), it is difficult to combat. You can be proactive in your internet usage, however, to avoid this happening to you. If you are a victim, document each incident, gather as much evidence as you can and contact a lawyer immediately:
- Keep your social networks as private as possible: Social networking is a goldmine of personal information for cyberstalkers. Oftentimes, birthdays, legal names, names of family members, pets and other information used for security questions is readily available.
- Revenge porn: When a relationship turns sour, some exes seek to destroy reputations by posting private, reputation-damaging photos. Avoid sending photos or messages you wouldn’t want on the front page of the paper.
- Be wary of new “friends”: When you get a friend request on social media, ask yourself, “Do I really know this person?” Adding a new person to your social media feed runs the risk of inviting a stranger to find out where you live, work and shop.
Cyberstalking help in Lubbock, TX
The Law Office of Rob Biggers practices family law, criminal law and DUI/DWI cases with West Texas values and quality, reliable legal representation. We can handle a wide range of legal situations, including providing cyberstalking help in Lubbock, TX. Call us today to find out more about what we can do to provide legal assistance in your cyberstalking case.
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