You're finally connected to the world via the
Internet. And the possibilities and excitement of new adventures
are boundless. We sometimes forget that just as in the real
world we are involved in on a daily basis, there are those who's
morals and values aren't the same as ours. The "bad guy"
exists on the Internet also. Their antics can range from being
obnoxious in a chat channel or on an instant messenger to ugly
e-mail to stalking you online i.e. following you from channel
to channel, server to server or chat program to chat program.
The possibility exists for them also to stalk you in real life
if the information can be gained for them to find you.
As a general rule the stalking victim is usually
female or children. Women are usually stalked by men and children
stalked by adult predators who can be male or female. Once you
learn the correct rules for chatting safely online you are relatively
safe. This usually occurs with newbies online who are not experienced
with the rules of netiquette. So it's imperative that you learn
safety online before you begin to delve into the mysteries of
A typical stalker gets thrills and feelings of
power by the anonymity of being online. They can hide behind
any number of online identities and descriptions. There is a
funny little cartoon that made the rounds of a couple chatting
via the Internet. They both were neither attractive or young
but were telling each other differently and above each speaker
was a picture of how they were seeing each other from the description.
Stick as closely to the truth as you can without
giving your identity away. It isn't fun to eventually find out
that the 25 year old man who is 6ft tall, dark hair and blue
eyed, a fitness nut and a successful stock broker is really
55 years old, over weight and does odd jobs because he's too
addicted to the computer to go out and find a real job. Not
there's anything wrong with being 55, overweight and doing odd
jobs...but don't portray yourself to be something totally different
from what you really are.
If you are stalked online...ignore ignore ignore! Most chat
programs have this feature built in...use it! Don't respond
at all. Unless the stalker is a really sick person he/she usually
loses interest at the lack of response and moves on.
Don't give your personal information out to anyone. No real
names, no phone numbers and no real addresses.
Harassment and stalking online can often be defined by the behaviour
of the perpetrator. If you have off words with a chatter one
time this is just an isolated incident. Repeated attacks alert
you to the fact that you have a problem. Sometimes you are forced
into changing your nick, going to other chat areas and even
changing the email address you use to get rid of this type of
pest. If a stalker has become obsessed with you and believe
that they love you the behavior can become more bizarre. In
this case you need to warn the stalker clearly that their behaviour
is not to be tolerated and that if it persists you will take
measures to see that it is stopped. At this point you will probably
require the assistance of someone with security exerience. This
too is covered on our site.
If the online stalking has moved to the point where you feel
there is a possibility of it spilling over into your real life
email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you feel personal harm is imminent call your local 911 service.