Cyber harassment, a phrase that had little meaning only a few years ago, has come to be a problem of epidemic proportion. Individuals and businesses are targeted every day. The purpose of the harassment ranges from personal grudges to extortion, blackmail, business espionage and more, with the growth driven by how easy it now is to use the internet to harass and threaten – often anonymously.
Ex-lovers or spouses post personal or embarrassing revelations on sites like Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat. Disgruntled employees post defamatory complaints on LinkedIn and Glassdoor. International hackers lure unsuspecting victims into sharing sexual videos which are then used to extort money for years, against the threat of publication on various websites.
While there is no way to entirely prevent cyber harassment, there are steps businesses and citizens can take to minimize the risk of being victimized.
The first step is to avoid online interactions with anonymous strangers. By only interacting with people who have common, verifiable connections, much of the risk of extortion can be eliminated. When it comes to people who you know, the best advice is to take action immediately when serious harassment or slander begins. Send a formal cease and desist order and request to remove any libelous communications. By conveying to the harasser that legal action may result, many would be cyber-bullies will stop the harassment and move on victims who may not fight back.
When serious cyber harassment does occur, particularly when personal reputation, business or brand is at stake, professional assistance may be required. Digital Investigation helps clients, from individuals to enterprise businesses, track and analyze threats, stop the harassment and bring the harassers to justice.
Through a range of techniques like phishing emails, online investigations, device analysis and data culling, professional forensic examiners can generate solid evidence to bring to law enforcement and compel authorities to take action.
Harassment can be a serious issue. If you experience such a situation, you should consider a free consultation with a digital forensics investigation professional. Your consultant can learn about your situation and recommend a strategy to help end the harassment.