It’s fair to say that if you are an avid internet user, there is going to be a time when you come across your typical internet troll. Unfortunately, harassment has become common online, and anyone can become a target. While there are steps you can take to prevent harassment, such as not posting personal information, sometimes it’s unavoidable. If you find yourself the target of harassment, keep reading to learn how to report harassing emails and what steps you can take to protect yourself from this cybercrime.
Can You Sue For Harassing Emails?
The answer is maybe. If the harassment is severe and/or repeated, you may be able to sue for stalking or cyberstalking. These are criminal offenses, so you would need to file a police report in addition to filing a civil suit. If the offender is anonymous, it may be difficult to take legal action against them, but it’s not impossible. You may be able to subpoena their ISP for information about their identity.
How To Legally Stop Harassing Emails?
Before you take further action and want to legally go after your harasser, there are some ways you can stop receiving harassing emails.
1. Set up a new email account
If you’re being harassed through your email account, one of the best things you can do is set up a new, separate email account to which only you have access. That way, the harasser will no longer be able to reach you at your email address. Be sure to keep the password to your new account secure and change it frequently.
2. Block the sender’s email address
Most email providers have an option that allows you to block certain email addresses from being able to contact you. If you’re receiving harassing emails from a specific person, take advantage of this feature and block their address so that they can no longer reach you.
3. Report the harassment to your email provider
If blocking the sender’s address isn’t enough, or if you’re receiving harassing emails from multiple people, your next step should be to report the harassment to your email service provider. Most providers have policies against harassment and will take action if they receive multiple reports about a particular user.
Here are some steps to take if you want to bring your harasser to justice, and take legal action against them.
4. Save copies of the harassing emails as evidence
If you decide to take legal action against the person who is harassing you, it will be helpful to have copies of the offending emails as evidence. So, be sure to save any emails that you receive that make you feel uncomfortable or threatened.
5. Contact law enforcement if necessary
In some cases, harassment via email may rise to the level of criminal activity. If you believe that you are in danger, or if the harassment is becoming too much for you to handle on your own, don’t hesitate to contact law enforcement for assistance and an attorney who can educate you on the laws that protect you from this type of cybercrime.
How To Report Harassing Emails?
As I mentioned above, once you are harassed via email, it’s important to report the abuse to the platform you are using and to your local authorities. We also recommend gathering all of your evidence and visiting the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) online and filing a report. All you need to do is go to ic3.gov and provide detailed information about the harassment and the harasser under their file a complaint tab.
You can also reach out to cybercrime experts that are equipped in handling cases of harassment and have the technology and strategies that can provide you with details about your harasser if they were to be disguised.
Harassing emails can be extremely upsetting and disruptive. But by taking some proactive steps, like keeping a record of the emails and reporting them to the platform, authorities, and cybercrime experts, you can help put a stop to the harassment and take back control of your inbox and life.