Are you the target of a disconcerting internet stalker? Dread going online and feeling like your every move is being watched? Let’s face it, dealing with an internet stalker can take up a lot of mental energy — not to mention wreaking havoc on your social media vibes. Don’t let this disturbance become a major obstacle to connecting with others on the internet though! This blog post will break down how to handle an internet stalker in a smart and savvy way that leaves no room for harassment.
Table of Contents:
Is Internet Stalking a Crime?
Various state-level anti-stalking, slander, and harassment laws dictate that cyberstalking is considered a serious crime. Convictions for cyberstalking can result in restraining orders, probation, and even jail time in serious cases. There is a distinction between what is legally considered cyberstalking and other less harmful online interactions. Cyberstalking involves a persistent campaign of communication by the stalker, unlike cyber-trolling which is perceived to be a one-off interaction.
Can I Contact The FBI For An Internet Stalker?
Contacting law enforcement including local police and the FBI is a great first step when learning how to handle a cyber stalker. Since internet crime falls under the FBI’s jurisdiction, you can file a report to their Internet Crime Complaint Center here. While filing a formal complaint is a great first step law enforcement can, unfortunately, be slow to act when it comes to cyberstalking, and their strict criteria mean they will only move forward if they determine a case to be actionable. Because of this, it is often a good idea to follow up with private organizations that deal with cyberstalkers professionally and specialize in the eradication of these parasites. If you are dealing with a cyber stalker, we recommend talking to one of our specialists today.
How to Handle an Internet Stalker?
There are a number of steps you can take to deal with an internet stalker. Even if you’ve already engaged with them to some degree, it’s not too late to take these steps to strongly discourage them from contacting you again.
- Break off any contact with the person to discourage them from cyber-stalking you. Even telling them to leave you alone can encourage continued interaction; it is best to cut off contact completely in order to increase the chances that their communication ceases.
- Block them on all social media, even if they are only communicating with you on one platform. Once blocked, they won’t be able to see your posts or account, and any comments you leave on other profiles will typically be invisible as well. Once they’ve figured out that you’ve blocked them, there is always the possibility that they will create another account. But blocking their accounts continuously will make it far less likely that they will continue stalking you.
- Report their accounts for harassment – most social media these days have policies that aim to keep the platforms harassment-free for their users. If someone is cyber-stalking you, it is likely that they are harassing other people as well, and reporting them increases the chances that they will be held accountable for their actions, and even lose access to their account. Logging the dates and times of each report that you make on your own can be valuable information to the police as well, and strengthen a case against the stalker in the future.
- Ensure that your family and friends are in the know about the situation you are facing. Letting them know ensures that people in your life won’t unintentionally give away information about you, and it ensures that you don’t have to go through this trying experience alone. Make sure they know not to engage with the stalker, as it could potentially put those close to you at risk of becoming a target for stalking too.
- Contact our digital investigative specialists to find out how we can help you quickly resolve the situation, and get back to normal life. Our team of specialists is trained to deal exactly with this type of situation; we’ve seen it all and helping people recover from online stalking is what we do. If you are looking to quickly resolve your situation, reach out to us at any time for a consultation.
Internet stalking is a real and scary phenomenon, and if you’re dealing with this situation know that you’re not alone. Remember to stay vigilant about the information you share online, be careful about who you friend or follow, and don’t hesitate to block or report someone if they make you feel uncomfortable. Most importantly, trust your gut – if something feels off, it probably is. Stay safe out there!