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Just because an individual owns a computer and has an Internet account do not assume that person is considerate or respectful. There are just as many stalkers in cyberspace as anywhere else. It’s just that their methods have changed. Some stalkers might harass you by following you through live channels not being able to take no for an answer and bothering you with email messages. In some cases this harassment may become a systematic campaign against you; where your harasser bombards you with threatening messages of hate and obscenities. (1996, p.3) The stalker may even trace your home address and telephone number, causing not only emotional distress but possibly physical danger. It should come as no surprise to you that the stalkers are making use of this technology to harass people and prey on the innocent.
There have been many examples of cyberstalking crossing over in to real life stalking. And those users who have been victims of cyberstalking, tell a similar story, that no one took the harassment serious until it became real life stalking. Cyberstalking can be a devastating experience for a person online. But in cyberspace people say things like “well just turn off your computer” and “ you can’t be hurt on the Internet, it’s just words”. (Laughren, 1998, p.1) The online stalking is just as frightening and distressing as off-line stalking, and just as illegal.
Anyone can be stalked online, but statistics show that the majority of victims are women. Women are the minority of the internet population, which means their attention is generally fierce competition between male users. (Jenson, 1996, p.3) Cyberstalking and online harassment are easy to practice than real life stalking. In cyberspace, a stalker can harass their victim without ever having to leave the comfort of their own home, or have any witnesses to the crime.
Online users are vulnerable to stalking in the following three areas. Live chat rooms or IRC, this is the most common place for cyberstaking. Message boards and Newsgroups, and Email box; a user has the ability to write anything and even attach files to the email.
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"Cyberstalking and Harassment on The Internet." 123HelpMe.com. 26 Jan 2020
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The Internet enables the stalker, his powers, in most cases, merely knowledge of the technology is all that’s required to stalk another person online. Note that educated, smooth talking, responsible people can also be stalkers, appearing to be a perfect gentlemen or lady with perfect manners. A major clue to cyberstalking is when the stalker pushes for information regarding your personal life, private life, or life away from the net. A simple rule of thumb is to never give any personal information over the Internet.