Could you be a victim of Cyberstalking?

Posted on: 12 November 2013

The safe use of technology to access internet sites is the topic for Domestic Abuse Awareness Week this November.  Social networking sites, use of mobile devices, email and digital technology have opened up a whole new element of risk from Cyberstalking.

 Cyberstalking can be defined as “threatening behaviour or unwanted advances directed at another using the Internet and other forms of on-line and computer communications”. It shares some characteristics with stalking in that it is deliberate, persistent and personal. It involves the pursuit, harassment, or contact of others in an unsolicited fashion, initially via the Internet and email.

Cyberstalkers target their victims through social media platforms, chat rooms, message boards, discussion forums, and e-mail. Cyberstalking takes many forms such as:-

  • threatening or obscene e-mail or direct messages
  • spamming (in which a stalker sends a victim a multitude of junk mail)
  • live chat harassment or flaming (online verbal abuse)
  • leaving improper messages on message boards or in guest books
  • sending unsolicited e-mail or direct messages
  • tracing another person’s computer and Internet activity
  • electronic identity theft
  • Spywear installed on phone or computer

The easiest way to prevent yourself or someone you know from experiencing cyberstalking is to secure your networking profiles to reduce the risks.  All well-known Internet sites offer security protections and the opportunity to report incidents.  Mobile phones and tablets also have settings to keep your location private.  More details on cyber safety are available at:

If you think you are the victim of domestic abuse or cyberstalking, call the Devon Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0345 155 1074, the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300 or Women’s Aid on 0808 2000 247. In an emergency call the police on 999.

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