Stalking

HomeStalking
 

Cyberstalking

 

/sʌɪbəˌbʊliɪŋ/

The repeated use of electronic communications to harass or
frighten someone, for example by sending threatening emails.

Cyberstalking, or online stalking, uses electronic communications – cell phones, instant messaging, e-mail, chat rooms or social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to repeatedly make unsolicited or unwanted contact with someone resulting in them feeling uneasy, frightened, harassed, threatened, intimidated  to the detriment (whether it be psychological, emotional or physical) of the victim(s) in question.

Cyberstalking is illegal; if you feel as though you’re at risk of harm then it is assault, even without physical contact; stalking and intimidation are separate offences

Victims of cyberstalking often feel scared, upset and vulnerable. Everywhere they turn, this person is waiting. Nowhere is safe.

Imagine, then, if your child was the victim. They’d feel helpless as their stalker, either an adult or child, harassed them incessantly, made lewd or suggestive comments, or threatened them or their family.

Something as simple as doing their homework online, or checking up on their friends on Facebook can become sources of dread and anxiety. Kids don’t want to tell their parents, and are unable to escape their tormentors. They might not even realise that they are, in fact, victims of stalking.

43%

43% of children under 13 didn’t think that repeated access of their Facebook account by another person constituted stalking

As adults we could report it to the Police and see the offender punished, as a child it would be daunting to have your online world violated – then have this violation dragged out for everyone else to see. You’d feel even more victimised. It is easy to recommend the Police still be involved, however when dealing with younger victims special care needs to be taken.

How do you know if your child is the victim of online stalking?

In younger children, cyberstalking can manifest as clinginess (or even withdrawal), reluctance to be alone, a sudden change in friends, anxiety or sadness. In older teens, mood swings and low self-esteem might seem the norm however be alert to other signs, such as withdrawal from friends or a change in their friend groups.

29%

29% of all cyberstalking occurs on Facebook

Preventing cyberstalking could be as simple as not entering personal or private details about your child when setting up online accounts – keep details such as gender and date of birth private. Up to 40 separate pieces of information can be gleaned from a social media account1. This information can be used for anything, including stalking (in the past, victims of cyberstalking have been kidnapped, raped and even murdered). Keep names gender-neutral and non-suggestive. Monitor who your child interacts with, and only allow them to ‘friend’ people online that they know in real life. Agree on websites that can be visited and those that aren’t allowed.

17%

17% of cyberstalking occurs on Twitter

If your child is being cyberstalked, if possible, keep a record of who is contacting them, by what medium, when and where these events occur, and by whom. Detail what was said, and how your child felt.  As stalking is a pattern of behaviour, keeping records of contacts may provide useful insights as to how to protect your child.  If you do decide to involve the police, this information will be invaluable as evidence.

SafeKidsPro is a solution that has designed to keep kids safe on Social Media.  It detects and will alert you to potential cyberstalking and potential stranger danger.

It will also alert you to any cyber-bullying, threatening, sexual, swearing, photos and/or images that are sent or received, and offensive content that it detects on your children’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

SafeKidsPro is a cloud based software that can monitor up to 8 of your child/rens’ social media accounts no matter whether they access them from your whether at home, outside, from a PC, laptop or mobile.

Social Media Dangers

25% of Facebook users are under the age of 10


The average teen has 425 Facebook “friends”


55% of kids have shared personal information with strangers e.g. photos & personal descriptions


24% of kids have had private/embarrassing info made public

Social Media Dangers

In 82% of online sex crimes against minors, the offender used social networking site to gain information on the victim’s likes and dislikes

The majority of sex crimes that originated online began in chat rooms

65% of offenders used a social networking site to obtain information about their victim’s home and school)