Did you make it easy to stalk you?
Over the past year I’ve had a lot of cases where people were getting stalked online, cyberstalking, and stalked in person. This may have happened to you. You’re at the store, at a movie or some other event, and there they are, seemingly random and coincidental. Yet, something tells you there’s more to this. They seem to appear everywhere you go and you can’t figure out why. You may have made it easy to stalk you during the course of your relationship with the person stalking you, and in most cases it’s difficult to avoid. Sharing information such as your schedule, social media accounts, email address, and phone number can often be used to track you online.
Methods of Cyber Stalking Prevention
Don’t share your usernames and passwords and don’t leave them someplace where they are accessible to someone else. In a lot of my cases the victim shared their usernames and password with the stalker during their relationship. In other cases the stalker obtained the victims usernames and passwords from notes in the victim’s phone or from notes written down around their home or office.
Don’t accept friend requests or followers from people you are not entirely sure of or fully trust. Often you can be tracked down on Twitter or Facebook from uploaded pictures or check ins. If you can’t resist checking in on Facebook it’s a good idea to check in as you are leaving or after you have left the place. You should also disable GPS or geolocation in order to prevent your location from being recorded in posts and images you make to social media accounts.
Dealing with an Active Stalker or Cyber Stalker
Once you feel like or have confirmed you are being stalked you should take the following countermeasures:
Document everything you think is suspicious – This will help when filing a police report or it may connect events in some way later that determines how the stalker is tracking you down.
Change the passwords to your email accounts – Often I have encountered cases where the stalker had access to the victims email accounts. This enables the stalker or cyber stalker to determine what’s happening in your life and even your schedule. If your email provides dual authentication, be sure and enable this for your account.
Change social media account passwords – The stalker may have reset your social media account passwords if they gained access to your email account. The stalker might also be logging into your accounts to see your posts or read messages to others. This means changing all your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media accounts. Again, if they offer dual authentication, be sure and enable it.
Change your iCloud account password – If you use iCloud this one is extremely important. If a stalker has access to your iCloud account they can log in and track you using the Find My iPhone tool. t’s as good as planting a GPS tracker on you. If you back up your iPhone to iCloud it also possible to download all your images, text messages and other important data without you knowing it happened.
Change your online backup passwords – If you use services like Drop Box or Google Drive be sure and change those password as well. If a stalker has access to these services they can use that to track you online or in person.
Change your privacy settings – Make sure all your online posts to social media are set to private so a stalker is unable to view them.
Block and delete the stalker – If you know who the stalker is, be sure to block their accounts from your social media accounts and email accounts. If you are connected to their social media account, be sure to delete or unfollow them.
File a police report – If you have enough information to prove someone has accessed your social media accounts, other online accounts, or email, file a police report.
Hire a private investigator – If you aren’t sure if someone has accessed your social media accounts, other online accounts, and you still feel like you are being stalked – it might be time to hire a private investigator. A private investigator can review your documentation from any suspicious events, check your online accounts for access, and prepare a report for law enforcement. This can greatly assist in bringing your stalker to justice.