Cyberstalking is the practice of someone continuously monitoring you online in a way that causes you to feel uneasy, alarmed, or threatened.

Cyberstalking behaviour can include:

*constantly checking in on someone and trying to get their attention even when they make it clear that they are not interested.

*making repeated unwanted contact with someone by calling, emailing, texting, messaging, or asking inappropriate questions

*repeatedly sending, posting or sharing unwanted sexual requests, sexual or offensive content, abusive comments, or false accusations to or about someone

*monitoring someone’s movements using the location (GPS) technologies that are built into the operating systems of phones and fitness apps, or using tracking devices or spyware

*following or contacting someone across multiple online accounts and making it known they can’t hide

*accessing or hacking someone’s online accounts to find their personal information, track their movements, read their emails or messages, or change their passwords to lock them out of their own accounts.

How to spot cyberstalking-

One may need to consider whether they are being cyberstalked if they begin to receive unsolicited and bothersome communications on a regular basis or if they begin to experience harassment.

The person doing it can be:

#someone you don’t know

#someone you have met, but you are not friends with

#a friend, family member

#a partner or ex-partner.

The following warning signs may indicate that you are being cyberstalked-

1.Someone doesn’t take NO for an answer

2.Someone engages with every post you make

3.Someone tries to follow your family and friends

4.Someone constantly asks where you are and what you are doing

What to do if you suspect you are being cyberstalked-

Collect evidence

Collect evidence by taking a screenshot of the chat or post – if things turn nasty you might need it as evidence to report the behaviour to online services, police or eSafety.

Report harmful content

Notify the app, online service, or platform about offensive posts or profiles. The majority of apps have reporting links in The eSafety Guide.

You can use our online form to report harmful content to eSafety, and we will assist in having it deleted, if the content is serious enough to fulfil the legal definition of adult cyber abuse and the service or platform does not remove it.

Report to eSafety right away if someone shares or threatens to share a private photo of you in the event of image-based abuse.

Prevent further contact

Once you have collected evidence, you can use in-app functions or the settings on the web browser to mute, unfollow or block the other person and change your privacy settings.

How to reduce the risk of cyberstalking

It is crucial to keep in mind that if someone is cyberstalking you, it is never your fault; instead, it is their mistake. You may take certain precautions, though, to help shield yourself against it.

*Set strong passcodes and passwords

*Turn off location services and restrict access to GPS data

*Don’t give away location information by mistake

*Set your online accounts to private

*Update your software

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