The legal definition of a stalking is as simple as the unwanted pursuit by one person of another person. Legal examples of this behavior includes unannounced and unwanted appearances of the person at someone’s place of work or home, harassing phone calls or other communications, vandalization of property, or even personal harm. The determination of a stalking episode is not isolated to one event, but rather looking at a pattern of behavior over a period of time, regardless of any preexisting relationship, or lack thereof. It should be noted that each state has its own laws as to what constitutes stalking. Most laws include a pattern of unwanted threats, attention, or vandalization of property.
Based on this, do you feel you might be a victim of a stalking? If you’re not sure, or think you might be, you need to follow steps to build a case against your stalker and protect yourself.
First things first: if you feel, at any point, that you are in immediate danger, call the police or 911. Even if the event ultimately ends up being a non emergency, in situations of potential stalking, you should err on the side of caution as much as possible and keep yourself safe. arring an immediate emergency, there are some things you can do to help hide your personal information and protect yourself.
The first thing you can do is start a log of interactions. If you feel you are being followed or someone is unnecessarily seeking you out at your place of work or home and it’s not an immediate emergency, write it down. Keeping a log of the interactions will help you monitor the level of attention and understand if it is truly too much unwanted or unannounced interaction. It will also be helpful later in building a potential case against your stalker if it comes down to it. Record times and dates, get photographic evidence when possible, and keep a log of who else saw and can corroborate the incidents, if needs be.
In the information age, stalking has become a lot easier and cyber stalking is also a huge issue on its own. Social media and all the loopholes therein will make it easy for a potential stalker to keep tabs on you, whether through pictures, places you’ve “checked in” to, or even location services you didn’t even know you enabled on your social media and devices. Make your social media as private as possible, delete it when necessary, and know everything that is public and shows your name online.
Some tips for your social media practices:
If you’ve got a stalker, these databases would be an easy way for them to get your location or information. Click here to learn more about removing yourself from these online databases.
You may not have heard of social engineering before, but you may have experienced it. Social engineering is the process where someone manipulates another person into divulging information by taking advantage of a potential victim’s typical habits and tendencies or pretending to be someone else. An example of social engineering: While many people worry about hacking as the way their computer can become vulnerable, social engineering is much more covert and dangerous. A stalker may pose as a tech support person, asking for computer information or call pretending they are from your credit card company and need you to verify your address or other personal information.
There are several ways a stalker could use social engineering to get information. They could bait you or a close friend in several ways, they could use phishing methods with fraudulent emails that seem legitimate, blackmail, or virtually any other tactics you could imagine someone using for manipulation. In order to avoid becoming a victim of this, you need to be vigilant of all communications you reserve, consider the source, and be willing to probe back at those asking you for information to ensure it’s legitimate.
It’s important to not take this on alone. Tell your friends and family, make sure you have people aware of your situation, and stay safe.
The NameGone Internet Privacy Protection service is provided by RecordGone.com a division of the Law Firm of Higbee & Associates, the nation's largest record clearing law firm. We are a technology centered law firm that has cleared over 22,000 records. Our services have been so successful that we have even been granted a contract with the Ohio state attorney general to help the courts remove information.