Cyberstalking is the use of electronic media to stalk, harass, or seriously alarm or annoy another person. With the increasing use of the Internet and electronic devices, more and more people are using such media to strike fear and terror into the hearts of others. In fact, many believe that cyberstalking has become more common than physical stalking, which makes sense given that nearly everyone has access to a computer or a mobile device these days.
Stalkers use several means to harass and intimidate their victims. They follow the online movements of their victims and attempt to gather information about them. Stalkers will post private information about the victim on the Internet, typically in order to cause fear or embarrassment. For example, they will post the person’s social security number or their telephone number and then post it on a site, urging others to call the site repeatedly, causing the victim severe mental and emotional anguish. Or in other instances they will post pictures of a personal nature (sexual) on sites.
But by far the most common tactic of the internet stalker is to publish false and tremendously damaging statements about the victim, in an attempt to destroy the victim’s reputation. This is defamation.
All of this behavior takes a tremendous toll on the victim and is very serious. Fortunately, California has passed a number of criminal and civil laws to deal with these kinds of issues. However, there are a number of potential pitfalls and, like most things, it is usually best to hire a professional to help you put an end to the stalker’s behavior.