Online relationships certainly have evolved since the time of MySpace, and with that comes a number of fallbacks. This includes the idea that people can gather more information about you than ever before.
So how does one report online harassment or cyberstalking? First and foremost, if you are in immediate danger, please call 911 or your country’s emergency line. This is not stuff to be taken lightly. If things are just now getting a bit weird and unprofessional, read along, and we will try to get the situation sorted out.
Let Them Know
Have you tried speaking with the person directly? If not, this is a great way to solve the issue. It takes a good bit of courage, that is for sure, but letting them know that what they are doing is not okay is the best route to take. This way there is no confusion in regards to who believes what. Your ideas are firm. Furthermore, a lot of people may not know that their stalk-ish behaviors are not normal or frowned upon. This is why a direct approach can really remedy the problem.
Do Not Accept Friend Requests that Look Oddly Fake
This should be a no-brainer, but it is not unheard of for your ex to create social media accounts with photos of seemingly attractive women/guys to seek your attention. These accounts usually feature very low resolution photos, and not many of them for that matter. There will not be any mutual friends, either. I recommend that you avoid accepting any of these. Seriously, do not get close to it – even with a ten-foot pole.
Drop Off the Grid
I am sorry to say, but one of the safest ways to be 100% certain that a specific someone will not be able to find you is to stop using social media altogether. That stated, you could always try using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to hide your web traffic and create new accounts under an alias.
How to Report It
- Report Fake Accounts and Send Direct Support Emails. – Email, or even call, the social media company in which fake accounts are surfacing. Whether these accounts are of you or another individual, they do not belong anywhere online. Identity theft IS a crime, so these companies will have no problem getting it sorted out for you.
- Contact the authorities. – Even if you are not in immediate danger of your life, do still contact the authorities – especially if the perpetrator lives locally. Call the non-emergency administrative line in this case rather than 911. This can be a great way to put the person under the eyes of the law. Get the IP address of your attacker written down, so that you can present it to the authorities. Do the same with screenshots of previous interactions.
Have you ever been cyberstalked or otherwise harassed online? How was the experience, and how did you remedy the situation? Let us know in a comment.
Again, if you have an immediate fear for your life – please contact the authorities. That is why they are there. Cyberbullying and harassment is a federal crime, and it is not to be taken lightly.