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Preventing digital/cyber stalking and harassment

How you can try to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of digital / cyber stalking and harassment:-

Online

  • Restrict your social media posts to your friends and not public.
  • Check privacy settings on social networking sites and limit the amount of information you post.
  • Google yourself frequently to check your digital footprint.
  • Do not use the same password for everything and change passwords regularly.
  • Be aware of geolocation and tagging on social networking sites and ensure that it’s disabled on your smartphone/laptop/computer.
  • Do not publish where you go or are going on social media.
  • Keep your antivirus software up to date.
  • Report stalking to website administrators.
  • If you believe that your smartphone or computer has been hacked or compromised, stop using it immediately and take it to your mobile phone provider or computer repair experts for advice. 

Phone calls

  • Answer the phone by saying 'hello', not your name or number.
  • If the caller is not known to you, avoid answering questions about yourself, no matter how genuine they sound.
  • If you have an answering machine, it’s advisable not to include your name or number in the outgoing message.
  • The message should never tell people that you are out or away. Try and give the impression that you are only temporarily unable to answer: e.g. “Sorry, I can’t get to the phone right now, so please leave your name and number and I’ll get right back to you.”
  • If you’re listed in any directories, you might want to give your initials and surname rather than your full name.
  • Try to keep calm and not show emotion. Many callers will give up if they don't think that they are making an impression on you or your feelings. 

Texts

  • Do not give personal details via text to an unknown sender.
  • If someone is texting you and you do not wish you communicate with them, block their number on your phone.
  • If your stalker persists texting you repeatedly using different numbers, keep the text messages but do not reply. Print copies of the messages if you can.

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