What is Cyber Stalking?
Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, group, or organization. It may include false accusations, defamation, slander and libel. It may also include monitoring, identity theft, threats, vandalism, solicitation for sex, or gathering information that may be used to threaten, embarrass or harass.
Cyberstalking is often accompanied by realtime or offline stalking. In many jurisdictions, such as California, both are criminal offenses. Both are motivated by a desire to control, intimidate or influence a victim. A stalker may be an online stranger or a person whom the target knows. He may be anonymous and solicit involvement of other people online who do not even know the target.
Cyberstalking is a criminal offense under various state anti-stalking, slander and harassment laws. A conviction can result in a restraining order, probation, or criminal penalties against the assailant, including jail.
Examples of Cyber-Stalking
- Making and posting fake or real sexual images of the victim or their loved ones.
- Tracking their victims’ every movement by placing a GPS device on their car.
- Threatening the victim or their friends and family via emails.
- Uploading personal information such as name, address, social security number or phone number on the Internet.
- Hacking and saving emails, text messages and social media posts and using them to harass or blackmail a victim.
- Hacking into the victim’s social media account to post offensive material and comments.
- Releasing personal or fake information to discredit a victim at his/her office.
- Using the victim’s social media account or email to stalk and contact others.
- Creating malicious websites, fake social media profiles and blogs about a victim.
- Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram are potential hunting grounds for cyber-stalkers. Victims usually pick up or run into an offender at such platforms. This could be because 39% of children fail to enable their privacy settings on social media. However, 95% of teens that witnessed bullying on social media report that others, like them, have ignored the behavior. Moreover, 25% of teens on social media reported that online incidents have resulted in face-to-face confrontation. So, one must be careful about what they post and who they interact with on social media sites.
- It’s not surprising to know that women are more often victims of cyber-stalking compared to men. According to the research report by WHOA (short for Working to Halt Online Abuse) in 2013, the ratio stood at 60% women to 40% men. In 2013, most reported victims of cyber-stalking lived in California and most cases were reported in the US.
- You are now 20 times more likely to be robbed while at your computer by a criminal based overseas than held up in the street, new figures have revealed.
- In 2015, the rapid increase in online fraud and cyber-crime in the UK saw almost 6 million offences committed, which means that one in ten adults fell victim to cyber-crime.
- Phishing is a well known cyber-crime technique often used by criminals to defraud an online account user by posing as a legitimate entity. According to the Verizon DBIR, 30% of phishing emails are opened and 12% of those targeted click on the infecting links or attachments.
Here are a few important pointers to help you thwart cyber stalking, whether it’s directed at you, your PC, or your family:
- Maintain vigilance over physical access to your computer and other Web-enabled devices like cell phones. Cyberstalkers use software and hardware devices (sometimes attached to the back of your PC without you even knowing) to monitor their victims.
- Be sure you always log out of your computer programs when you step away from the computer and use a screensaver with a password. The same goes for passwords on cell phones. Your kids and your spouse should develop the same good habits.
- Make sure to practice good password management (link to password article) and security. Never share your passwords with others. And be sure to change your passwords frequently! This is very important.
- Delete or make private any online calendars or itineraries–even on your social network–where you list events you plan to attend. They could let a stalker know where you’re planning to be and when.
- A lot of personal information is displayed on social networks, such as your name, date of birth, where you work and where you live. Use the privacy settings in all your online accounts to limit your online sharing with those outside your trusted circle. You can use these settings to opt out of having your profile appear when someone searches for your name. You can block people from seeing your posts and photos, too.
- If you post photos online via social networks or other methods, be sure to turn off the metadata in the photo. The metadata reveals a lot of information about the photo, where and when it was taken, what device it was taken on and other private information. Mostly, metadata comes from photos taken on a mobile phone, You can turn this off, usually a feature called geotagging, in your phone’s settings.
- As always, use a security software program such as Norton Security to prevent spyware from being installed onto your computer via a phishing attack or an infected Web page. Security software could allow you to detect spyware on your device and decrease your chances of being stalked. If you break up with someone that you were in a relationship with, be sure to change all of your online passwords. Even if you think that your ex-partner may not know them, you never really can be sure.
Will Personal Cyber Insurance Cover Cyber Stalking?
About 19 crore individuals, or two of every five Indians using the internet, have been victims of cybercrime in 2017, according to the Norton Cyber Security Insights Report released in July this year. That’s 24 percent more than individuals in the U.S. who faced similar threats and yet, India’s total cyber liability insurance premium size is just 1.6 percent of America’s, at $30 million. And within that, cyber insurance for individuals accounts for almost nothing.
The problem is not just the demand; the supply is limited as well. Indians lost $18.5 billion to cyber crime in 2017, according to the Norton report, compared with $19 billion lost by U.S. citizens. And yet only two insurance companies—Bajaj Allianz General Insurance and HDFC ERGO General Insurance—offer personal cyber risk covers in the country.
The personal cyber insurance policies available in India mainly cover,
- Financial losses due to extortion, phishing/e-mail spoofing and unauthorised online transactions.
- Litigation costs (defence/prosecution) against a third party
Highest Selling Technical Courses of Indian Cyber Security Solutions:
Cybersecurity services that can protect your company:
Other Location for Online Courses: