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Cyber - stalking
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The dictionary meaning of "stalking" is an "actor process of following prey stealthily -trying to approach some- body or something." Cyberstalking has been defined as the use of information and communications technology, particularly the Internet, by an individual or group of individuals to harass another individual, group of individuals, or organization. The behavior includes false accusations, monitoring, transmission of threat ID theft, damage to data or equipment, solicitation of minors for sexual purposes, and gathering information for harassment purposes.

Cyberstalking refers to the use of Internet and/or other electronic communications devices to stalkers another person. It involves harassing or threatening behavior that an individual will conduct repeatedly. As the Internet has become an integral part of our personal and professional lives, cybersalkers take advantage of ease of communication and an increase access to personal information available with a few mouse clicks or keystrokes.

A. Types of Stalkers

There are primarily two types of stalkers.

1. Online stalkers: They aim to start the interaction with the victim directly with the help of the Internet. E-Mail and chat rooms are the most popular communication medium to get connected with the victim, rather than using traditional instrumentation like telephone/cell phone. The stalkers makes sure that the victim recognizes the attack attempted on him/her. The stalker can make use of a third party to harass the victim.

2. Offline stalkers: The stalker may begin the attack using traditional methods such as following the victim, watching the daily of the victim, etc. Searching on message boards/newsgroups, personal websites, and people finding services or websites are most common ways to gather information about the victim using the Internet. The victim is not aware that the Internet has been used to perpetuate an attack against them.

B. Case Reported on Cyberstalking

The majority of cyberstalkers are men and the majority of their victims are women. Some cases also have been reported where women act as cyberstalkers and men as the victims as well as cases of same-sex cyberstalking In many cases, the cyberstalkers and the victim hold a prior relationship, and the cyberstalking begins where the victim attempts to break off the relationship, for example, ex-lover, ex-spouse, boss/subordinate, and neighbor. However, there also have been many instances of cyberstalking by strangers.

C. How Stalking Works?

It is seen that stalking works in the following ways

  1. If Personal information gathering about the victim: Name; family background; contact details such a cell phone and telephone numbers (of residence as well as office); address of residence as well as o the office; E-Mail address; date of birth, etc.

  2. Establish a contract with victim through telephone/cell phone. Once the contact is established, the stalker may make calls to the victim to threaten/harass.

  3. Stalkers will almost always establish a contact with the victims through E-Mail. The letters may have the tone of loving, threatening or can be sexually explicit. The stalker may use multiple names while contacting the victim.
  4. Some stalkers keep on sending repeated E-Mails asking for various kinds of favors or threaten the victim.
  5. The stalker may post the victim's personal information on any website related to illicit services such as sex-workers' services or dating services, posing as if the victim has posted the information and invite the people to call the victim on the given contact details (telephone numbers/cell phone numbers/E-Mail address) to have sexual services. The stalker will use bad and/or offensive/attractive language to invite the interested persons.
  6. Whosoever comes across the information, start calling the victim on the given contact details (telephone/cell phone nos), asking for sexual services or relationships.
  7. Some stalkers subscribe/register the E-Mail account of the victim to innumerable pornographic and sex sites, because of which victim will start receiving such kind of unsolicited E-Mails.
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