Stalkers are turning to cell phones to textually harass their victims. Even the U.S. Justice Department Bureau of Justice has statistics and stalking by texting has become a very pervasive problem. Some times a stalker find you out of the blue, but it never hurts to look at your dating and online behavior to ascertain and recognize if you might be drawing unwanted attention to yourself and helping to put yourself at risk.
Believe it or not some 25% of harassment victims have been subjected to some form of cell phone texting or email stalking. This can be by text messaging or by emails. The newer cellphones provide bundled email services so email becomes a walking attachment to the person. It is no longer limited to being at the computer. Since people are getting emails coming into their portable cell phones, the emails are becoming like text messages in the sense that they are instant. They instantly arrive to the persons blackberry or apple iphone and beep, beep, beep.
Granted you can block someones number or put their email in as spam so it no longer comes to your inbox. But modern technology has made it quicker and easier than ever for stalkers to monitor and harass their victims. Right now many states have anti-stalking laws but not all of them consider text messaging an official electronic form of communication. If you do get a textual harasser on your hands you can call your cell phone provider and get their number blocked. Most carriers provide the blocking service and if not you could switch carriers.
Stalkers who are Posers
Most of the stalkers are in the category of ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend. These are the people who are emotionally invested in you. Particularly if they were once together with you and your relationship with them went south bound, they can get emotionally messed up over you moving on in life sans them. Many reports of stalkers come from ex girlfriends, ex boyfriends and especially ex spouses.
But with the advent of cyperspace, you can also adopt a stalker that you don’t really know and who is not your ex, by mere virtue of your online social presense. You can attract them or they can attract you. Facebook is an example of where you can easily get a stalker. If you get a request from a friend of a friend of a friend, or someone who seems to look normal, you might accept it. Then you could find out this person is a fake or weird. Yes, you can defriend them at that point however once they have sifted through your life they might feel a false emotional connection to you even if they don’t know you. At that point, they can develop you into a fantasy and get obsessed. I see people who post their cell phone numbers right on their facebook page!
You really don’t know who the person is that is hiding behind a computer screen. In the millions of online accounts how can you really tell who is a friend and who would do you harm? There is a false sense of friendship on the social networking sites and in reality only a small number of your friends are really your friends. Most are people you haven’t seen in years and even more are people whose names you vaguely remember, the rest are friends of friends and you don’t know who in the flip they are.
Showing flashy pictures of yourself? Maybe you shouldn’t
Both women and men love to flaunt their beauty on the social networking sites. Unbeknownst to them, they might be attracting unwanted attention to themselves from people who they are not interested in.
The dating web sites are breeding grounds for people attracting emotionally unstable individuals to them. Women and men tend to get on these sites at really weird periods of time in their lives. They jump on to the site on a whim. You get couples who get in a fight and one person says scru you and jumps on, separated people, people who aren’t even the people and use stolen pictures, and so forth. For example, they’ve been cooped up in a horrible marriage or relationship and find themselves cut loose. Hi ho off onto the internet they go. Without giving it proper thought, they will post incredibly suggestive pictures of themselves and plaster them onto the internet. I’ll show you! I’ll post sexy pictures of myself and just look how many people will be interested in me type knee jerk I’m single now lets go reactions.
I’ve seen pictures of women in teensy bikinis, in negliges, in lingerie, in naughtly slinky Halloween costumes, posing on their beds, posing suggestively in their bedrooms, in erotic poses with their dogs, cats and exotic pets, wearing robes and other sexual type clothes from pin up girl Playboy stilleto heels to lacy skimpy breast flopping getups you wouldn’t be caught dead in public in yet you’re on the net in it.
You think you are just going to be attracting someone just like you, but you don’t even realize how many people are looking through these photographs! Remember, you’re in the ocean now and if you cast a wide net you’ll catch all sorts of fish including the deadly ones. As the dreamy romantic ads that get you to join say, 1 in 5 people might meet their match but I am sure 1 in 5 people meet quite the opposite of their match too. I’m not knocking the internet dating venues because it is a great way to expand your search for mr or mrs right, no doubt about it. But all those articles about taking precautions should not be ignored. The internet can be a dangerous place.
What oftentimes happens is that new members don’t censor themselves when they get on but they tend to figure it out over time. Women are prone to post too skimpy pictures and men might post pictures with their shirts off showing their six packs. After a while they good a good dose of the fact that they are drawing in a whole lot of the wrong kind of attention to themselves. They realize that their profiles scream out that they are on the rebound and looking for action and trust me predators pick up on it. After a few bad dates or scary experiences, they wake up and smell the music. They realize their profiles revealed too much and they tone it down but not before its too late.
Just because you show pictures that are sexy doesn’t mean you deserve to be stalked obviously. But the point is that you need to step back and take care that you don’t unwittingly draw the wrong kind of attention to yourself. When in doubt and particularly when in an online public forum, always be conservative. Also, be very aware of your privacy settings and who you let into your online social network.
Online daliances and meetups move alarmingly quickly to an exchange of cell phone numbers and the inevitable onset of texting. When you give out your phone number be sure you want to. Some people make phone calls from restricted phones to prevent harassment potential from people they don’t know that well. You can do this by making a call out from your home phone, or by typing in a special code that your phone company gives you. This prevents people from being able to instantly see your cell phone number and save it.
With the dating sties in particular, people are giving out their cell phone numbers after just a few emails with a perfect stranger. Once that stranger has your cell phone number they can find out alot about you. For a mere three dollars they can do a reverse search on your cell number and find out exactly where you live along with a whole lot of other personal information.
Myspace though not nearly as popular as facebook these days is another venue for picking up derelicts and potentially inviting them into your lives. Most people wise up and use the myspace settings to only let friends view their myspace profiles. The problem is that so many people are on sites like myspace and facebook to promote business ventures. Since they are marketing a business or name for themselves, they relax their friends requirements and invite more people in. They are building up potential business contacts and the more the merrier. With the wave of people you let in could come some potential stalking types. And if you have revealing photographs of yourself posted in plain sight for them to see, who knows what they can concoct in their heads about you.
The point is to be cautious about your online presence and be well aware of the privacy and security settings on the online venues. When you make that simple little segway from an online friend to a person that has your cell phone number in hand use some safety precautions and good old common sense. It is all too easy to have someone unwanted sending inappropriate text messages to your phone. If you have a thousand online friends you gotta start to wonder, are these reeeaaaaallly my friends?