Cyber stalking is, in a nutshell, the use of technology to gather personal information, track and monitor.
- People between the ages of 18 and 34 are significantly more likely to have been stalked online
- Where online activity was the sole form of stalking behaviour, only 9.8% of victims reported it to the police.
- Over a quarter of victims (28.3%) felt concerned about going out in public and 20.4% reduced their social outings, while 18.6% changed their phone number, one in 10 (9.5%) moved home and 8.7% increased security at home or work.
Whilst we cannot stop cyber stalkers, we can make it harder for them to gain access to, monitor or intercept data. The following is a list of options available to increase online security:
- Come up with a handful of aliases you can use to set up accounts and email
- Use avatars or profile pictures with images other than you on social media
- Search for yourself online from time to time to see what’s available about you
- Check out whether data is leaking from any of your social media accounts using mypermissions.com
- Select the restricted electoral roll to prevent your personal data being sold to companies such as 192.com
- Read privacy statements (they’re boring, but worth it) and go through your account settings every now and again to do a privacy check up
- Use two factor authentification, where possible, to increase account login security
- Download the Tor browser for going online, or HTTPS Everywhere to increase browsing security
- Keep your apps, browsers and programmes up to date with the latest versions (this will be offered automatically), as older versions are more vulnerable to attack
- Use different emails for different things. You can easily create a disposable email using mailnull.com
- Email is pretty insecure, you can encrypt it yourself or use a service such as hushmail or protonmail
- Text messaging is also insecure – Whatsapp is now end-to-end encrypted and Signal is an app that encrypts text messages and phone calls.
- Get yourself a password manager – LastPass is fantastic