Cyberstalking and the Dangers

When you release your information on the internet do you really know what dangers laying ahead?

Jazmine Cook, Journalist

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 The Internet. We all use it and love it, but do we really know the dangers?

  One of the dangers, cyberstalking. What is cyberstalking? According to Legal Dictionary, cyberstalking is “using the Internet, email, or another type of electronic communications to stalk, harass, or threaten another person.”

  How can you tell if you are being cyberstalked? There are actually a few signs. One, your stalker will follow you on most social media. Two, they will continue to message you after you have already told them to leave you alone. Three, you get constant insulting or threatening messages or comments. Finally, your stalker will single you out on comments and posts.

  According to Dr. Emma Short, who is registered with the Health Professional Council as a Practitioner Psychologist and the co-director of the National Centre for Cyberstalking Research, notes that “cyberstalkers tend to be anxious and could suffer from from anxiety, depression, stress, and addictions. They may seem to be quite isolated and have a lack of social support.”

  Cyberstalkers may suffer from psychological problems, but that is not an excuse for harassing people and making people feel unsafe.    

  A study conducted by Harvard University shows that, on average, 1 out of 45 men (about 2 million) are victims of cyberstalking. Even though men are cyberstalked, 87% of stalkers are identified as men.

  The same study conducted by Harvard University shows that 1 out of 12 women (8.2 million) are victims of cyberstalking. Women are twice as likely to be victimized by strangers and 8 times more likely to be victimized by people they are close with.

  Cyberstalking is not gender-specific; it affects people of all genders, age, and ethnicities.  

  A study conducted by John Carroll University shows that people between the ages of 18 and 24 are more likely to be victims. 30% of people reported being injured emotionally or psychologically. In some cases it causes people to develop agoraphobia, the fear of leaving your house or never feeling safe.

  Why is it that younger people tend to be stalked more often?  Is it because they are more trusting, or could it be because they aren’t as careful as people who are older? It could also be because they use social media and the internet more often than others.

  The Computer Investigations and Technology Unit of the New York Police Department notes that almost 40% of the cases handled in that department involve electronic threats and harassment. They also say all of these cases have taken place within the past three or four years.  

  Roughly 10% of their cases a year involve electronic threats and harassment. That may not seem like a lot but it is.

  Andrea Cook, a PVHS sophomore, was cyber stalked at the age of 11. Her stalker would send her harassing messages and always seemed to know how to find her on social media.

  When asked why she thought she was being stalked, Cook said, “I was young and vulnerable. They saw me as an easy target.”

  People need to realize that not everything posted on social media is private. People can tell how vulnerable you will be based on your profile picture and also based on what you post. They can look at your profile picture and the things you post and be able to tell what type of person you are and if you are an easy target. Usually, stalkers will single out the more vulnerable people because they know that they can manipulate them into doing what they want.

  After being stalked, there are many things that you can do and many ways to get help with the psychological issues of being a victim. There are support groups, counseling, and even your friends and family can help you through it.

  Faith Russell, a student at PIMA Medical (a medical career college that trains students for careers as allied health care professionals who are distinct from nursing, medicine, and pharmacy according to Wikipedia), has been and is still currently being cyberstalked. During a discussion with Ms. Russell, she gave some advice for victims of cyberstalking. She said, “Speak up! Don’t keep it to yourself or hurt yourself like I did; it gets you nowhere.”

  Crimes on the Internet need to be taken seriously. Too many people are being harassed and not saying anything with the fear of nothing happening or the harassment increasing.

  Before you release your personal information online, you need to know all of the dangers of the Internet.

About the Writer
Jazmine Cook, Journalist

 I am a junior who enjoys taking pictures. This is my first year at PVHS and also my first year in the journalism program. After high school I am joining...


7 Responses to “Cyberstalking and the Dangers”

  1. larry gentry on February 12th, 2018 9:08 am

    I personally don’t mind being stalked on the Internet. If there is a person watching me and watching everything that I do, so be it. I’m not the one whose time is being wasted. I can carry on with my day even with a “cyberstalker.” And if the circumstances come down to it that they have found out my personal information, then so be it.

  2. Heather Edwards on February 12th, 2018 10:23 am

    Most of this information is startling. There are so many people this is happening to and they don’t speak up. I believe people are afraid to because they feel like it doesn’t happen to anyone else since no one else is speaking up against their assaulter. I hope that the more people that read this the more people will come out and have the authorities help them.

  3. Rafael Chavez on February 12th, 2018 11:38 am

    I agree with this article because many people are getting stalked and threatened and some kids even commit suicide because of it. Cyber stalking need to come to an end. “Younger people tend to be stalked more often” and this is not okay; we need to end this problem now.

  4. Lani Metscher on February 12th, 2018 11:44 am

    It is completely up to said person being “cyber stalked” to take it personally and give the “stalker” that sense of success because he/she has achieved getting under their skin. You don’t have to let it bother you, you don’t have to reply, and you don’t have to acknowledge their obsessive behavior. As soon as you do so, they are filled with power knowing they’ve successfully grabbed your attention. They do these things to fill a gap; they aren’t completely in their right mind in most cases. “Cyber stalkers may suffer from psychological problems” (5) and at the end of the day, it is up to you to give them that power, and to let it bother you. If it’s on the Internet, anyone can see it; it’s just a certain person visiting it more than typical followers.

  5. Brayla Mckeough-Marquez on February 12th, 2018 12:05 pm

    I agree with the article how most young people are being stalked because they are either not careful or they don’t think it would happen to them. So they add people that they don’t know on Facebook or other social media. People should add family members, friends from school, not people from another state.

  6. Cali Mashore on February 14th, 2018 9:14 am

    I agree with this article. Many people, girls especially, are very vulnerable to the world wide web. For example kids these days don’t exactly care who follows them or who adds them on social media sites. Their only concern is that their follower list goes up. Predators are everywhere, and behind a computer screen can pretend to be anything and anyone they want. They could act like they are your age or pretend to be an extremely attractive person pulling in the victim. “Stalkers will single out the more vulnerable people” (Cook) because they know they have a better chance than with someone strong willed.

  7. Francisco Soto on October 11th, 2018 1:45 pm

    Kids nowadays are so naive and will do anything to be accepted. Kids will go on the Internet and put anything on it to be part of the cool kids. Teens have Snapchat and post pictures of themselves on it daily without actually knowing who can view them. They’ll accept a friend request from people they don’t even know when in reality it could be a stalker or tech-criminal. For the older generations, the Internet is advancing, but some of them can’t keep up; privacy is being violated, their location is being shared and they don’t have a clue about it. Cyber attacks are a real threat, but we are not all ready to face them.

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