Signs You Have a Social Media Stalker
Social media is dangerous.
All of our information is out there for the world to see, and it can make our lives a living hell when a psychopath stalks us. Stalking is a continuous pattern of unwanted behavior acted out by someone else that causes you to feel uncomfortable, afraid, and even threatened for you and your loved ones’ safety. Stalking can increase over time.
Although stalking is illegal and dangerous, law enforcement will not take action most of the time. They did not take action in my case because there was not enough “solid evidence.” Smart stalkers love to create numerous fake profiles, and they stalk you in a manipulative way so they won’t get caught.
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According to statistics, 6.6 million people are stalked per year in the United States. Although 76% of stalking victims are female, almost one in four stalking victims is male. Seventy-eight percent of stalkers use more than one source to obtain information about you, stalk you, and even contact you. You may be monitored without being aware.
Forms of stalking and harassment are:
- They create or manipulate circumstances to have contact with you, such as applying for a job where you work, calling you with personal emergencies to cause you to feel sorry for them.
- They send repeated and unwanted letters, gifts, notes, emails, texts, or messages through social media or mail.
- They gather information about you indirectly through your family, public records, online searches, private investigators, friends, co-workers, and others you know to “touch base.”
- They damage your home, property, or car.
- They slander your name publicly online and spread vicious rumors about you.
- They monitor your phone, computer, bank accounts, and social media accounts to know your whereabouts or about your personal life.
- They threaten you, your family, or your pets and say things to your family to get reactions from you to distress you. They say things, whether real or not, to damage your reputation and relationships.
- They use technology such as hidden GPS or cameras to track you.
- They drive by your house, work, or school.
Seventy-five percent of victims know their stalkers in some way. Stalkers see their targets as possessions to be controlled or owned. Getting stalked is not our fault. No one has the right to invade our privacy. These predators are sick and do not comprehend boundaries. Although we may repeatedly request that they leave us alone, they will not because they are ill and disturbed.
Stalking can begin gradually and may seem harmless at first. Then, it can escalate.
How do you deal with it?
1. Create a Self-Defense Strategy
Concentrate on self-defense strategies. Carry a weapon that suits you best such as a taser, pepper spray, or brass knuckles.
2. Set Firm Boundaries
When you have contact with your stalker, be firm with them to leave you alone only if you feel safe doing so. Do not yell at or threaten them, but do not be too polite either. Do not ask them to leave you alone. Be clear, firm, and to the point by telling them to stop. Do not engage in conversation with them because that is what they want. Do not confront them alone. Always have someone present with you because they may not be a safe person.
3. Change Routes, Numbers, and Locks
Most of us drive the same routes home and to work each day. Go in a different direction. Stalkers learn our patterns and want to catch us alone. Switch up your routines.
Change all locks as well. Changing locks is best especially when there is a chance the stalker may have a key.
Change your phone numbers and only share your new phone number with those who need it. Stalkers love to harass you by calling you repetitively from unknown and blocked numbers.
4. Record Everything
Record every incident. It does not matter how insignificant it may seem. If you see your stalker driving by, record it on video. Take notes of days and times. Save evidence of letters and emails. Most of the time, police will refuse to listen to witnesses, look at photos, or read text messages. A police officer told me to get a stalker on video, keep notes, and emails to use as “solid evidence” while also maintaining documentation of the dates and times. Never wait for the situation to get worse. Always stay on guard.
5. Minimize Use of Social Media
My stalker created fake Facebook profiles to stalk me. Therefore, I deactivated my Facebook account three years ago. I do not use Facebook due to the repetitive stalking, but I use other social media accounts that he would not consider to use. If you do have social media, never post anything personal about yourself or your children. You will be safer when you post no information about yourself.
6. Install Hidden Security
Hidden home security systems are the best when it comes to detecting stalkers around your house or apartment. It can be a hidden camera and alarm system that you can even check periodically from your phone while you are away from your home. They also have panic buttons.
7. Form a “Buddy System”
Stay around other people as much as possible. Stay around groups of people at the grocery store or while you are out shopping. Staying around others can lead the stalker to stay at a distance because you will not be alone. Request an escort to walk you to your car if you are at work. Inform your neighbors to be on the watch for them. Take a picture of their vehicle and the stalker to help you watch for them.
8. Guard your Children
Extra security measures should get taken around your children even if there have not been any direct threats. Inform your child’s school and caretakers about the situation. Provide them with photos of the stalker, his accomplices, and their vehicles. Do not allow your children to walk anywhere alone.
If your child is old enough to understand, explain to them about the situation and help them be aware of the person who is stalking you. Explain to them that they are not to have any contact with this person under no circumstance. Create a brief and straightforward code word to say by phone or text as a warning if something is wrong. Educate your children to dial 911 in case an emergency arises.
Social media is known to give away your location quickly. Many people also post what they are doing and where they are without being aware of the fact they have a stalker. That is why it is important not to post personal information on social media nor provide your location information. Predators are everywhere, and they use technology to their advantage.