Stalking and the Proliferation of Personal Data on the Internet
Picture this scenario - you go out on a date for the first time and being cautious, you meet at a predetermined location. During the date, you pick up on something that isn't quite right. You decide not to see that person again. After all, he doesn't know where you live, right? You feel safe and secure. But, he has no intention of giving up on the relationship. In his mind, you were meant to be together. He does some research online - finds out where you live through a myriad of people search databases and now you have yourself a stalker, through no fault of your own.
Approximately 3.4 million people in the United States are victims of stalking each year. Stalking can occur at the target's residence, place of employment, shopping mall, school campus, or other public place. Stalking can include unsolicited sexual advances, threatening behavior, loitering, and cyberstalking. Most victims know their stalker. Stalking creates uncertainty, instills fear and can completely disrupt lives.
- Repeated undesired contact such as phone calls, emails, letters, showing up unexpectedly at your home or work, etc.
- Following or laying in wait for the individual.
- Making threats to the individual or their family.
- Any harassing or threatening behavior used to contact, track, or place fear in the individual.
- Cyberstalking includes threatening behavior to create unwanted advances using the Internet and other forms of online and computer communications. Some forms of cyber stalking can include harassment using threatening or obscene emails, live chat, texting, hacking or monitoring a victim's computer and online activity.
Who is a Stalker?
- A stalker can be someone you know well or not at all. Most stalkers have dated or been involved with the people they stalk. Most stalking cases involve men stalking women, but men do stalk men, women do stalk women, and women do stalk men.
- Intimate partner stalkers frequently approach their targets, and their behavior escalates quickly.
- Almost 1/3 of stalkers have stalked before.
- Two thirds of stalkers pursue their victims at least once per week, many daily, using more than one method.
- 78% of stalkers use more than one means of approach.
- Weapons are used to harm or threaten victims in 1 out of 5 cases.
Know Your Are Being Stalked
If you have experienced any of the following unwanted or harassing contacts on more than one occasion during the past year, that made you feel annoyed, fearful, anxious or concerned, you may be a victim of stalking.
- Receiving unwanted phone calls.
- Sending unsolicited or unwanted letters or e-mails
- Having a sense of being followed more than once by someone.
- Having someone show up at places without a legitimate reason or waiting for you.
- Finding unwanted items, presents, or flowers.
- Finding that your property has been vandalized or damaged.
- Receiving threats directed at you or someone close to you.
- Finding posted information or rumors about yourself on the Internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth.
When you become a member of YourPrivacyRights.org, you are joining a group of millions of Americans who believe their personal data should be confidential and not posted on the Internet without consent. As a united group of members of YourPrivacyRights.org we can affect positive changes in the federal privacy laws that will enforce strict guidelines on corporations and entities that are publishing personal and confidential data on the Internet.
Become a member and gain access to our members only section which includes a members only forum, fraud & scam alerts, proposed changes to the federal privacy laws, tips on protecting your privacy and how to remove your personal information from the Internet and more.