Cyberstalking may seem like fiction as not many in Nigeria are aware of its occurrence, however it is quite real.
With the advancement of technology and the birth of numerous links on social media, stalkers do not need to physically trail their victims in order to keep tabs on them or follow up on their every move. Matter of fact, there are even more stalkers on the web than there are in real life, and these perps are not just strangers, they could be friends, family members and lovers – current or estranged.
Usually they always show up as followers, they like all your posts, pictures and comments, or continuously make comments on your profile page whether you do not respond to them or threaten to block them. Sometimes, they go as far as monitoring your computer and internet use.
Being stalked become intensely uncomfortable or terrifying depending on its severity (some escalate into violent crimes in physical space). Are you being stalked? Jovago.com, Africa’s No. 1 online hotel booking site suggests 5 ways you can tackle these nuisances.
Block the Stalker
This is usually the first step. Generally, stalkers tend to believe they are in a relationship with their victims, and remaining in contact with them serves a form of validation their non-existent illusions. Blocking the stalker is a clear wake up call for the perpetrator as it involves denying him access to your account, that way he cannot relate with you directly on the platform via which he stalks you. Aside from blocking, it is important to report the contact to the service provider as someone exhibiting inappropriate behavior.
Keep your profiles private
On most social media platforms, users can view the page of other contacts without necessarily being a friend of the user, as long as the page is open to the public. Once you realize that you have a stalker and you have blocked him, the next step is to make your entire profile private, so that no one can view anything aside from your profile picture, and the status or mood. Edit the settings on the visibility of your profile photo so that it is only visible to your network. Also, keep your status updates minimal and generic. As the stalker can get clues from them if they are detailed.
Stop tagging your photos
Tagging is a fun way of sharing photos, but if you have got a stalker on your hands, refrain from this activity. Tagging creates privacy holes as it gives whoever is tagged as well as that person’s friends and contacts the window to connect with you without necessarily having their invitation accepted by you and this is a leeway for blocked stalkers.
Restrict uploads to small pictures
The thing about most social media platforms is that, no matter the privacy settings you have activated, random users on the web can easily find the original versions of your profile picture and download them for several purposes, especially when they have high resolutions. Uploading small photos makes it difficult for them to view clearly or edit them for other purposes such as identity theft. Resize your picture posts and make the resolution so low that even if a stalker gets their hands on them, they would not be able to zoom into it for improved visibility.
Close your account
This may seem as a drastic measure, but there are some stalkers who are inventive and determined in their cause. These kind of stalkers will do all they can to get across to you, even with a restraining order hanging over their necks. In this situation, the best way to tackle them is to close down your account completely and if necessary, open a new one with a completely different name.