What is cyber-stalking?
Cyber-stalking is using technology to stalk or repeatedly harass another person.
Cyberstalking can be:
- making unwanted contact by calling, emailing, texting, messaging, or sending offensive material
- sharing or threatening to share photos, videos, personal information, or anything that's humiliating or embarrassing to you
- posting humiliating, abusive or intimidating comments about you on social media
- accessing your email or social media accounts to find your personal information, read your emails and messages, or change your passwords
- impersonating your online identity in order to harm your reputation or relationships
- monitoring your movements using GPS, tracking apps or spyware.
A cyber-stalker, especially one you know, may want to exert their power over you or even to control your life. If you've experienced domestic violence, your partner or ex-partner may use cyber-stalking to abuse and control you.If you feel unsafe when you’re online, it may be that your partner or ex-partner is cyber-stalking you because they want to abuse and control you.Remember, any behavior that makes you feel unsafe isn’t okay, and it’s not your fault.
Should I be worried?
Cyber-stalking can become dangerous and can develop into physical abuse. Don't wait to report cyber-stalking. The longer cyber-stalking goes on, the more likely you'll be emotionally drained or physically hurt.
Stalking is a crime in all states and territories in Australia.If you think someone is cyberstalking you, contact your local police – they can help you.
Never let cyber-stalking continue for more than two weeks … report it to the police.
Common reactions to cyber-stalking
Being cyber-stalked is traumatic and extremely stressful, and reactions can vary.
It's normal to experience one or more of these reactions:
- feel confused, anxious and powerless
- feel angry, depressed and distrustful
- feel isolated from family and friends
- feel that you are watching your back all the time and are unable to have any peace
- find it harder to remember things or get organised
- become super-focused and notice and remembering everything
- be unable to ‘switch off’
- struggle to manage caring responsibilities.
Remember that the cyber-stalking isn't your fault.