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Cyberstalking on the Rise in Florida

Cyberstalking is defined as a pattern of repeated messages delivered by electronic means and designed to instill fear in the victim. Platforms for cyberstalking include Facebook, email, phone, fax, text message, Instagram and any other means available. Cyberstalkers use the anonymity of the Internet and cellphone to post threatening photos, videos and other messages to make a person fear for their life, safety or that of their loved ones. While some stalkers are unknown to the victim, most are well acquainted. Former partners and spouses are most often the perpetrators of stalking and cyberstalking crimes.

Who might be a cyberstalker?

According to statistics by the U.S. Department of Justice, 87 percent of stalkers are male, and only 23 percent are unknown to the victim. The vast majority of women who report being stalked eventually identify the stalker as a current or former partner or date. The risk of stalking is compounded when there is domestic violence in the relationship.

Our many sophisticated electronic communication tools provide cyberstalkers with an insidious type of anonymity. Cyberstalking can be executed from a distance and without any physical risk. Messages can be delivered remotely and on a predetermined schedule. The cyberstalker does not even need to be near a computer or phone at the time of transmission. These conditions combine to create a crime that can be committed easily, repeatedly and with little chance of their identity being discovered.

How to stop a cyberstalker

Cyberstalking is a crime, and you can take measures to stop it. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself and your family:

  • Change all of your passwords — if your ex is your stalker, it is likely they know or can guess your passwords
  • Never post personal information on the Internet, including your location or details of your daily routine
  • Don’t admit you are afraid — don’t feed your stalker by discussing it online or disclosing your fears in public or via Internet venues
  • Report stalking to the police

If your ex is stalking you by any method, hire an attorney to assist you. You might need to seek an order of protection. We care about your safety and well-being and your right to live free of fear or threat.

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