Friday, 24 August 2012

The Definition of Cyberstalking

The Definition of Cyberstalking

Note: The spelling "cyberstalking", "cyber-stalking" and "cyber stalking" are all interchangeable.

The use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, a group of individuals, or an organization. It may include false accusations, monitoring, making threats, identity theft, damage to data or equipment, the solicitation of minors for sex, or gathering information in order to harass.
A number of key factors have been identified: 
  • False accusations. Many cyberstalkers try to damage the reputation of their victim and turn other people against them. They post false information about them on websites. They may set up their own websites, blogs or user pages for this purpose. They post allegations about the victim to newsgroups, chat rooms or other sites that allow public contributions, such as Wikipedia or[7] 
  • Attempts to gather information about the victim. Cyberstalkers may approach their victim's friends, family and work colleagues to obtain personal information. They may advertise for information on the Internet, or hire a private detective. 
  • Monitoring their target's online activities and attempting to trace their IP address in an effort to gather more information about their victims. [8] 
  • Encouraging others to harass the victim. Many cyberstalkers try to involve third parties in the harassment. They may claim the victim has harmed the stalker or his/her family in some way, or may post the victim's name and telephone number in order to encourage others to join the pursuit. 
  • False victimization. The cyberstalker will claim that the victim is harassing him/her. Bocij writes that this phenomenon has been noted in a number of well-known cases. 
  • Attacks on data and equipment. They may try to damage the victim's computer by sending viruses. 
  • Ordering goods and services. They order items or subscribe to magazines in the victim's name. These often involve subscriptions to pornography or ordering sex toys then having them delivered to the victim's workplace. 
  • Arranging to meet. Young people face a particularly high risk of having cyberstalkers try to set up meetings between them.

Mental profiling of digital criminals has identified factors that motivate stalkers as: 
  • Envy; 
  • Pathological obsession (professional or sexual); 
  • Unemployment or failure with own job or life; 
  • Intention to intimidate and cause others to feel inferior; 
  • The stalker is delusional and believes he/she "knows" the target; 
  • The stalker wants to instill fear in a person to justify his/her status; belief they can get away with it (anonymity); 
  • Intimidation for financial advantage or business competition; revenge over perceived or imagined rejection.[10][11]

A group of behaviours in which an individual, group of individuals or organisation, uses information and communications technology to harass another individual, group of individuals or organisation.Such behaviours may include, but are not limited to, the transmission of threats and false accusations, damage to data or equipment, identity theft, data theft, computer monitoring, the solicitation of minors for sexual purposes and any form of aggression. 
Harassment is defined as a course of action that a reasonable person, in possession of the same information, would think causes another reasonable person to suffer emotional distress

For further information, please also see:

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