How to Avoid Becoming an Online Predator Victim

Here are some tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of an online predator.

  • Don’t post revealing personal information. Don’t list your phone number or real email address in an online profile. “Checking in” or allowing Facebook to track the location of your posts broadcasts your whereabouts to the world, daring a stalker to track you. Posting your home address or identifiable pictures of your house is also risky business.
  • Remember to change your passwords on a regular basis.
  • Use anti-virus software and scan your computer frequently. Some cyberstalkers use Trojan viruses to hack into your computer and track what you’re doing. These viruses can be sent via email.
  • Don’t assume you’re safe because you’re a man. Forty percent of respondents to a Bedford University survey who reported having been cyberstalked were men.
  • If you are victimized, cut off contact with the stalker, keep documentation of your interactions, and inform law enforcement. You may be tempted to delete disturbing messages, but they can become important evidence when you make a report.

--Liz Soltan