How to avoid being stalked on-(and off-) line

You're finally connected to the world via the Internet. And the possibilities and excitement of new adventures are boundless. We sometimes forget that just as in the real world we are involved in on a daily basis, there are those who's morals and values aren't the same as ours. The "bad guy" exists on the Internet also. Their antics can range from being obnoxious in a chat channel or on an instant messenger to ugly e-mail to stalking you online i.e. following you from channel to channel, server to server or chat program to chat program. The possibility exists for them also to stalk you in real life if the information can be gained for them to find you.

As a general rule the stalking victim is usually female or children. Women are usually stalked by men and children stalked by adult predators who can be male or female. Once you learn the correct rules for chatting safely online you are relatively safe. This usually occurs with newbies online who are not experienced with the rules of netiquette. So it's imperative that you learn safety online before you begin to delve into the mysteries of the Internet!

A typical stalker gets thrills and feelings of power by the anonymity of being online. They can hide behind any number of online identities and descriptions. There is a funny little cartoon that made the rounds of a couple chatting via the Internet. They both were neither attractive or young but were telling each other differently and above each speaker was a picture of how they were seeing each other from the description.

Stick as closely to the truth as you can without giving your identity away. It isn't fun to eventually find out that the 25 year old man who is 6ft tall, dark hair and blue eyed, a fitness nut and a successful stock broker is really 55 years old, over weight and does odd jobs because he's too addicted to the computer to go out and find a real job. Not that
there's anything wrong with being 55, overweight and doing odd jobs...but don't portray yourself to be something totally different from what you really are.

If you are stalked online...ignore ignore ignore! Most chat programs have this feature built in...use it! Don't respond at all. Unless the stalker is a really sick person he/she usually loses interest at the lack of response and moves on.

Don't give your personal information out to anyone. No real names, no phone numbers and no real addresses.

Harassment and stalking online can often be defined by the behaviour of the perpetrator. If you have off words with a chatter one time this is just an isolated incident. Repeated attacks alert you to the fact that you have a problem. Sometimes you are forced into changing your nick, going to other chat areas and even changing the email address you use to get rid of this type of pest. If a stalker has become obsessed with you and believe that they love you the behavior can become more bizarre. In this case you need to warn the stalker clearly that their behaviour is not to be tolerated and that if it persists you will take measures to see that it is stopped. At this point you will probably require the assistance of someone with security exerience. This too is covered on our site.

If the online stalking has moved to the point where you feel there is a possibility of it spilling over into your real life email us at If you feel personal harm is imminent call your local 911 service.