Internet Harassment and Stalking Online – Best Practices
There is a common misconception that online bullying is only an issue with young kids and teens. However, there are hundreds of cases being reported to law enforcement officers each week by adults that have been on the wrong side of these attacks. In fact, there are many “adult” harassment campaigns launched for the purpose of alarming, scaring, or harming the reputations of others. Similar harm can be caused through online stalking as well.
It is important to note that there is a difference between “cyber” stalking and harassment (although the lines are often blurred). For example, according to Florida’s criminal statutes – similar to those in many other states – both cyberstalking and cyberharassment involve engaging in conduct directed at a specific person that causes “substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purposes.”
While cyberstalking and cyberharassment are distinguishable, this whitepaper provides an overview of steps that should be taken when faced with both types of “cyber” attack.