Tips for Stalking Victims
The worst-case scenario when we talk about privacy risks is the possibility that the exposed information online could give someone the tools to harass, stalk, or physically harm. Of course, if you suspect someone might be targeting you, the police are the best people to reach out to—they are the most likely to keep you safe.
Secure your Information
Stalkers often harass and intimidate their victims over the phone, through the mail, in person and through indirect means such as accessing victims’ bank accounts. There are some things that you can do to make this much harder for stalkers.
- Change your passwords and pins to your computer, email, online banking accounts, debit cards, home security systems and other important accounts and locations.
- Get a post office box and use it on all correspondence you send. Put this address on your checks. If you’re being sent something from Federal Express or another company that won’t mail to P.O. Boxes, change “P.O. Box” to “Apartment” when giving your address.
- If you’re eligible, join your state’s Address Confidentiality Program. Address Confidentiality Program’s provide a free confidential address that can be used in place of your home address. This link (http://www.sos.state.mn.us/index.aspx?page=894) will take you to a list of programs by state, including contact information for each state’s program.
- Monitor and remove your contact information from people search and data broker sites. You can find how-to guides for most sites in this handbook.
- Tell your loves ones to be careful when talking to or about you on the phone or the Internet. Land lines can be bugged and wireless phones and cell phones can have their transmissions intercepted. Ask them not to talk about specific locations where you live, work, or plan to visit. The same holds true for social networks, so ask them not to post anything that can lead to your location.
Block harassing phone calls
Telephones have been used to harass and stalk people for long enough that there are some very good tools available to stop or at least frustrate this kind of trouble
- For help reporting telephone harassment and to get help documenting harassing phone calls call the Unlawful Call Center at 1800 518 550
- You can block calls from particular numbers by placing a request with your local telephone service provider.