Responding to cyber-harassment and cyber-stalking
If you do find yourself in a cyber-harassment or cyber-stalking situation, here are some specific steps to take:
- Don't respond. Don't ask the harasser to stop or tell them how you feel. Over time, if you give them nothing to respond to, they are much less likely to continue harassing you.
- Block the harasser. Research your privacy options, and, if possible, block the harasser from contacting you or seeing your personal information. If the website does not offer the option of blocking, consider creating a new screen name or online identity and closing the one the offender knows.
- Keep records. Save all correspondence from the harasser on your computer, without altering it in any way. You may need it in the future to prove your case and get the help you need. If you have reported the case to law enforcement or to the website, save correspondence from them, too.
When to contact law enforcement
If you suspect a harasser could find out your location, and you think, feel, or know that the harasser is a threat to you or your family's safety, contact the police immediately. In other cases, use your best judgement; isolated incidents may not need to be reported to the police.
If you do report an incident, you can also refer the police to WiredSafety.org, an organization that helps law enforcement with online crimes.