Responding to cyberharassment and cyberstalking
If you find yourself in a cyberharassment or cyberstalking situation, here are some specific steps to take:
- Don't respond. Don't ask harassers 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 harassers. Research your privacy options, and, if possible, block any harassers from contacting you or seeing your personal information. If the website you're using doesn't offer a blocking option, consider creating a new screen name or online identity and closing the one the offenders know.
- Keep records. Save all correspondence from a 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, also save this correspondence.
When to contact law enforcement
If you suspect that a harasser could find out your location—and you think, feel, or know 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 report an incident, you can also refer the police to WiredSafety.org, an organization that helps law enforcement with online crimes.