Stalking is a pattern of behavior that makes you feel afraid, nervous, harassed, or in danger. It is when someone repeatedly contacts you, follows you, sends you things, talks to you when you don’t want them to, or threatens you. Stalking behaviors may include:
· Writing letters
· Damaging your property
· Knowing your schedule
· Showing up at places you go
· Sending mail, e-mail and pictures
· Creating a web site about you
· Sending gifts
· Stealing things that belong to you
· Calling you repeatedly
· Any other actions that the stalker takes to contact, harass, track or frighten you
You can be stalked by someone you know casually, a current boyfriend/girlfriend, someone you dated in the past, or a stranger. Getting notes and gifts at your home, in your locker, or other places might seem sweet and harmless to other people, but if you don’t want the gifts, phone calls, messages, letters, or e-mails, it doesn’t feel sweet or harmless. It can be scary and frustrating.
Sometimes people stalk their boyfriends/girlfriends while they’re dating. The check up on them, page, call or text them all the time and expect instant responses, follow them, and generally keep track of them even when they haven’t made plans to be together. These stalking behaviors can be part of an abusive relationship. If this is happening to you or someone you know, you should talk to someone.
Stalking is a crime and can be dangerous. The legal definition of stalking and possible punishment for it is different in every state. Contact a victim service provider or your local police to learn laws in your state and how you can protect yourself.
Learn tips on cache and history cleaning, erasing cookies, and protecting yourself from viruses, spyware, and key-stroke logging to prevent online stalking. For more information, visit: http://www.fbi.gov/publications/pguide/pguide.htm