Cyberstalking On The Rise: Social Networking & Email Suffer

Although for many people, the use of social networking is harmless fun and a way of communicating between each other, uploading of photos and joining events and groups of interest, there are a percentage of people that are using the sites as well as email to harass individuals.

With the rise in people using networking sites, email and mobile phones, cyberstalking as its now been called is more common than physical harassment, this comes from recent research at Bedford University.

When the statistics were looked at in greater detail, the research as metro reported, concluded that in fact 23% of women and 37% of men were being targeted from stalkers on the internet, and the people were in fact strangers, I have to say I was surprised by the figures, automatically I thought that women would be a higher number.

In terms of people that were known to the victim, 4% of people stated that the stalking was carried out by an ex partner be it lover or otherwise, a fifth found the crime was committed through social networking sites with 4% being followed whilst using a dating service over the internet.

As metro reported, Dr Short who played a vital role during the study commented by saying, “There have been threats to kill. They give the impression that they know where their victims live and can get at them physically. There is a lot of damage to or loss of reputation, people being compromised by false allegations.”

Interestingly enough, this is something here at OSM, that we spoke about last year. Debbie talked about how location-based Foursquare was being targeted for such a purpose, and how cyberstalking was on the increase, click here to find out more.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you been on the receiving end of unwanted attention? What privacy settings and so on do you take to safeguard yourself?