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CYBERSTALKING

CYBER STALKING

 


THE BACKSTABBERS

Definition

Cyber-bullying has been defined as "when the Internet, cell phones or other devices are used to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person". Other researchers use similar language to describe the phenomenon.

Cyber-bullying can be as simple as continuing to send e-mail to someone who has said they want no further contact with the sender, but it may also include threats, sexual remarks, pejorative labels (i.e., hate speech), ganging up on victims by making them the subject of ridicule in forums, and posting false statements as fact aimed at humiliation.

Cyber-bullies may disclose victims' personal data (e.g. real name, address, or workplace/schools) at websites or forums or may pose as the identity of a victim for the purpose of publishing material in their name that defames or ridicules them. Some cyber-bullies may also send threatening and harassing emails and instant messages to the victims, while other post rumors or gossip and instigate others to dislike and gang up on the target.

Kids report being mean to each other online beginning as young as 2nd grade. According to research, boys initiate mean online activity earlier than girls do. However, by middle school, girls are more likely to engage in cyber-bullying than boys do.Whether the bully is male or female, their purpose is to intentionally embarrass others, harass, intimidate, or make threats online to one another. This bullying occurs via email, text messaging, posts to blogs, and Web sites.

Though the use of sexual remarks and threats are sometimes present in cyber-bullying, it is not the same as sexual harassment and does not necessarily involve sexual predators.

Cyber-bullying vs. cyber-stalking

The practice of cyber-bullying is not limited to children and, while the behavior is identified by the same definition in adults, the distinction in age groups is sometimes referred to as cyberstalking or cyberharassment when perpetrated by adults toward adults, sometimes directed on the basis of sex. Common tactics used by cyber-stalkers are to vandalize a search engine or encyclopedia, to threaten a victim's earnings, employment, reputation, or safety. In voice chat forums, cyber-stalkers may record what victims say and replay the recordings in a way that humiliates them. A repeated pattern of such actions against a target by an adult constitutes cyber-stalking.

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Overview

 Many states have enacted "cyberstalking" or "cyberharassment" laws or have laws that explicitly include electronic forms of communication within more traditional stalking or harassment laws. In addition, recent concerns about protecting minors from online bullying or harassment have led states to enact "cyberbullying" laws. This chart identifies only state laws that include specific references to electronic communication. However, other state laws may still apply to those who harass, threaten or bully others online, although specific language may make the laws easier to enforce.

Cyberstalking.  Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet, email or other electronic communications to stalk, and generally refers to a pattern of threatening or malicious behaviors. Cyberstalking may be considered the most dangerous of the three types of Internet harassment, based on a posing credible threat of harm. Sanctions range from misdemeanors to felonies.

Cyberharassment. Cyberharassment differs from cyberstalking in that it is generally defined as not involving a credible threat. Cyberharassment usually pertains to threatening or harassing email messages, instant messages, or to blog entries or websites dedicated solely to tormenting an individual. Some states approach cyberharrassment by including language addressing electronic communications in general harassment statutes, while others have created stand-alone cyberharassment statutes.

Cyberbullying. Cyberbullying and cyberharassment are sometimes used interchangeably,  cyberbullying is used for electronic harassment or bullying among minors within a school context. Recent cyberbullying legislation reflects a trend of making school districts the policy enforcers of such misconduct. As a result, statutes establish the infrastructure for schools to handle this issue by amending existing school anti-bullying policies to include cyberbullying or electronic harassment among school age children. The majority of these state laws establish sanctions for all forms of cyberbullying on school property, school busses and official school functions. However, some have also extended sanctions to include cyberbullying activities that originate off-campus, believing that activities off-campus can have a chilling and disruptive effect on children's learning environment. The sanctions for cyberbullying range from school/parent interventions to misdemeanors and felonies with detention, suspension, and expulsion in between. Some of these laws promote Internet safety education or curricula that covers cyberbullying.

See also:  Additional NCSL cyberbullying resources, state laws related to electronic solicitation or luring of childrenInternet filtering laws--schools and libraries, and NCSL LegisBrief: Protecting Children Online.

http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=13495


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyber-bullying




FACEBOOK STALKING


Prevention

Tips: Protecting Yourself Against Cyberstalking

Don't become easy prey for cyberstalkers!  Here are some simple ways to safeguard your personal information from predators.

  • Never share personal information in online profiles or public spaces.

  • Choose screennames that are gender and age neutral.

  • Use nonsense passwords that include a combination of numbers, symbols, and letters and never give it out.  Also, use different passwords for different accounts.

  • Make sure your ISP (Internet Service Provider) has an acceptable policy prohibiting cyberstalking.

  • Check websites that provide information about people to see what information is available about you such as 411.com or WhoWhere.com.  You could also try searching major search engines such as Google or Dogpile.

Where to Get Help:  Do You Feel Like a Victim?

If you identify yourself as a victim of cyberstalking, you may want to follow these steps.

  • Make clear to the person that you would like him/her to stop contacting you.

  • Save all communications with the harasser and any documentation of contacts with Internet system administrators and law enforcement officials for evidence.

  • Consider blocking or filtering messages.

  • If you are being harassed via email visit SpamCop, a free service that will analyze abusive emails and determine their point of origin.  They then generate a report that is sent to the appropriate system adminstrator.

  • File a complaint with the harasser's ISP or the administrator of the online community.

  • If the situation becomes serious and you feel that you are at risk for bodily harm, contact the local police enforcement and visit CyberSnitch to report internet abuse and have a report send to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

 



State Cyberstalking, Cyberharassment and Cyberbullying Laws

Overview | State Statutes


Last update: January 26, 2011

PLEASE NOTE:  The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) serves state legislators and their staff. This site provides comparative information only and should not be construed as legal advice. NCSL cannot provide assistance with individual cases.

Overview

 Many states have enacted "cyberstalking" or "cyberharassment" laws or have laws that explicitly include electronic forms of communication within more traditional stalking or harassment laws. In addition, recent concerns about protecting minors from online bullying or harassment have led states to enact "cyberbullying" laws. However, other state laws may still apply to those who harass, threaten or bully others online, although specific language may make the laws easier to enforce.

Cyberstalking.  Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet, email or other electronic communications to stalk, and generally refers to a pattern of threatening or malicious behaviors. Cyberstalking may be considered the most dangerous of the three types of Internet harassment, based on a posing credible threat of harm. Sanctions range from misdemeanors to felonies.

Cyberharassment. Cyberharassment differs from cyberstalking in that it is generally defined as not involving a credible threat. Cyberharassment usually pertains to threatening or harassing email messages, instant messages, or to blog entries or websites dedicated solely to tormenting an individual. Some states approach cyberharrassment by including language addressing electronic communications in general harassment statutes, while others have created stand-alone cyberharassment statutes.

Cyberbullying. Cyberbullying and cyberharassment are sometimes used interchangeably, cyberbullying is used for electronic harassment or bullying among minors within a school context. Recent cyberbullying legislation reflects a trend of making school districts the policy enforcers of such misconduct. As a result, statutes establish the infrastructure for schools to handle this issue by amending existing school anti-bullying policies to include cyberbullying or electronic harassment among school age children. The majority of these state laws establish sanctions for all forms of cyberbullying on school property, school busses and official school functions. However, some have also extended sanctions to include cyberbullying activities that originate off-campus, believing that activities off-campus can have a chilling and disruptive effect on children's learning environment. The sanctions for cyberbullying range from school/parent interventions to misdemeanors and felonies with detention, suspension, and expulsion in between. Some of these laws promote Internet safety education or curricula that covers cyberbullying.

See also:  Additional NCSL cyberbullying resources, state laws related to electronic solicitation or luring of childrenInternet filtering laws--schools and libraries, and NCSL LegisBrief: Protecting Children Online.http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=13495






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