Harassment can occur online. This is sometimes known as 'cyberstalking'. This can include the use of social networking sites, chat rooms and other forums facilitated by technology. The internet can be used in many ways relating to harassment, for example:
- to locate personal information
- to communicate with the person targeted by cyberstalking.
- as a means of surveillance.
- identity theft such as subscribing someone to services, purchasing goods and services in their name.
- damaging someone’s reputation.
- electronic sabotage such as spamming and sending viruses.
- tricking other internet users into harassing or threatening a person.
Cyberstalking can be an extension of 'offline' stalking. The majority of cases involve elements of both online contact, for example emails or messages posted on social networking sites, and offline contact, for example sending gifts or following. Cyberstalking should be treated as seriously as stalking.
Here are some leaflets about cyber safety advice, produced by Veritas Justice, who are a Stalking Advocacy Service: