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How to Protect Yourself from Cyberstalkers

Aug 18, 2007
A Cyberstalker is a person who electronically harasses another person via email, instant messaging, forums, chat or any other electronic means. Although the type of harassment varies, it often includes threatening messages, which can be very intimidating.

Being the victim of a cyberstalker can be a very scary thing. However, unfortunately, it is difficult to prove. There is an entire industry devoted to helping one person find out everything they want to know about another person. Background checks can be run with very little information. Running a background check will require more than an online screen name, but far less than a home address, telephone number or a social security number.

Please, do NOT provide an online dating partner with your real name, or the name of the city in which you live, until you have established a relationship over a period of months.

There is a great deal of information available about every individual and it is very easy to acquire that information online. With only a first and last name, and the city in which a person lives, a determined cyberstalker can find out the physical address and telephone number of the person they are stalking simply by looking in the local telephone directory. Local telephone directories are available online. Try typing your own name into Google and see just how much information is available about you. You may be very surprised.

Your address and telephone number are not the only pieces of personal information that a determined cyberstalker can find out about you simply by knowing only your real name and the city in which you live. There is more information about you than you can even imagine, and the sad thing is, it's part of the public record.

About the only personal information that is not part of the public record is your driving history, your medical history, and your social security number. Everything else about you is a matter of public record.

Actually, driver's license information used to be really easy to acquire. However, back in 1989, a crazed fan of an actress managed to get her home address from her driver's license information and went to her home and killed her. After that incident, changes were made and it became much more difficult to get driver's license information. However, it can still be done.

All legal issues about you are a matter of public record - and not just criminal history either. If you have ever bought or sold a piece of real estate, that transaction is a part of the public record. If you have ever filed a will for probate, that is also a matter of public record. If you have given birth or gotten married, it is recorded. Most public records can be found online.

The sword cuts both ways. If you want to run a background check on an online dating partner, all you need is his or her name and city of residence. Both pieces of information can be obtained if you know his or her ISP email address or use an instant messaging system other than the one provided by the online dating service to which you belong. But please remember that the sword is truly double edged. Anything that you can find out about him or her, he or she can find out about you.

To really protect yourself from becoming a victim of cyberstalking, or to prevent online dating partners from running a background check on you, remember these four important points:

1. Do NOT provide your real name.
2. Do NOT provide the name of the city in which you live or were born.
3. Do NOT provide your ISP email address.
4. ONLY use the chat service that comes with your membership in an online dating site.

Online dating sites provide a great service and can enable you to find the person you desire. However, you must use common sense and take the necessary steps to protect yourself.
About the Author
Would you like to spice up your life, add some romance, or find your soul mate? Visit RagingHearts.com for reviews of the best online dating services. You will also find a wealth of online dating tips, self help, & relationship advice. Visit http://www.RagingHearts.com to meet the person you desire.
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