One of the biggest problems for
people on the Internet is online stalkers. These are people that for one
reason or another just simply refuse to take a hint and go away. They
continue to email and send you instant messages to you even after you
ask them to stop.
To understand how to stop an online stalker you first have to understand
what motivates a stalker. Stalking is a matter one on person trying to
control another. Controlling you brings them pleasure. If they can force
you to react this gives them even greater pleasure. If you scream, rant
and rave they win. If you panic. They win. If you make empty threats to
them, they win. If you argue with a stalker, they win. If you run around
telling all your friends and the stalker hears about it, the stalker wins.
STOP ONLINE STALKERS
are essentially three ways to stop a stalker.
1. Never become involved with them in the first place
2. Ignore them (Refuse to react) and they may get bored and go away
3. Prevent them from being able to stalk you
advice, never become involved with a stalker sounds easy, but how do you
know who is a stalker and who isn't. First of all stalkers can appear
anywhere, at anytime in our lives. But some common sense things can help
reduce meeting online stalkers.
First, before going into a chat room,
consider the type of people that are going to be hanging out there. Next,
avoid allowing them to read your name on other peoples mailing lists by
asking other people to use (BCC) blind carbon copy (See below) when sending
you email. Stalkers and spammers love to get names off of peoples mailing
lists. Also when you send mail you should always use BCC otherwise the
stalkers now have the email addresses of all your friends.
Finally, learn to recognize a stalker. Forget all your preconceptions
on what stalkers are like. Most of them actually start out as what appear
to be very nice people. They are very friendly, offer to listen a lot,
and are always there when you need them. Sounds great? It's an act. Because
after a while this changes. If you are busy that may start pouting. Or
acting hurt. They often show signs of jealousy (Loss of control over you).
They demand more and more of your time, and they expect you to be there
waiting for them. They throw tantrums when they don't get their way. Most
of us recognize something is wrong, but they are able to manipulate us
into feeling that the stalkers unhappiness is our fault. So one of the
biggest signs someone is a stalker is when they start trying to make you
feel guilty for letting them down. Everything is always your fault and
not the stalkers. Eventually, as their control over you gets stronger,
they become more confident and begin to test you harder and harder (Stalkers
are control freaks). Eventually they push you to where you are forced
to rebel (then the stalker gets angry) and they begin a pattern alternating
between how everything is your fault (threats) and why are you hurting
The very minute you feel someone is a stalker... Cut all communication
with them. Period!
EMAIL FROM STALKERS
get a major thrill from making you angry and then convincing you that
it was your fault (control). It is a cycle that repeats over and over
again. Each time the threats and guilt trips get worse (A bigger thrill
for the stalker).
So the simplest way to stop a stalker (in the early stages) is DON'T REACT.
Make them get bored.
For instance, some victims of online stalkers change their screen names.
This makes the stalker angry, but they get a thrill out of trying to find
your new screen name (Playing detective). To them it is like a game. If
they force you to change screen names that means they are in control.
If you send them nasty emails or threats, you are reacting and they are
If they know that you are deleting the emails, they may try a second screen
name. So what you need to do is open the emails they send (don't download
the file), but don't send a response (don't even read it). But when they
check, they will see you opened it, and so they won't bother trying to
change names.. They may try to get outlandish for a few days, but eventually
if they cannot force a reaction they will get bored.
Online the stalker may try to
send you Instant Messages. If you delete the IM each time it appears the
stalker knows you are receiving it. This encourages them to send another.
You delete that, they send another. And so on.
If you block them on IM's then they change screen names. And IM you again.
Instead I suggest boring them... When they IM you, type hello, and then
using your mouse click on the top of the IM frame, hold down the left
mouse button and drag the IM box off the edge of your screen. Now the
stalker is sending you IM's but you can't read them. The stalker thinks
they are doing their very hardest to control you, but you can't see it.
After a while they get BORED. Do this each time a stalker sends you an
IM and hopefully after a while they will get bored.
While my first choice is to move the IM's
off the screen and ignore them, sometimes you may want to turn you IM's
off to simply ignore the whole world, or maybe just one individual. On
AOL simply open your buddy list. Click Preferences, and then type in the
name of the person you want to block.
If someone is harassing you through Instant Messages, simply click the
Notify AOL button on the Instant Message. Generally, you can ask a person
one time to stop sending you instant messages. Hopefully they stop. If
not do not waste time threatening them. Threatening a stalker encourages
them to play the game. Don't threaten just turn them in. If they do this
enough times they will be removed from AOL and wont be able to harass
you using AOL any more.
Forward threatening or harassing emails to TOSEMAIL1.
TO YOUR MAIN SCREEN NAME <--will not work from other names
<--Click on Mail
at the top of your screen
3. Mail Center
<--Click on Mail Center
4. Mail Controls
<--Click on Mail Controls
(Bottom Left of Screen)
5. Mail Controls
<--Click on Mail Controls (Now at the bottom middle)
6. Select Screen Name
<--You have to set mail controls one name at a time
Note - You can block email from adult lists like BaddTeddy on your
children's names, while allowing it on your screen name
Email from Addresses Listed <---Click
8. Type in the screen names you wish to block at the right
9. ADD <--Click
<--Click OK (That's it, everyone you listed is blocked from emailing
NOTE - IF YOU BLOCK EMAIL
ATTACHMENTS THIS WILL REMOVE YOU FROM ANY JOKE LISTS THAT SEND WAVES,
TEXT FILES, AVI'S OR EXE'S..
BCC: Blind Carbon Copy - This
is a wonderful tool for protecting your privacy, and the privacy of the
members of your mailing lists. I recommend sending "ALL" email.
You can send an email to hundreds of people all at once and the only thing
the receiver will see is your name as the sender and their name as the
receiver. This cuts all those extra names out of the middle, meaning quicker
uploads, less screen space wasted, less print time and paper.. and more..
But most importantly, it offers you safety from email terrorists.. They
cannot harass your friends on your mailing list without knowing their
names. This method insures your privacy...
BCC: (Ann), (Ben), (Charlie), (Debi), (Eddie), (Fred)
or an easier way
BCC: (Ann, Ben, Charlie, Debi, Eddie, Fred)
Either method works fine
Note that in the above examples that none of the receivers would see the
others names and would have no idea who else received the letter. They
would see their name and yours. However, if you look at the mail you sent,
YOU WILL SEE ALL OF THE NAMES. The only way to test this is to email to
a different screen name or have someone verify for you that it works.
Or you can simply trust your old pal teddy...
GIVE PERSONAL INFO
of the best ways to avoid getting stalked offline in the real world is
to be careful how much personal information you give away over the computer.
You would be amazed how much information that a person gives away in the
course of a conversation.
For instance, saying you are in a certain city in your profile narrows
you down to a fairly small area. Then maybe you mention you are a student.
Maybe there are only five schools locally. Next you say something about
going to the football game at school. The person you talked to online
can look in the paper to see what schools are playing that night. Boom,
they know what school you go to. And as this continues it would be a simple
matter for them to show up at your school. The same applies for saying
what kind of work you do, etc... DON'T GIVE OUT PERSONAL INFORMATION ON
Now for the scary part. You are talking to a seemingly nice person on
the computer and you give them your phone number. While they are talking
to you, they are running your phone number through a program that gives
them your address (these are all over the net). It even draws them a map
from their house to yours that they can print out. The minute you give
out your phone number you have also given a stranger a map to your home
and your family. DON'T DO IT!
THREATEN A STALKER
Stalkers seem to
get a big thrill out of being threatened. Generally, what they try to
do is convince you they are going to change. They get you to drop whatever
actions you have threatened, and then a few days after you drop the actions
they do them again. So online or offline never waste your breath making
a threat. If you are going to take action against a stalker, FOLLOW THRU.
If offline you have to press charges, no matter what DO NOT DROP THE CHARGES.
Stalkers that get threatened with legal action that gets dropped become
convinced you will never go through with pressing charges. If this happens
they can become violent, believing that nothing will happen to them. So
never threaten. Just do it.
YOU ARE ABUSED
you have been abused or are the victim of a stalker, we suggest that you
visit the following websites to get help Knights of Kindness -
TO PUT AN ONLINE STALKER IN JAIL
to everybody... BaddTeddy