Reports of serious cyberstalking incidents have risen significantly in the past few years. The Internet has built a culture of anonymity which allows some individuals to harass others online without repercussions. The ability to hide your true identity has made it challenging for victims to protect themselves against dangerous cyberstalkers. Social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram have even made it easier for harassers to track down specific users. This continuous issue has led many Internet users to wonder, “can a VPN prevent cyberstalking?”
What is Cyberstalking?
Traditionally, cases of cyberstalking include continued harassment over an electronic platform. This can include text messages, emails, social media posts, private messages, and more. In most instances of cyberstalking, the aggressor acts in an attempt to threaten, manipulate, slander, and/or monitor their victim.
Cyberstalking can be dangerous and even potentially life-threatening in certain circumstances. Depending on the intentions of the stalker, someone could be tracking another user to simply harass them. Many incidents of cyberstalking also involve one-sided romantic interests or disgruntled ex-partners. Other commonly reported situations include cyberstalking someone as blackmail, obtaining their information, doxing them, or stealing their identity.
Identifying Cyberstalking Patterns
The Pew Research Center reports that an average of 4 out of 10 Americans experiences some form of online harassment. When a cyberstalker harasses their victims, they can do so in a number of different ways. Being able to identify cyberstalking patterns can make it easier to protect yourself online. Some of the most common examples of cyberstalking behavior include:
- Comments and likes on every social media post
- Frequent messages, e.g. emails, texts, private messages, etc.
- Fake accounts created specifically to follow someone
- Ongoing threatening comments or messages
- Attempts to hack into personal profiles and accounts
- Solicitations of explicit photos or videos
- Sending explicit photos or videos without consent
- Creating posts intended to slander or smear their target
- Hacking into their victim’s personal devices
- Publically sharing their victim’s confidential information
- Tracking the location, workplace, or home of their target
- Using private messages, videos, or photos to blackmail their victim
Cyberstalking occurs in different ways based on the perpetrator’s intentions. Ultimately, it causes serious harm to victims. Keeping yourself safe from cyberstalking is challenging, but there are a few ways to reduce the likelihood of online stalking.
How to Prevent Cyberstalking
One of the best ways to keep yourself safe from online stalking is to ensure that your private information is secure. Reducing the information that you share on the Internet makes it more difficult for cyberstalkers to get access to you. It’s important to avoid sharing information like your place of work, school, or your full name online. Simple measures such as creating stronger passwords and protecting your personal devices can also give you more protection.
Making your location information private is an important step in keeping yourself safe from cyberstalkers. One of the best ways to do that is by masking your IP address. When your IP address is easily available, your cyberstalker can easily find out your general location. Using a VPN can help you keep your IP address hidden and increase your privacy.
Can a VPN Prevent Cyberstalking?
A VPN is a Virtual Private Network. It secures your IP address by masking it and routing it through an encrypted server in another location. With a VPN, your device becomes more secure against prying eyes. Not only can a VPN protect you against cybercriminals and invasive ISP’s, but it can also help keep you secure from cyberstalkers.
Cyberstalkers are usually adept at using the Internet to get the information they want from their victims. With a VPN, however, a cyberstalker won’t be able to find out your true location when it’s sent through a secure server in another part of the world. The easiest way to increase your online privacy against cyberstalking is to install a VPN on all of your devices.
Protect Yourself Online with a Reliable VPN
Using a VPN is a great way to protect yourself from cyberstalking. PrivadoVPN offers you a reliable way to keep your IP address and personal information secure. With premium access to PrivadoVPN, users get access to global servers in 44 countries and 57 cities, unlimited monthly data, and up to 10 simultaneous connections. PrivadoVPN is available for all of your favorite devices, including iOS, Android, Mac, PC, Fire TV, and Android TV.
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