For people born over the last three decades, Facebook has become a pretty common part of everyday life. It can be easy to forget just how much information there is about you on the platform and what kind of consequences that may lead to. Although the term “Facebook stalking” has become a catch-all term for too much scrolling on a person’s account, it’s important to be aware that stalking is no joke and your cyber security is key. With this in mind, below are seven key signs that may off guidance on how to know if someone is stalking you on Facebook in the more serious sense.
Protection Against Stalking describes stalking as “[a] pattern of fixated and obsessivebehaviour which is repeated, persistent, intrusive and causes fear of violence or engenders alarm and distress in the victim.” Research conducted at Harvard found that women are more likely to be victims of cyberstalking. They’re twice as likely as men to be victims of stalking by strangers and eight times as likely to be victims of stalking by “intimates” – in other words, people they are close to.
The Cyber Helpline is a leading charity that advocates for victims of harassment. They explain, “Cyberstalking is exactly the same [as the definition above], but includes the use of online tools and technologies to either enable the stalking or complete the stalking end to end.” This can mean gathering statuses, pictures, and information about you.
Rory Innes from the Cyber Helpline UK explains that “the best thing you can do if you think you’re being cyberstalked is contact an expert of a charity.”
He adds: “Stalking is extremely serious. Make sure you’re safe and then you really want to gather as much evidence as you can. Screenshot messages and make sure that information is in a safe place.”
Below are five red flags to be aware of when it comes to Facebook stalking.