These are the red flags to be aware of when it comes to Facebook stalking.
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 obsessive behaviour 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.
Facebook stories will give you an insight into who is looking on your profile. Just like Snapchat and Instagram stories, you can see who’s looked at your Facebook story. So, if someone’s name comes up time and time again, and you already have your suspicions, it may confirm a few things for you.
Hacking Into Your Account
A definite breach of privacy and sign of seriously Facebook stalking is if somebody logs into your account. If this happens, you should take action.
If somebody has tried to login to your account, you will receive an email to let you know. And though it’s not a pleasant thing to have happen, there are things you can do about it. According to Facebook’s Help Centre, users can manage all their logins in one place. To check where and when your account has been logged into you need to go to your security and login settings. If somewhere looks unfamiliar to you or you want to keep your Facebook on one device you simply click the three vertical dots that will bring up a menu and then press log off.
Robyn Roberts, general manager of a private security firm that works with The Salvation Army told ABC that if you’re trying to secure your Facebook account because you think someone you know is trying to get into it, “set up an alternative email account. Change your passwords on devices and for accountst hat you regularly use, like social media, PayPal, MyGov and Google. Your password should consist of more than eight characters and include random characters, numbers and letters.” She also suggests changing your privacy settings on social media and considering how much people can see without being friends with you.
Rory Innes from the Cyber Helpline UK tells me that if you’ve become sure that a cyberstalker has gained access to your accounts then reach out to the police and organisations like Victim Support. They can best advise you on how to act. Also ensure your friends and family know you’ve lost access to your account in case they’re contacted.
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