7 Signs You're Being Facebook Stalked, Because OMG There Are So Many Clues SDI Productions/E+/Getty Images
For most people, social media is just part of life. I’ve had my Facebook account since I was 11 and, believe me, it shows. This can often mean that our followers or friends lists are full of people we don’t really know anymore. Even so, you probably still have a few people who you check in on every so often. But there’s a difference between having the odd cheeky nose and obsessive monitoring, which is not OK. With that in mind, there are a few warning
signs that you're being Facebook stalked to keep an eye out for.
Per a government report, stalking is described as “the course of conduct by which
one person repeatedly inflicts on another unwanted intrusions to such an extent that the recipient fears for his or her safety.” There’s a big difference between looking at what the boy you fancied at summer camp is doing now and the continual and obsessive monitoring of someone. And as such, cyberstalking is now widely regarded as a serious offence. But what about Facebook speific stalking? According to Statista. Facebook had nearly 2.5 billion monthly users at the end of 2019 so if someone wanted to keep tabs on you it could well be a popular choice. But how can you tell if there is someone out there who is constantly checking on your profile? Here are some red flags that could give the game away. Marc Piasecki/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Getting a friend request from somebody you don't know isn’t all that uncommon. It might be a guy you've seen on your commute or at your coffee shop, or a friend of a friend of a friend? It sounds obvious, but it's probably best to avoid accepting people you don't know. 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. So, even if someone adds you and they’re a very loose acquaintance, think twice about accepting.
When you check out your own profile, the selection of friends that Facebook displays as a preview to your entire friends list is not random but actually
part of an algorithm that may give you insight into who has recently visited your profile, according to a report by Vice. As this algorithm also brings up friends who you've contacted recently, spotting a name among pals who you haven't talked to could be a sign they’re Facebook stalking you, with the app placing them there as encouragement for you to reach out.
They're Keeping Tabs On Your Old Photos
Look, it's happened to the best of us. You're two years deep in your ex's new girlfriend's profile and then accidentally tag yourself in her Tenerife With The Gals photo album. It can happen easily and when it does it’s embarrassing. However, by definition stalking is repetitive and obsessive behaviour. So, if someone is liking your pictures a lot it’s a constant reminder of their presence and can be quite threatening. The CPS website says that someone constantly liking your old posts to the point where it leaves you feeling like you
constantly have to be careful is an infringement on your freedom.
If you’ve got a major feeling that someone is dwelling on your Facebook page then there are apps that claim they can help you see. The sheer number of
questionable looking third party sites that require you to put your details in is shocking. On their help website Facebook says that it doesn’t track who views your page and any third party apps that claim to be able to do that should be reported.
However, 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 the suspect’s name comes up it may confirm a few things for you.
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If you have a friend request you didn't accept or maybe even someone you blocked, there's a reason you did it. Don’t second guess yourself just because someone is being persistent. The average person can take a hint and know when they're not wanted. However when someone reappears with a new profile with the intention of connecting despite previously being rejected, it's a definite warning sign that they're paying too much attention to your Facebook. While Facebook says that it’s against the
Facebook Community Standards to maintain more than one personal account it doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.
Dr Alexandra Katehakis explained on
Psychology Today that while the temptation to be super popular on social media may be there, one of the best ways to protect yourself from cyberstalking is “ only accept friend requests from people who you’ve met in person.”
If somebody wants to take Facebook stalking to the next level and actually log into your account, the scary thing is that it's very possible. If the person that’s Facebook stalking you actually knows you, your passwords are going to be even more predictable.
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 accounts that 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. EmirMemedovski/E+/Getty Images
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.
Trying to find out who's been stalking your Facebook isn't an exact science, but there are some red flags to look out for, and the results may even make you think twice about the information you share online. The good thing is that there are things you can do about it, like being careful about friend requests you accept and keeping your profile private.
This article was originally published on
May 31, 2018