What is cyberstalking?

Cyberstalking is using technology to stalk or repeatedly harass another person.

Cyberstalking can be:

  • making unwanted contact by calling, emailing, texting, messaging, or sending offensive material
  • sharing or threatening to share photos, videos, personal information, or anything that's humiliating or embarrassing to you
  • posting humiliating, abusive or intimidating comments about you on social media
  • accessing your email or social media accounts to find your personal information, read your emails and messages, or change your passwords
  • impersonating your online identity in order to harm your reputation or relationships
  • monitoring your movements using GPS, tracking apps or spyware.

Woman on mobile phoneA cyberstalker, especially one you know, may want to exert their power over you or even to control your life. If you've experienced domestic violence, your partner or ex-partner may use cyberstalking to abuse and control you.If you feel unsafe when you’re online, it may be that your partner or ex-partner is cyberstalking you because they want to abuse and control you.Remember, any behaviour that makes you feel unsafe isn’t okay, and it’s not your fault.

Should I be worried?

Yes.

Cyberstalking can become dangerous and can develop into physical abuse. Don't wait to report cyberstalking. The longer cyberstalking goes on, the more likely you'll be emotionally drained or physically hurt.

Stalking is a crime in all states and territories in Australia.If you think someone is cyberstalking you, contact your local police – they can help you.

Never let cyberstalking continue for more than two weeks … report it to the police.

A safety plan can also help you: call 1800Respect (1800 737 732) and they will help you make one. It’s wise to have a safety plan so you’re prepared. Our eSafety tips will help you keep safe from cyberstalking.If you’re in immediate danger, call Triple Zero (000) now.

Common reactions to cyberstalking

Being cyberstalked is traumatic and extremely stressful, and reactions can vary.

It's normal to experience one or more of these reactions:
  • feel confused, anxious and powerless
  • feel angry, depressed and distrustful
  • feel isolated from family and friends
  • feel that you are watching your back all the time and are unable to have any peace
  • find it harder to remember things or get organised
  • become super-focused and notice and remembering everything
  • be unable to ‘switch off’
  • struggle to manage caring responsibilities.

Remember that the cyberstalking isn't your fault.

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