Tips for Preventing Cyber Harassment
In recent years, largely in part to the rise of social media, cyber harassment has become more prevalent. There are numerous forms of this type of harassment, which could include cyber bullying and cyber stalking. While news outlets tend to report on incidents related to tweens and teens engaging in these behaviours, what they tend to not mention is cyber harassment can happen to anyone, regardless of their age or gender.
- Secure your social media accounts and control access to your online content. Unfortunately, many people do not take the time to review the security and access settings on their social media accounts. In many cases, the default settings allow others to openly view your content and even reply to posts, sometimes anonymously.
- If you would not share something about your life with others in real life, do not post it online. It is amazing to see the number of people, who use social media as their personal journals where they share every aspect of their personal lives online. If there is something you want to share with others online, rather than posting it, send them a private message or email instead.
- Avoid providing too much personal information in your social media profiles. You do not have to list your birthday, where you work or where you live in your profiles. Posting this information makes it easy for someone to learn more about you.
- For parents, monitor your children’s social medial accounts. It is not uncommon for parents to have no idea how many social media accounts their tweens and teens have at any given time. When there are issues with cyber bullying and harassment, parents are often the last ones to find out.
- Recognize the signs of harassment. If you notice strange posts in your social media feeds or other signs that seem harassing, hurtful, or hateful, recognize them for what they are and never respond to them. Most cyber bullies take pleasure in the pain and suffering they cause their victims.
What If I Am Already Being Harassed Online?
There are several things you can do to address current cyber harassment. The first thing is to never take matters into your own hands, as this could hurt the potential for legal action against the offender. Never agree to meet with the harasser in person, as this could indicate an escalation in their behaviour and puts you at risk.
In order to gather the evidence you need to file a complaint with local law enforcement agencies, it is highly recommended to consult with a Toronto private investigation agency, like Investigation Hotline. Our private investigators have the experience, tools, and technology to gather the necessary evidence legally to protect your interests and ensure the information can be used against the offender for legal actions, including court proceedings.
Once sufficient evidence has been gathered, we will work with you and local law enforcement to help you file for a restraining order. In addition, the information and evidence we gather could be provided to the Crown so they can initiate criminal harassment charges against the offender.
If you are being harassed or bullied online, contact Investigation Hotline today by calling 416-205-9114 to arrange a complimentary consultation appointment and discover how we can help you.