Types of digital stalking
According to the police and various domestic violence professionals the mobile phone is the most prevelant tool for stalking victims. The advancing technology of mobile phones and various apps available mean it is increasingly easier for this technology to be used to stalk victims. Victims need to be educated and helped to secure their phones and be aware of which apps are safe to use and which apps should be avoided. For example useful apps such as Find My iPhone could be used by the stalker to find a victim’s whereabouts if they have access to the victim’s computer.
As well as the Find My iPhone app there is also technology available to locate cameras or computers. Location information can be accessed by an application or stored within a picture. Google Maps uses location information to give directions or where to find shops and restaurants all based on the user’s current location. A stalker could however use the same location information to track a victim thereby putting them at risk.
If the stalker gains access to a victim’s mobile phone they could download tracking software on to it. If the victim is using an application such as Facebook places a stalker can view their profile to find out where the victim has most recently checked in from their mobile. Victims can also unwittingly share information if they fail to turn off the option to add geolocation information to photos.
This software allows stalkers to control the victim’s computer, read emails, see passwords, capture chat messages and access stored information.
The stalker merely has to trick the victim into opening an email. The software is then installed by stealth on to the PC. It is often undetected by their antivirus software.
Facebook poses a real threat for victims trying to safeguard their personal information. Although the victim may have ensured their privacy settings are in place it may be that their various family and friend contacts on Facebook have not done so. This can mean that various information is leaked to the stalker.
Further articles to follow
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