January is Cyberstalking Awareness Month
Cyberstalking is the persistent use of the Internet, e-mail, social networks, instant messaging or related digital devices to annoy, harass or threaten. Some cyberstalkers will go to great lengths even disseminating victims’ personal information or photographs, or flood victims’ inboxes with spam or send viruses. Cyberstalkers who gain access to a victim’s computer can install spyware to track victims’ movement and activities. Most stalkers are known to their victims.
If you or someone close to you is experiencing stalking there are resources available as well as precautions to take:
- If you are leaving a relationship – especially if it was abusive or if your ex is angry – reset every single password on all of your accounts.
- Maintain vigilance over physical access to your computer and other Web-enabled devices such as cell phones.
- Log out before you step away
- Don’t share passwords. Change them frequently.
- Google yourself. Be aware of what is out there.
- Make your calendars private.
It is best practice to preserve any evidence (texts, emails, voicemails etc.) and to keep a log of stalking activity. Here is a list of UCSF-specific resources for further use and reference:
- UCSF Confidential CARE Advocate. The CARE Advocate can provide confidential support. http://careadvocate.ucsf.edu
- Contact the UCSF Police Department to report a crime: http://police.ucsf.edu/report-crime
- Contact UCSF Information Technology for assistance if you believe your computer or other device has been compromised: http://help.ucsf.edu