What is Cyberstalking and How is it illegal?

Cyberstalking is a crime in which the attacker harasses a victim using electronic communication, such as e-mail or instant messaging (IM), or messages posted to a Web site or a discussion group. A cyberstalker relies upon the anonymity afforded by the Internet to allow them to stalk their victim without being detected. Cyberstalking messages differ from ordinary spam in that a cyberstalker targets a specific victim with often threatening messages, while the spammer targets a multitude of recipients with simply annoying messages.

Should you become the victim of a cyberstalker, the most effective course of action is to report the offender to their Internet service provider (ISP). Should that option be impossible, or ineffective, the best thing to do is to change your own ISP and all your online names. WHOA reports that over 80% of cases reported in 2001 and 2002 were resolved by these methods, while 17% were reported to law enforcement officials.

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