Cyberstalking: Identity Theft and Online Community Websites

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Jeff Worrell
Waubonsee Community College

Technology is getting more advanced in today’s world, but with it comes new problems and dangers; cyberstalking is no exception. Cyberstalking is a new way of stalking or harassing an individual that spawned from the use of the Internet (Cyberstalking, 2010). The Internet has given any user the ability to gain access to other peoples’ information, contact a person or group, or even damage another person’s computer or equipment. Along with the evolution of technology, laws have been created and/or revised to regulate wrongful activities or behavior that are spawning from the new technology. Cyberstalking was to be considered normal stalking when it first sprouted, but many problems that came with the new technology weren’t covered by the definition. According to, “Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, a group of individuals, or an organization. It may include false accusations, monitoring, making threats, identity theft, damage to data or equipment, the solicitation of minors for sex, or gathering information in order to harass.” Although computers are common tools in cyberstalking, the laws are not limited to them. Fax machines, cell phones, or anything that can provide communication services is included (Bocij, 2004).

Cyberstalking has been on a boom with the recent advancement in technology. With online community websites like Myspace and Facebook, users are allowed to see other person’s profiles. Profiles may contain personal information about the user: such as age, gender, hometown, where they work, etc. Contact information may also be found on profiles, such as email address and phone numbers. People may even post pictures of themselves up on their profiles for the world to see. If anyone wanted to know anything about a person (friend or not), they can look it up on the Internet. A...
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