Who is spying on you on the internet? Stalkers under the microscope [VIDEO]

Graham Cluley

Clare Bernal, who was killed by a stalkerA relationship doesn’t have to be long-standing to lead to stalking.

Clare Bernal, for instance, was shot dead by her former boyfriend at the Harvey Nichols store in Knightsbrige, London, in September 2005. Her former boyfriend began stalking her after their three-week relationship had ended.

The sad truth is that one in every five women will be stalked during their lifetime. In the case of men, although not so high, a staggering 10% will be the victims of stalkers.

These are just a couple of the facts that came out of an illuminating talk given last month by Jennifer Perry at the Campus Party Europe event in London.

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Perry’s talk focused on how the internet can be used by stalkers, and how the risks have increased because of new technology.

Perry says that staying in contact with an ex-partner via a social network like Facebook means that it can take longer to get over a relationship, and make it more likely that people’s resentment and feelings of anger and revenge will fester, and could lead to stalking.

In the video, which I have embedded above, Jennifer Perry:

  • discusses the danger of not changing passwords after a relationship goes sour.
  • reveals that 60% of stalkers are ex-partners.
  • explains how stalkers install mobile spyware to secretly record their victim’s conversations and text messages. Such off-the-shelf technology to assist in stalking is readily available and inexpensive.
  • describes how stalkers can visit adult chat rooms and websites, pretending to be their ex-partner, offering sex to men and then send them to the victim’s home. Chillingly, the stalker will often claim to have a rape fantasy, and give the men instructions on how they should behave when they reach the victim’s house.

It’s a fascinating and important presentation, which I would strongly recommend everybody watch.

You can read more about the different types of stalkers, and how the internet, mobile devices and social networks have made stalking easier in this earlier article.

If you are being harassed or stalked you will find advice on how to protect yourself on www.digital-stalking.com

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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