Ahhh! The harmless stalking, we’ve all been guilty of it Right?
Whether we like to admit it or not, we have done it at least once when we’re at our most weakest.
Let’s face it, a couple of pints down and I bet you’d be scrolling all the way to the very bottom of your Ex’s Instagram.
I know I have, it’s just human nature.
Even though it’s technically invasion of someone’s online privacy, most of us wouldn’t consider it as stalking, even worse, illegal.
However, if you think about the term stalking from some 20 years ago, it would require someone to physically follow the other person or even worse, break into someone’s house.
Having said that, if you think about it, isn’t stalking someone on the social media the same as physically following someone?
I mean we do get unhindered access into the lives of the people we admire though social media.
My point is:
With social media apps like Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, we can literally track someone’s every move.
Take Snapchat for example. I bet most of you don’t even know that there’s a tracking option within the snapchat app.
Just pinch down on the screen and you can see the real time location of your friends or if you’re a creep, even the location of that one girl from down the block.
I don’t know about you, but I usually go to great lengths to disable these pesky features.
When does Stalking someone online get out of hand?
According to Dr. Short, a cyber security researcher at the University of Bedfordshire, if your online interactions are causing distress or fear into someone’s life, you’re crossing the line.
According to her, if the communication is unwanted, then your actions are perceived as harassment.
I for one totally agree with her.
She further adds, even if you are not directly contacting a person, excessively researching about someone’s life shows predatory behavior, which can be quite harmful.
No matter how you look at this dilemma, whether you stalk someone online or in real life, it is still wrong.
Social media platforms aren’t doing much to stop it. In fact, if you look at the timeline feature of Facebook, you can use literally scan though years of someone’s life in a matter of few minutes.
If you look at thing from this perspective, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
So what can you do?
Whether you’re worried about your crazy Ex or just don’t want social creeps checking out your profile, it’s easy to sway online stalkers without is olating yourself from social media.
Well there are a couple of simple steps you can take to make your social media experience much more private.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN):
It’s no surprise a VPN can grant you online anonymity, yet still most social media users are reluctant to actually use one.
Use a secure dedicated IP VPN from a trustworthy provider. A VPN will not only keep your data private but also stop online creeps from stalking you.
Make your Profile Private:
Call it a no brainer but you’d be surprised by how many people actually don’t enable privacy on their social media accounts.
Now I do get you want to show off your fancy new shoes, however, you must ask yourself, is it worth compromising your privacy for.
Google yourself frequently:
Now it might sound ridiculous, but hear me out. Although you might not post private stuff about yourself online, but you can’t stop your friends from doing it.
For instance, you wouldn’t want to share your wedding photos with the world, unless you’re Kim kardashian of course. However, your friends might share it on their own social media.
My point is:
Google yourself regularly, who knows what stuff you might find about yourself online.
Avoid Posting Personal information on Social Media
You’ve got to admit Facebook, Snapchat and twitter have made life a lot more convenient. You stay updated about the latest trends and get to know what your friends are up to.
However, on the same note, it does make you a lot more vulnerable. Most people don’t even think twice before posting their personal information like mobile numbers, email addresses or even their home addresses online.
This makes it super convenient for a creep to stalk the hell out of you.
My advice, stay reserved and share as less personal information as you can online.
Social media can be a wonderful thing, however, on the same note it can be seriously destructiveas well.
Think about it this way, if you can lookup someone online, you yourself can also be stalked.
Keep your information private, refrain from posting every little information about yourself because who knows what someone might use your intimate information for.
Abdul Rehman is a simple Tech savvy bloke with a neck for writing. Monday to Friday, he enjoys delving down in to the inner workings of privacy and security of top-tier VPN providers. Nevertheless, on the weekend he is a bit modest and simply loves spending time with his dog.