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6:02am 18th April 2012
Cornwall cracks down on cyberstalking.
We are being urged to tighten up our security on social networking sites and report anything dodgy.
It is part of a new campaign from Devon and Cornwall Police called 'What do you know about me?'
Across the UK, around 1.2 million women and 900 thousand men are stalked every year.
25 year old Natasha Hirschmann from Redruth was a victim and says, "It started off with just messaging and trying to add me. He managed to hack into my account as well. I got pictures and edits of pictures of me. It was just really inappropriate".
Devon and Cornwall Police tell us cyberstalking is harrassment and stalking through the internet, email or social networking sites and can be committed by a partner, ex-partner or possibly a person unknown to the victim.
Steve Slater is the High Tech Crime Manager and says, "We know that cyberstalking is rising due to the growth of online activity and more people are sharing personal information online, increasing the chances of them being a victim.
"We all use the internet and social networking sites in our everyday lives and add photos, and comments about our activities and lives. However, sometimes these can reveal more information than we realise and could be used by a cyberstalker to harass and pursue a victim.
"Anyone using the internet should remember to be cautious about the information they add on line. People should check their privacy settings on social network sites and regularly search for their name, address, school and other personal information using search engines. By looking at what other people can find out about them, they can then make any necessary changes to ensure the protection of their identity.
"Cyberstalking can be extremely distressing and it is still very under-reported with many people suffering without seeking help. If people are concerned that they are being stalked or harassed online we would encourage them to keep anything which could be used as evidence such as emails and text messages, and report any incidents to the police".
Three things you can do to protect your profile: advice from Devon and Cornwall Police.
- Search for yourself online using as many search engines as possible to check what information other users have access to
- Check your security settings on social networking sites
- Do not put any information on the internet that you would not want anyone else to see, whether that is a date-of-birth or where you live.
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