Social Media & Cyberstalking

Through the increased use of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Flicker, Foursquare, and YouTube, an individual's profile, photos, and status updates may provide enough information for that person to become a potential victim of stalking without even being aware of the risk.

Cyberstalking is a crime and it is a serious invasion of online privacy. Although cyberstalking doesn't involve physical contact, it is no less dangerous than offline stalking.

Geotagging is a geographical "tag" applied to media posted online, including photos, status updates, tweets, and other media. Since geotagging is automatically enabled on most smartphones, if you use a smartphone to take photos and share on social media sites like Twitter you are sharing your location as well. To prevent sharing your location you must disable geotagging.

Victims of stalking may want to think about suspending and preserving your social media accounts until it has been resolved. The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse has great social media safety tips such as avoiding posting information about one's current or future location, and using caution when providing live updates from a cell phone.