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When online communication becomes stalking

The internet has really changed the way that people stay in touch with each other and communicate. This gives people a level of access to one another that they have never had before. In some cases, these online interactions can turn into stalking.

Do not underestimate the impact of doing this. Some people refer to it as mere "internet creeping," as if it is a harmless activity. While it can be, you could find yourself facing legal charges when lines are crossed.

To know if it is venturing into the realm of stalking, consider if you:

  • Are obsessive about the way you look at someone else's profile, perhaps doing it more often than you would be comfortable admitting.
  • Keep trying to talk to the person, even if he or she do not engage you or asks you to stop. If they block you on Facebook, for instance, you may look them up on Instagram.
  • Talk to other people in that person's life, such as friends, co-workers or family members.
  • Keep too close of tabs on someone, through the internet, so that you always know where he or she is and what he or she is doing in real life.
  • Attempt to hack into someone's profile or otherwise gain access to his or her personal information in a way you have not done with anyone else.

Stalking is illegal, and action may be taken against you, even if you did not realize that you did anything wrong. When this happens -- especially if it is just a misunderstanding -- you need to make sure that you know all of the defense options you have.

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