How to Get Rid of a Social Media Stalker?
We all occasionally indulge in small detective work on social media when it comes to people that caught our fancy or when we are having trouble getting over our ex. But, where’s the line between a simple pastime and obsessive harassment and intrusion on someone's life and privacy?
One of the greatest downsides to social media (that may also scare the wits out of you) is cyber stalking, or to be more precise, social media stalking.
Given that the most common venue for cyber harassment is social media (58%), according to a study by Pew Research Center, it is not surprising that social media stalkers are on the rise. Social media is fostering a big rise in real-world stalking as well.
So, who are social media stalkers and what techniques do they use to make your life a living hell?
What Behavior Qualifies as Social Media Stalking?
Stalkers have a fixation on another person manifested through a series of actions that viewed individually, can be harmless and legal, but viewed as a whole, constitute illegal behavior aimed to instill fear.
Though stalkers’ motives may not be clear to us, and we may wonder what it means when we are being harassed in such a way, it seems that all social media stalkers tend to display the following behaviors:
- Create fake profiles
- Check for constant updates on the victim’s online profiles
- Frequently try to engage the victim in a conversation through comment threads or private messages
- Befriend the target on social media just to be able to spy on them without necessarily initiating a direct contact with them
- Make references to the victim that range from compliments to abusive defamations
Social Media Is a Stalker's Dreamland
Most people rejoice in having many followers and their photos and other posts liked on social media platforms. It is quite concerning just how much information people can gain on us and how easily they can do it.
It is as if social media is designed to facilitate and encourage stalking and surveillance. Social media stalkers find these platforms particularly conducive to their activities. Even if your accounts are set to private, they can find several loopholes if they are skilled and persistent enough.
Some of the most popular social media features that benefit stalkers are:
- Real-time notifications
- Tracks of your likes
- Access to friends
- Access to photos and videos
Real-time notifications—many social media sites offer your friends and followers, but also stalkers, an opportunity to keep tabs on you all the time. Stalkers can see what you are doing and when you are active. Even if your account is set to offline, they can see when and what you have commented on someone else's post. If your location is off, with a bit of experience and skills, they can determine your usual whereabouts based on your photos.
Tracks of your likes—some social media sites allow people to know what pages, accounts, photos, or videos you liked and followed. This is of particular interest to your stalker as they can learn more about your personality.
Access to friends—even if your profile is private, stalkers can track you through your friends. Every time your friends tag you and disclose anything about you, it gives your stalker more material to work with.
Access to photos and videos—anyone can access your photos or videos, download or make screenshots of them, turn them into electronic collectibles, or use them in whatever way they want. Even if your profile is private, they can get a hold of such material through your friends’ accounts.
How to Spot a Social Media Stalker?
As being stalked on social media is not a celebrity-related thing anymore, you should be careful about potentially suspicious activities.
There are ways to spot a stalker early on and save yourself the world of troubles.
The following are some of the telltale signs that you have a stalker on your trail:
- Bogus accounts—you keep getting requests from unknown people
- Trends—a lot of likes, text messages, or comments of suspicious nature as well as references to your posts or comments
- Suspicious people around you—if you keep seeing the same person or people popping up at the same place as soon as you post your location, something is fishy
- A high number of hits—your account gets a high number of hits from the same IP address, especially if it keeps happening at certain times
How to Mitigate Social Media Stalking?
Social media stalking can be difficult to recognize or investigate, but there are ways to mitigate the situation. You have to be vigilant to keep yourself safe.
Check some of the tips in the table below.
Set your account to private
Review friend/message requests
Keep your plans private
Change access details
Stop Social Media Stalker with DoNotPay
If a social media stalker makes you in any way uncomfortable, harassed, or afraid for your safety and well-being, you should not put up with it. You have to take steps to protect yourself. In case you do not know where to start, let DoNotPay give you a hand with it.
Just follow these simple steps:
- Log on DoNotPay in your web browser
- Click the Relationship Protection button
- Select the Explore Relationship Services option
- Go for Safety and Stalking, then click Let's Do It
- Opt for Cyberbullying
- Answer the chatbot's questions to explain the situation
Once the chatbot has acquired all the information on the matter, we will relate the problem to the social media websites where the stalking took place. On your behalf, we will:
- Report the person for stalking and require that their account activity gets investigated and, hopefully, suspended
- Require that the website blocks the stalker's account and prevents them from ever contacting you again
What Else to Do?
Before you take any steps to stop the stalker, remember that it is not your fault if someone obsesses over you. Similarly to when handling an offline stalker, you have to stay calm and act rationally.
The things you should do to get rid of a social media stalker are:
- Avoid both public and private interaction and block the harasser
- Keep all evidence, such as screenshots, photos, video messages, or social media call logs
- Call 911 and report the problem if you believe that you are in immediate danger
- Check whether you can get a restraining order if you fear the situation could escalate
Wanna Put an End to Other Issues? Let DoNotPay Be Your Go-To Solution
Just access the app from your web browser and check how to:
- Set up a DMV appointment fast and easy
- Jump the phone queue when calling customer service
- Protect yourself from stalking and harassment
- Deal with bills you can't pay
- Get revenge on robocalls
- Dispute traffic tickets
- Manage credit cards issues
- Sue individuals or companies in small claims court
- Get compensation for a delayed or canceled flight
- Dispute parking tickets
- Cancel memberships and subscriptions
- Challenge speeding tickets