Digital Stalking Guide

Guide for Victims Published on Managing Risks from Digital Stalking

On 3 February 2012, the Network for Surviving Stalking and the Women’s Aid Federation of England published practical guidance for all stalking victims; and survivors of domestic abuse who are being stalked by an ex-partner.

Digital stalking: A guide to technology risks for victims explains the wide range of technological risks associated with this type of criminality including use of spyware on personal computers, tracking devices on mobile phones (e.g. geolocation tracking which can identify its location and therefore probably the owner) and monitoring information through social networking websites. It aims to help both support professionals and victims understand how the technology works, why it puts people at risk and what steps can be taken to reduce these risks. Specific sections cover situations relating to domestic abuse survivors and those targeted in the workplace.

Several factsheets included as appendices cover topics such as:

  • Warning signs of a stalker.
  • Gathering evidence.
  • Password security tips.
  • Social networks including how to set privacy settings to increase security on Facebook.

According to author Jennifer Perry, most stalking now includes a ‘cyber’ or technology aspect, known as ‘digitally assisted stalking’. Those who stalk using more ‘traditional’ methods will usually utilise some form of technology as a tool to aid their activities, many of which are easy to source and use and often inexpensive.

In contrast, the term ‘cyberstalking’ refers to the use of technology by a perpetrator without any stalking taking place in the offline world. However, both types are capable of inflicting the same amount of psychological damage on a victim.

Whilst the advice is written from the perspective of a stalker being male and the victim female, it is also applicable to victims of either gender being stalked by perpetrators of either sex.

Download the guide here