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Internet Crimes: Cyberstalking Essay

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Updated: May 2nd, 2022


How would a person feel if he or she wakes up one morning to find his or her identity stolen along with their money? Why would someone ever think of doing such a thing? It is noteworthy that criminals engage in different types of Internet crimes. As a result, there are plenty of criminals out there that would have no sympathy for their victims. Unfortunately, there are many places criminals can locate their victims without their knowledge.

Although social networking websites such as Facebook, MySpace and Tweeter have become very popular, these websites have also become the preferred places for criminals to find and hunt new victims. As these sites give criminals the opportunity to stalk, locate, probably pursue their victims and in some cases steal their identities.


Cyberstalking is considered a form of Internet crime that occurs when an individual’s safety, personal life, and freedom are taken away by anonymous methods or covert, then pursued and monitored, causing paranoia and fear. This is done by use of any forms of online, Internet or communication using a computer. Thus, it is performed by a group of individuals or an individual not known to the victim (Bocij, 8).

Cyberstalking is rather a new trend. With the declining price, thus augmented the accessibility of online services and computers, more persons are acquiring computers and accessing the Internet. This eventually increases susceptibility to abuse by Internet criminals such as stalkers (Bocij, 9). It is noteworthy that underage children have also fallen victim of cyberstalking. As a result, the criminals might use the children to commit such crimes on their behalf.

Cyberstalkers meet their victims in electronic mail, online chat sessions, communication board, and debate sites. Also, this crime has acquired many forms such as sending of the obscene or frightening e-mail, abuse in chat rooms, posting offensive messages on communication boards, transfer of electronic viruses, tracing and monitoring of an individual’s Internet activity, and identity theft.

Cyberstalking in children involves exposing them to pornography sites. Hence, Cyberstalking is a horrifying occurrence for victims (Siegel, 448).

Location and pursue of victims

Many cyberstalking activities develop into off-line stalking as the stalker can locate the victim. They achieve this by use of the personal information posted on the Internet sites by the victims (Jaishankar, 549). This is because; in most online chat rooms, the victims post their actual details on their profile page.

These include their real names, cellular phone numbers, physical address, and details of their family members. As a result, a victim may receive offensive and excessive phone calls, damage to property, intimidating or pornographic mail, trespass, and physical attack (Jaishankar, 549).

Cyber Stalkers use their technological links to pursue their victims through a variety of ways that are not restricted to; phony claims, obsessive monitoring, bootlegging of the victim’s unique ideas, gathering information for potential assault, soliciting for sexual activities and cracking computer access codes to hack or get IP address (Jaishankar, 549).

It is noteworthy that cyberstalking incidents are on the rise; above all, the victims themselves fan these indecent activities as they keep responding, to the numerous messages and attention they receive from these criminals. Thus, the stalkers develop an interest in the victims thereby continuing to pursue them (Jaishankar, 549).

Laws and other methods of preventing Cyberstalking

It is noteworthy that personal information is becoming readily accessible to many people, who use the Internet and other sophisticated technology; thus, state legislators are dealing with the trouble of stalkers who pester and intimidate their victims over the Internet. Stalking laws and other statutes illegalizing stalking deeds presently in effect in many states may by now deal with this crime (Bocij, 163).

States have started to address the use of electronic equipment for stalking purposes by implementing conditions barring such action in both anti-stalking and harassment legislation. Furthermore, few states, such as Arizona, Alabama, Illinois, New York, Connecticut, Hawaii, and New Hampshire have added ban against any form of irritating electronic contact in harassment laws.

Similarly, Oklahoma, Alaska, Wyoming, and lately, California, have included electronically converse messages as demeanor comprising stalking in their laws that fight anti-stalking. However, some states have enacted both laws (Bocij, 163). Similarly, other states have put in place laws that forbid all internet crimes. Thus, identity theft is constituted in these laws.

Recent federal law has established measures to deal with cyberstalking, as well. For example, the act protecting women against the violence that was enacted in 2000 placed cyberstalking as a constituent of federal laws. Similarly, other federal legislation that deals with cyberstalking has been set up lately, but no such actions have yet been endorsed. Consequently, there is a deficiency of legislation at the federal level to address this crime, leaving the bulk of legislative embargo against cyberstalking at the state level (Bocij, 163).

Apart from the laws enacted, there are other methods of preventing cyberstalking. These are the Internet user based solutions and Internet provider based solutions. Internet user based solutions involve Internet users who employ chat rooms to communicate with strangers. Thus, such Internet users should seize from posting their actual details on the profile pages. Above all, information like names, phone number, physical address, and family information should be confidential, thus only given to the people one knows (Pittaro, 2007).

Internet provider based solutions involve Internet users purchasing soft wares from Internet providers. It is notable that these soft wares are used to block redundant electronic contact. It is thus advisable to seek help from the Internet provider. As a result, there exist online agreement policies restricting such misuse of service (Pittaro, 2007).

Effects of cyber stalking

Victims experience emotional and physical instabilities in life, as well as a mental disturbance. Some of these include fear for one’s safety, anxiety, hyper vigilance, and nightmares. As a result, the victims might consider seeking professional assistance like counseling. Also, family and friends support is needed.

Identify theft

Identity theft is a crime that occurs when one’s details are stolen and used without his consent. As a result, it can be used to commit a crime or steal money from the victim. Personal details are used when individuals want to access certain services.

Thus, with such information, a criminal can steal money from the victims without their knowledge, whereby they can run up their victims existing credit card account (May, 10). It is evident that these activities take place without the victim’s knowledge. At times, these criminals can go as far as wiping out their victim’s bank accounts by authorizing electronic transactions in their victim’s name (May, 10).

The Internet is providing avenues through which these criminals can access an individual’s personal information. Hence, they accomplish this by using online chat sessions and soft wares that crash key loggers on the computer, thus transmitting personal details stored in the computers. Online businesses store clients personal details on their web sites. As a result, such details are easily accessed by criminals.

These Internet criminals may set up a counterfeit organization website to trick the clients into submitting their personal information. Further more, these are information which the legitimate organization already possesses.

Internet identity theft has discouraged individuals from engaging in online monetary transactions as they consider it an unsafe mode of fiscal transaction basing on the recent cases of Internet identity theft (May, 10).

Laws and other methods of curbing Internet identity theft

Identity fraud has become rampant in the United States, as a result, in 1998, there was the ratification of the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act (ITADA) meant to bring justice to the criminals and protection of the victim. More often, Internet identity theft constitutes online transactions, and criminals are always unknown. Thus, tracing of the criminals is tedious but not impossible.

The ITADA considers Internet identity theft as it comes with a 30-year jail sentence. Two states of Wisconsin and California have established a privacy protection office that encourages citizens to seize from engaging in identity theft and help victims recover.

States have enacted laws that deal with identity theft; similarly, in some, identity theft is dealt with in the attorney generals office. Essentially, Identity theft laws are quite new. Thus more amendments are required (May, 13).

Other than the laws enacted to fight identity theft, users must also take care of themselves. As everyone is susceptible to Internet identity theft, the same way, an individual walks along dangerous back streets in town with their wallet. The only difference is that one can not physically see Internet criminals. Thus, the best way to avoid these criminals is for Internet users to apply caution when submitting their details to people and organizations online.

Clients who bank online are advised to employ protection devices that detect any attempts to use their password. Thus, there are banks that offer free downloadable detection devices to clients.

Above all, those who purchase goods online must first confirm the security mark displayed on the screen before submitting their account details. As a result, the use of a debit card is preferred when making online, fiscal transactions. Hence, even when criminals get hold of the information, their expenditure is limited. As a result, they can not put an individual into debt.

It is advisable for individuals to open a different account for transacting online purchases and maintain the other account other functions. This will prevent hackers from accessing details of the other accounts as they are not anywhere on the Internet. Most importantly, one should not engage in online monetary transactions that raise doubts. This is considered the best way to curb Internet criminals (May, 23).

There is no professional and truthful company that will ever ask for clients’ information via an electronic mail. Thus, Individuals are supposed to think before passing over personal details to any company on the Internet (May, 23). After all, the relevant banks or companies already have the details if one uses pay pal. It is recommended that the internet users delete all the cache in their computers. Also, temporary internet files should be deleted, as criminals use them as to getting ways to hack into computers.

Internet users are advised to make sure; they include those people they trust as friends in the online chat rooms. Furthermore, individuals should not leave their computers unattended to or with strangers. As this will make the criminals access their personal information. Above all, Individuals are also advised not to tolerate the criminals in the chat rooms. Also, the Internet connection should always be terminated when not in use as leaving the connection in idle mode will make hackers gain remote access to computers.


Cyberstalking is a crime on the rampage in the United States. Thus, many citizens fall victim, resulting in psychological trauma and fear. On the other hand, identity theft has also taken a new course, with criminals upgrading their means of conducting fraud. As a result, citizens may lose money and acquire debts. Hence, the rising cases of cyberstalking and identity theft have made different states enact laws that fight this crime.

Since the enactment of laws to fight internet crimes, it has been noted that these crimes have reduced significantly. However, there are some criminals who continue to engage in this vise. It is so sad and disappointing as children have also fallen victims of these internet crimes. It is noteworthy that criminals exploit them without their knowledge.

Work cited

Bocij, Paul. Cyber stalking: harassment in the Internet age and how to protect your family. New York: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004 Pp 8-177.

Jaishankar, K. International Perspectives on Crime and Justice. London. Cambridge scholars publishing. 2009 Pp 549.

May, Johnny. Johnny May’s Guide to Preventing Identity Theft. Security Resources Unlimited, LLC, 2004 Pp 10-27.

Pittaro, Michael. : an analysis of online harassment and intimidation. Open access. 2007. Web.

Siegel, Larry. Criminology. California: Cengage Learning, 2008 Pp 448.

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