StalkerHave you recently discovered the fun of Facebook? Connecting with old friends, hearing news from businesses and groups that you are interested in, or just keeping in touch with your kids. The Internet is the greatest tool developed in this century. It has revolutionized the way we communicate, do business, and get stalked. Online stalking has become a serious issue, here are a few ways to make yourself invisible to obsessive strangers — without putting a crimp in your social life.


Know Your True Friends

The constant updates and pictures that are put online through social networks are like hanging a welcome sign to anyone who wants to browse through a glimpse of your life. You are revealing a lot of information about yourself that you may not have imagined would be of interest to someone who does not know you… but you are wrong. You may have thousands of friends on a social network, but you should only allow a chosen few to view the day-to-day happenings of your life.

Fortunately, most websites have privacy settings, which are easy to set up. To create a barrier to prevent against prying eyes on Facebook, type into the address bar and choose what information you would like to share with the public and what information you would like to keep only to your friends.

There are similar account settings on both LinkedIn and Twitter. On Twitter, specifically, if you are a frequent user it is recommended that you update your settings on the account page to “Protect My Updates.” This will allow only your “Followers” to be allowed to read your Twitter feed. Every event in the everyday Facebook user’s life is now shared with friends and coworkers. Through the course of life there are highs and lows, marriage and divorce. P

arry Aftab, an Internet privacy and security lawyer, recommends temporarily “defriending” mutual friends after a breakup. There is a good chance that mutual friends share information about you with your ex or at least make comments about your status in passing. It is best to break that connection online, at least until the drama has died down.


Don’t Pinpoint Yourself

It’s tempting to publicly share your location when you are doing something exciting such as “Flying to Hawaii” or “Going to Miami for the weekend!” However, you are actually telling any prospective criminals “Hey, I’m not at home!” It doesn’t matter how excited you are about going to the Caribbean on a 2 week cruise, post the pictures when you get back…tell people about it online after the fact. There is too much at stake.


Sitting at home alone? Google Yourself!

It may sound egotistical, however, by searching for you name online you can find out who’s talking about you in a forum or group, posting blog comments about you, or potentially posing as you! Set up a Google Alert that will notify you anytime someone enters your name or phone number online. This will keep you alert to your online presence and hopefully prevent any misunderstandings.


Research and Be Safe.

Craigslist is an amazing website connecting people from all walks of life to get a job, sell an item, or hire a contractor. The simplicity of using a service like this can make it easy to be comfortable and forget the #1 rule of safety first. To be safe using these online forums, use an email that doesn’t give away your full name when responding to an advertisement. Take precautions when meeting someone in real life for the first time, even if it is for buying their Ipod or checking out their car. Some quick ways to evaluate a person before meeting them is a quick search through Google.


Conduct 3 separate searches:

  1. E-Mail
  2. Phone Number
  3. Full Name

This will at least give you some security about who you are going to meet. If you are still unsure you can turn to the many online agencies who conduct background checks, combing through security databases on your behalf. Always be accompanied by a friend if you are going to meet someone you are unfamiliar with, and let others know where you will be going.


Unleash yourself!

Technology has provided us a world at our fingertips.It’s amazing the applications we have created for the Smartphones. Those phones enabled with GPS can triangulate your position and tell friends if you are nearby. As a precaution you should keep these programs turned off unless you are actively using them.

The world is amazing and unpredictable. Do not stray from the modern advances in technology; embrace them! Keep yourself safe by being precautious. It doesn’t take much time and you will have an invaluable reward for your actions…piece of mind.

Related posts:

  1. How To: Stay Safe Online
  2. Creating a uniform online branding strategy
  3. Get Googling Orlando

Joel Goldstein
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