Craigslist And Cyberstalking Part 3
To read my personal story go to http://life990.blogspot.com/2013/01/craigslist-and-cyberstalkinglp.html
As I said in the earlier articles, cyberstalking isn't quarantined to just sites like craigslist. It runs rampant at sites like google groups especially but also on discussion boards, forums, chat rooms, social media sites, blogs, almost anyplace where people congregate online.
In this article I want to talk more about staying private and avoiding an overzealous person that could turn into a stalker.
Anytime you put your thoughts and ideas out there there's always the possibility that someone might take offense to it and that offense can quickly escalate. There's always the possibility that an obsessive, unstable person reads a post and becomes heavily infatuated with someone he/she doesn't know. It happens all the time to celebrities. But you're more likely to encounter the former on discussion boards.
First and foremost, if you use craigslist, google groups and like sites I highly recommend using an alias to post under. Use a separate email address from the one you use for social media sites. Do not post links to your blog(unless you're keeping it totally anonymous, by that I mean you signed up with a fake name or are posting as anonymous) your social profiles, your ebay listings, your website or anything else that has your name in it or someone can find out your name.
Google groups was and has always been a place that is basically a free for all. There is no moderation on most of the boards. People can say pretty much whatever they want, they can flame, they can threaten, they can harass, they can use scare tactics and if they get really upset over something you say they can post your personal information out there for the whole world to see. So even if the flamer has no intention of doing anything more than making you mad by posting your personal details, someone else can do far more with that information. For this reason, this is the one place I DO NOT recommend using your real name and having a separate email address.
All you have to do is take a look at just a few of the boards there and you'll see numerous postings with women's names in them with enough personal information that a potential stalker could find out where she lives. In fact, when I googled said women's names I was able to find their blogs and websites if they had one and their social media profiles. This information alone is powerful in the wrong hands.
Something else I don't recommend is posting photos of yourself all over your profiles. Many people do it because they love showing off their family and friends. But in my opinion, this is a big no-no. But if you are going to post pictures of yourself don't post pictures of your kids. Unless they are old enough to have their own profiles(if they are under 13 I don't recommend they should but that is completely up to each parent and that is a subject for another article). BTW, a would be stalker can use your children if they can't get to you and if their pictures are all over the internet spotting them will be less difficult.
As for craigslist, if you are selling an automobile or motorcycle, never allow a buyer to come to your home. Meet them in a public place. If you're selling an appliance or something where the buyer has to come to your home do not allow them to come when you are alone. Make sure someone is there with you.
And of course, never, ever post your personal information on the internet, anywhere, and that includes your social media profiles. And don't draw enough of a road map so people can find where you live either. Just don't do it. It's too easy for a stalker to find out where you live. And just like an offline stalker, an online stalker can be just as dangerous. It only takes a little for a stalker to decide to take his actions into the offline world. Don't think because you live thousands of miles away or even halfway across the world that someone won't come to your home. Because he/she can. It's less likely the farther away you live but it's not impossible or improbable. There are plenty of stories out there of people driving hundreds, even thousands of miles away to their victims house.
There are plenty of predators out there and you don't who they are, what websites they might be lurking on or if they are watching you. You might not be able to stop them from following your posts, reading your tweets, lurking in chat rooms where you are, following you around to see what you are doing but you can guard against how much information is out there for them to find and that means following a series of steps to stay private.
I haven't went into the different types of stalkers and I'm not going to as there are plenty of websites out there that tell you the different kinds. Personally, I think the majority you run into, at least on sites like google groups are the vengeful kind but it really makes no difference what kind. They are all dangerous.
To read Craigslist And Cyberstalking Part 1 go to http://sassygrrl32.hubpages.com/hub/Craigslist-And-Cyberstalking
To read Craigslist And Cyberstalking Part 2 go to http://sassygrrl32.hubpages.com/hub/Craigslist-And-Cyberstalking-Part-2
Here is a link to another article that outlines the different kinds of stalkers and an interesting story worth reading. http://hcporter.hubpages.com/hub/Cyber-Stalker