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Understanding cyberstalking

Minnesota residents who have heard reports of people being accused of crimes online may wonder exactly how these alleged crimes are defined. One such action is referred to as cyberstalking or cyberharassment. Symantec, the software company that manufacturers the popular antivirus program Norton, indicates that it is essentially actions that make use of internet technology for the purpose of stalking others online rather than in person.

The actions may include allegations of identity theft, exploitation of a sexual nature or non-sexual nature, monitoring, threatening or even obtaining personal information that is then altered or destroyed. Cyberstalking also involves actions that may appear obsessive, illegal and are not sought or wanted by the other party.

According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, repeated behaviors may also be a characteristic of something accused of as cyberharassment. The actions may take place via online entries at websites or social media sites, via instant messaging or email. Contact between parties may be direct or indirect but in all cases may result in one party allegedly experiencing distress, anger or fear and a credible threat of some type of harm may be alleged.

Examples of things that may be pointed to as cyberstalking or cyberharrasing would be one person getting into another person's personal accounts and maybe changing login information or obtaining data from the accounts. Supplying another person's private data in a public online forum or using another person's contact information or identity to sign up for services or lists are also things that could lead a person to be accused of these types of crimes.

 

 

 

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