Cyber stalking has been defined as the use of information and communications technology-particularly the Internet, by an individual or group of individuals, to harass another individual, group of individuals, or organizations. The behavior includes false accusations, monitoring, the transmission of threats, identity, theft -damage to data equipment, the solicitation of minors for sexual purposes, and gathering information for harassment purposes.
Many cyber stalkers try to damage the reputation of their victim and turn other people against them. They post false information about them on websites. They may approach their victim’s friends, family and work colleagues to obtain personal information. They may advertise for information on the Internet, or hire a private detective. They may try to damage the victim’s computer by sending viruses. They order items or subscribe to magazines in the victim’s name. Young people face a particularly high risk of having cyber stalkers try to set up meetings with them.
Typically, the cyber stalker’s victim is new on the web, and inexperienced with the rules of netiquette & internet safety. Their main targets are the mostly females, children, emotionally weak or unstable, etc. It is believed that Over 75% of the victims are female, but sometimes men are also stalked. The figures are more on assumed basis and the actual figures can really never be known since most crimes of such natures go unreported.
As a method of prevention and an act of safety, countries have begun to include online abuse in their anti-stalking legislation which includes the use of any form of technology to harass a target as forms of “criminal stalking.”