4 Forms Of Cyber-Harassment And How To Protect Yourself

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4 Forms Of Cyber-Harassment And How To Protect Yourself

What is cyber harassment?

Cyber-harassment is a crime consisting of repetitively intimidating or humiliating a person through the Internet. Insulting, threatening, or degrading comments are made via the various means of online communication. Social networks, forums, blogs, instant chat, video games, etc. are included in such type of online networks.

The purpose of this article is to provide you a maximum explanation to protect you from all kinds of harassment.

First of all, you have made an excellent choice, which is to inform yourself. It is important not to wait for it to pass, hoping that we will stop harassing you. Nor should you respond to the harasser directly (and even less with violence). When you inquire about it, you learn that it is best to file a complaint. However, to lead the investigation to succeed, you need evidence, we will see how to get it later.

4 forms of cyber-harassment

According to the Pew Research Center, 40% of Internet users have experienced harassment in any form, including 18% severely.

Here are the 4 most common forms of cyber-harassment.

  1. Identity theft

It is (too) easy to create an online identity by pretending to be someone else. And especially with social networks. That said, pretending to be someone else has a rarely legitimate intention: theft of personal data, cyber-harassment, etc.

As for the celebrities, Facebook, Twitter, and other sites offer badges to prove the authenticity of an account.

However, the profiles of other users can be more easily usurped. This is where we need to be very vigilant.

Identity theft also leads to various other scams, such as sentiment scam and webcam blackmail:

Finally, a profile on a social network is not the only form of identity theft. It may be a fake group, a fake site, or the wrong topic of discussion around a person. You must request the removal of the content in question from the host. Additionally warn those around you who could also become a victim of this usurpation if someone pretends to be you…



  1. Doxing (Documents Tracing)

What you put on the Internet belongs to the Internet. And, bad news, far too much of our personal data is already on the Internet! The technique of Doxing is to use programs and techniques to retrieve targeted data from search engines.

This data allows, in particular, the harasser to target his threats. In the United States, many cases of public shares of personal data (address, name, etc.) have been reported. A hacker makes a person’s data available all over the Internet for revenge, or simply malicious.

How to protect yourself from Doxing?

Of course, it is best never to share personal information publicly. Failing to have done in the past, we must now ensure that our information is still under our control with minimal data exposure we would like to see displayed in the streets.

To protect yourself energetically from a future Doxing, you must check all the privacy settings on social networks. You must, therefore, contact the sites or platforms that host the content concerning you. Moreover, you must directly request them for the deletion of your personal data.

  1. Swatting (prank call)

This malicious phone hoax involves calling the police to report a crime or an imaginary terrorist. The targeted person may end up with a smashed house door, if not more. The first cases of swatting appeared in the United States in online gaming communities.

More generally, the victim’s personal data can be used to send them threatening letters or even to order hundreds of pizzas…

How to protect yourself from Swatting?

It depends on each case. Usually, it is recommended to change his phone number, IP address, or even mailing address. In the first two cases, you can take a new subscription with your telephone company and your ISP.

  1. Hate speech / defamation / trolling

Become popular via online discussion forums. Trolls are people who voluntarily seek to annoy other members. Even if they are relatively easy to ignore and ban from newsgroups, trolls can be much more than just annoying people.

Here are other forms of online harassment:

  • Threatening messages can be sent directly to the victim, in particular by private messaging. Intimidation or teasing online can ensue.
  • Rumors can also be launched by telephone or on the Internet.
  • Teasing takes various forms, such as happy slapping, that is to lynch a person by publishing the video on a site.


How to protect yourself from hate speech?

A recent publication on the Malwarebytes blog highlights the fact that several web giants, including Instagram recently, are united against hate speech on their respective platforms. Comments deemed hateful via a list of banned keywords will be automatically hidden, with, of course, the possibility of enlarging the list of banned keywords.

What to do in the event of online harassment and how to prevent it from happening again?

We saw earlier that you should not wait, but act before things get worse. Here are various measures to prevent cyber-stalking as soon as possible:


  • Review privacy settings on social networks and other sites containing your personal information.
  • Change your e-mail addresses and passwords regularly.
  • Pay close attention to the answers to the secret questions.
  • Update your computer and software.
  • Check the security of your Wi-Fi hotspot and change the Wi-Fi password regularly.
  • Use a VPN to be anonymous.
  • Change all your passwords and e-mail addresses if you leave your spouse.
  • Limit the amount of personal information that is shared online.
  • Do not respond to strangers, even less if they ask for personal information.
  • Learn about the risks and stay wary. An e-mail address is, for example, personal data to be protected.
  • Set up Google alerts to be notified when content about us is published on the web.
  • Take screenshots as evidence. And keep whatever conversations happen.

Inform those around you and your boss that you

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