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Cyber-stalking: Self-defense tips to avoid cyber-bullying by your ex

Break-ups are hard enough to handle, but add the technology component, and that gives a jilted ex just the tools he needs to take stalking and harassment to a whole new level. At first the creepy comments on your Facebook page might seem desperate, but then things take a scary turn and he’s tracking your every move and posting threats. Your safety (and online presence) depends on maintaining control of your Internet experience and social media tools. Here’s how to avoid being cyber-bullied or cyber-stalked by your ex.

Stressed woman at computer

1Keep personal details personal

A well-mannered lady does not make a habit of revealing everything — she likes to keep a little mystery alive. This actually works to her benefit when dealing with potential crazies in cyberspace. You never know when you’ll come across a particularly angry, jealous or obsessive ex-suitor. Think twice before posting information that may be too personal or will potentially expose you in any way.

2Learn about social media privacy

If you do decide to post information about yourself online, do it in an intelligent manner. Research the various social media websites and chat rooms and learn about their privacy settings and how to use them. Most social media sites, including Facebook and MySpace, have special options that allow you to determine the information to keep private or visible to the general public. This is an extra safety measure to ensure that only those whom you wish to view your information will have access to it.

3Manage your email, social media and mobile technology accounts

If you are dealing with an ex who has become angry, critical, emotional or has even crossed the line to abusive, prevent him from contacting you by blocking him from your email, social media and cell phone. If he had access to any of your tech tools, reset the passwords immediately. You may even have to remove your social media presence and start over with privacy options in place. Further, beware of people you don’t know who “friend” you or want to follow you on Twitter; your ex can easily set up a fake social media account and pretend to be someone else.

4Take cyber-action against your cyber-stalking ex

If your ex’s cyber-stalking and cyber-bullying persists, do not try to solve the problem alone. Seek help and take action. Report him to his Internet service provider (ISP). Most ISPs have policies that prohibit cyber-stalking; they can track where the messages are coming from in order to close the account or contact authorities. Do not hesitate to contact the police if your ex is threatening you or giving you cause for concern. For further assistance, there are countless online resources available for information on cyber-stalking. Just plug in a Google search and select the one that best fits your situation and needs.

More on social media privacy

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Facebook recently changed its privacy settings in response to criticism from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and privacy-conscious users. This video can show you how to get the most privacy out of these new settings.

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