With the UK lifting most of it’s restrictions and people beginning to venture out more, I thought I would take the opportunity to share some safety tips for how to keep yourself safe online…
Throughout the durations of the lockdowns there has been a dramatic increase in the number of cases of cyber stalking being reported and with many individuals no longer restricted to staying at home, I feel that our online and offline correlation and behaviours ought to be discussed… I have read many posts about post-lockdown weightloss and post-lockdown dating however something dangerous and life-destroying appears to have been overlooked…
This post is specifically about online safety and not stalking, however if you would like to read more about stalking you can do so here:
online stalking behaviours include*
– monitoring the victim
– copying the victim
– infiltrating the victims communities
– creating fake accounts
– direct & third party contact
– seeking personal information
– making threats
– writing untruths
*this list is not exhaustive
Tips To Protect Yourself Online / Offline:
When it comes to stalking, there are some steps you can take in order to protect yourself and make yourself a little safer however, I feel it is important to note that these behaviours are unlikely to deter and prevent stalking behaviours. If you feel you are being stalked please contact the resources which I have listed here:
01: It is important that you carry your mobile phone with you at all times and that you keep it charged… bonus safety tip always ensure you have a portable charger (also charged) and that you have your charging cables available should you need them…
02: Be mindful of what you post online: this is probably the most important safety tip given the nature of this post. Even if you have blocked an individual online there are many ways in which they can seek information and see what you are up to. It is important not to share personal and identifiable details about your life, in particular sharing your current location, the places you regularly frequent and the places which you will be going… It is important to avoid sharing the town where you live and the identities of your family members and loved ones. I would also suggest refraining from sharing personal medical and employment details.
03: Create a safety plan: It is important to have a safety plan which whill help protect and prepare you for many different scenarious. Having a safety plan may also ease any anxiety which you are experiencing. Curating a safety plan may also make you feel empowered and like you are taking control of the situation.
04: Do not reply to emails, messages or subtweets: This is a basic rules as any type of response may encourage the individual to continue making contact. Additionally, by responding you may be giving away additional information. Simply print-screen any communication/ attempted communications and engagement.
05: Do not go out alone: Although it may not be possible for you to be accompanied at all times, the less time you are ut alone the better. This may include friends/family accompanying to your car or attending places with you to prevent you being alone. A safety alarm is also a valuable tool to carry at all times.
06: Buddy-up to exercise: If you enjoy doing an outdoor form of exercise you should ask a friend to join you. Whether its running, hiking, biking or walking – exercising alone or in secluded areas can compromise your safety. It is also important not to share your exercise routes online and to mix them up where possible.
07: Vary your routes and routines. This follows on from the above point. It is advised to mix up your routines and travel routes as a continue routine makes your behaviour and whereabouts easier to monitor. Where possible, mix-up your routine and even change where you stop to grab your daily coffee. It may sound trivial but it makes a big difference to your safety.
08: Trust your gut: If you feel that something is wrong or unsafe it is important to trust your gut. You are always free to leave situations which make you feel uncomfortable and it is important to remember that our gut reaction is usually the first indication warning us that we are in danger.
These tips are not designed to frighten you, just to make you a little more mindful about the information which you freely share online… Afterall, it is unlikely an individual will jump around and out themselves as a stalker: you can never be too cautious… keep posted for pt2 of are you keeping yourself safe online?
Do you have any tips to add? I would love to read them in the comments xo