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Technology as a Weapon

Domestic Violence victims are increasingly becoming victims of stalking through high-tech means. Stalkers are becoming increasingly technologically driven. With each advance in computers, smart, phones, social media, and GPS, stalkers have found new tools to terrorize their victims. Stalking victims have to be very careful to disable GPS on their cell phones, smart phones, or digital cameras. GPS may enable a stalker to locate their victim. Also, if GPS is not disabled a victim is at risk of geotagging photos, which may offer the location to a technologically savvy stalker (or possible thief). If you are sharing photos on social media sites you may be unknowingly giving the location the photo was taken. Be mindful where you share digital photos and who has access to photos. Checking in using 4square, Google, or Faceboook, may seem harmless, but for Stalking victims it can unknowingly give their current location to their Stalker as well as followers or friends or others. Google has a search by Image function, which may be able to identify a location from a photo or even a person. For Facebook users - Is your profile public or visible to friends of friends? If so you may be putting yourself, your children, or your spouse at risk from your stalker. Think about making your profile visible to friends only. Take advantage of blocking your information and sorting groups. UPDATE your privacy settings frequently. Facebook often resets the privacy settings with updates to the site. Talk to your friends and family about what they can post online about you. Don't forget that employers, churches, sport teams, groups, and volunteer organizations that you are a part of may share your personal information online. You can request that they do not share this information. Signs you may be a victim of high tech stalking: Send multiple emails or text messages a day Monitor a victim's computer activity through Spyware Track the location of a victim's vehicle using GPS Watch the victim through hidden cameras Intercept phone calls and messages Impersonate the victim It is not uncommon for a stalker to misuse multiple technologies at once while also using more traditional, non?technology tactics. (This information was compiled from the National Network to End Domestic Violence). Check out Proposed Legislation to Ban Cyber Stalking Aps HERE.

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