Believe it or not, millions of individuals have blogs – with millions more reading them! Blogs run the gamut; they can be insightful, funny, specific, general, political, etc. Unfortunately, there is a problem that you may have heard about on local news stations: the existence of internet stalkers. What do you do when you have a blog, and you attract the attention of someone who seeks to defame you, harass you, or worse?
Thousands of people are in this situation – they’ve been targeted by a mentally unhealthy person who has developed an obsession. Often, a blogger discovers that someone has been stealing their words, removing them from context, and hurting that blogger’s online reputation; impersonation, for example, is not unheard of.
While simply remaining silent and hoping that it will all go away isn’t going to work, numerous actions could be taken that may also make the situation worse: you could become involved in a flame war with the stalker; you could begin to harass them back, even creating a new blog to do so; you could report them to their ISP. All of these are terrible ideas because you’re either a) offering attention to someone who craves it, b) egging on a mentally unstable individual, or b) having their service providers shut down their blog, thus destroying evidence, respectively. (Besides, they’ll start a new blog somewhere else!)
Here are some actions you can take, though, that will be extremely helpful: make sure that you document everything, saving it to disc and printing it out on paper so that you’ll have hard copies when possible; consult an expert in the field of locating cyber-stalkers; remove all of your personal and contact information online.
Remember that should you find yourself in such a situation, your priority is defending and protecting yourself, your friends, and your family. If you decide to hire a professional, ensure that that individual is properly qualified to attend to your case; you can search online and discover whether or not the person or company you are looking at is recognized as an expert in locating and identifying online stalkers. You’ll be surprised at just how much information you can discover with the right person!