The Hidden Stalker


If you’ve sent an email, commented on a social network, tweeted, joined a dating or ancestry website at any time; you have left a digital footprint online that can be dangerously permanent and public. (Remember the Anthony Weiner scandal?) In today’s society, much of our day is spent connecting with others online on sites like Facebook, Twitter,, and EHarmony. From social networking to dating websites and everything in between, when you go online in anyway you leave personal information on the Internet. Interacting with your friends on various websites is fun and engaging, but should never become a carefree activity.

When interacting on social networks, always remember theses important tips:

  • Always use custom privacy controls
    They allow you to control what information you want to be shared and who can see it. Customize which friends see what information. Facebook has made that simple by allowing you to see exactly what your profile looks like to other people by using the View As tool.
  1. Go to your profile and click the Edit Profile button at the top right corner.
  2. Click the View As… button at the top right corner of the editing page.
  3. You’ll see what your profile looks to the public. To preview how your profile appears to a specific person, such as a friend or coworker, type their name into the open field and press enter.
  • KNOW your “friends” or connections
    Don’t accept people as online friends if you have no idea who they are. If you do, they can easily access your personal information.
  • Protect your personal information
    Never enter your address, phone number, email, birth date, or similar info that can be easily used to commit identity theft.
  • THINK before you post anything online
    Anything you say online can be traced back to you even if you don’t know it. Information released online is potentially never erased. Pictures are especially important—don’t post pictures of crazy parties or illegal activities online because employers hire and fire people based on social networks. Also, posting pictures of your vacation is fun, but remember you are advertising that your home is empty and vulnerable.
  • Check your online reputation
    Do a Google search of your name about once a month to see if your information is available to everyone and to check for personal veracity.

In today’s increasingly digitalized world, it is easy for people to become careless and fall prey to identify theft. Protect yourself online. You’re not only trying to avoid criminals with these precautions, but also creepy people in general who search around looking for public profiles. (Three quarters of stalking victims are targeted online) Avoiding these types of people is preferred. Furthermore, the decision to be cautious should extend beyond the digital world to the physical world. Everyone has important files that should be shredded or stored for security purposes. Taxes, credit card offers, old driver’s licenses, bank statements, ect are all documents that can easily be used to steal from you. Make wise decisions by using caution both online and in your workspace.