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When I first shared my experience of being a victim of cybercrime, my blog received an incredible amount of visitors. Everyone loves to read about some drama here or there, but at the end of the day what matters is the lesson we learn from the story we’ve heard.

To my surprise, once I spoke up about what I went through, many commenters started sharing with me their experiences on being stalked too. If there was a fault in me in regards to this matter, it was my recklessness; which I will never repeat again. From my mistakes, I learned what I could share about this topic. They might not be the most comprehensive, but I hope it can help in some ways.

At the beginning, most people will tell you to see such case as a joke, or that you’re worrying too much; but only YOU know how urgent the case has become. Act for yourself based on the latter, not based on what others say. Better be safe, than sorry.

On Prevention

1. Geotagging

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Always ‘check-in’ AFTER you leave a place (including its car park).

Unless your Twitter account is (very) private, unlink FourSquare from your Twitter / Facebook account. But know that even if you think you know everyone who is following you on Twitter, you will never know everyone’s intention

2. Sharing of personal information

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Facebook likes asking questions like “Where do you live?”, encouraging you to complete your profile. While it might be tempting to have a furnished profile that looks like a resume, make sure that your home address, work place, and telephone numbers are NOT published to public. The same goes for your LinkedIn account and the resumes you send out to JobStreet, eh?

Make full use of Facebook’s privacy settings. You should know by now that every little section in Facebook gives you the liberty to make it open to public, friends only, secondary friends, and so on.

Spring clean your Facebook friend list from time-to-time. If you have a lot of friend requests from people you don’t know who’d like to connect with you, create a Facebook Page that you’d treat professionally and kindly direct them there.

Always make sure that you don’t click ‘remember password’ when using a gadget that’s not your own, and remember to have a ‘clean’ log out.

 

If shit really happens . . .

Calm down and remind yourself that wisdom is necessary. Act with a strategy. Know that you are not alone.

1. Collect as much information as you can of the stalker.

The more info you have in hand, the more the right authorities can help you. In my case, all I had to do was speak up; both on and off line. Tell the tale as it is; there’s no need to add ‘salt and vinegar’. This is NOT about seeking attention but assistance.

Ask around if anyone happen to know the stalker, and you’d be surprised to see how small the world is (especially on a Facebook scale) and how helpful people are towards you. Malu bertanya, sesat jalan.

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{These 73 comments you see here provided me ample data for the policemen within a couple of hours prior to posting}

2. File a police report.

With all the information you have in hand, big or little, don’t hesitate to go to the police station. No threat is too small. Now you must be thinking, “What can the policemen do?”

Think of it as knowing your blood type so should an accident occur, there is no need to figure that out while time is running low. By keeping a record of the stalker in the police database, they’d know who to seek immediately should anything happen to you.

3. Be safe.

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{i.e. Take #OOTD pictures within your housing area instead of by the streets}

After step 3 is done, the policemen will either pay the stalker a visit (if IC / address is provided) or not, depending on the severity of the case.

While you leave that in their hands, what you should do at your end is to be very cautious and aware of your surroundings. Three basic things to remember:

  • - Avoid walking alone outside whenever possible
  • - Lock your car the moment you get in and wind up your windows at all times.
  • - Look out for motorcyclists (I’d rather not give ideas, but look out for these guys).

There are much more you can do to protect yourself so be wise and do the best you can for yourself!

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What if it escalates?

I am glad #WHY’s case has not reached this stage yet, but should that happen, I learned there are two things you can do.

1. Go to court.

2. Put a restraining order on the stalker.

I will update you if it gets to this stage. I hope not.

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To the minority at LowYat Forum who think this is not a big deal enough, that’s a shame and it’s sad to know there is still such ignorant community in our country. Is something only considered urgent when it is already too late?

The policemen and authority can only do so much. The rest is up to us on how well we can protect ourselves by learning who is out there, and how to use social media the right way. Because in our world today, this is the best medium to communicate with fellow friends our age, by sharing what needs urgent attention for a better and safer environment for the community.

Thank you, to my fellow blog readers / commenters who shared these links with us, of where one can seek information when faced with situations as such:

http://www.klikdenganbijak.my/

www.facebook.com/klikdenganbijak

Prevention is better than cure. Don’t live in fear and uncertainty, because you have the right to live free.

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