What do you mean by "digital stalking"?
Today, most stalking now includes a “cyber” or technology aspect. Digital-stalking covers cyberstalking but it also acknowledges other forms of digital abuse such as listening devices or tracking technology.
Stalkers who stalk offline will usually assist their activities with some form of technology as a tool e.g. mobile phones, social networks, computers or geolocation tracking. This can be characterised as “digitally assisted stalking”, as opposed to cyberstalking.
However abusers will use many different types of technology to torment their victims. They may also use GPS tracking devices on a victim’s car. If they have or have had access to the victims mobile, they can put spyware that allows them not only to track the victim, but use the victim’s own mobile to listen into conversations or see what is going on via the camera.
The abuse can take place in social networks, online forums, Twitter, instant messaging or via chat. The stalker may use websites to post offensive material, create fake profiles or even make a dedicated website about the victim. They may sign the victim up to numerous websites, promotional material or place false ads using the victim’s email address and phone number.
Cyberstalking is just as, if not more, damaging than "offline" stalking. When a person is abused verbally, for example by the stalker spreading rumours, those rumours will stop being repeated and eventually forgotten. However, if those rumours are put on the Internet they remain. That perpetuates the abuse. Every time a person reads those rumours the abuse continues - it doesn't matter if the original material was put up there two days, two weeks or two years ago. The victim continues to suffer.
The most common tactics for stalkers and bullies include:
- Monitoring you and friends - looking at what you post, photos, where you go, who you go with etc.
- Spyware - putting spy software on your phone or computer
- Sending text messages - sending hurtful or threatening messages to you over and over again
- Account takeovers/hacking - accessing your online accounts
- Denigration - sending, posting, or publishing cruel rumors and untrue statements to damage your reputation
- Distributing photos or videos - to embarrass you
- Exclusion - contacting or inviting everyone but you
- Flaming - posting an abusive response so everyone can see it
- Outing - telling people something embarrassing about you
- Threats and Dissemination - they threaten you and then tell everyone
- Confidence tricks- getting you to reveal information about yourself and then using against you
- Impersonation - pretending to be the victim either online or via email etc.
- Spaming- signing the victim up for junk email
- Trolling - say something online to get you to provoke you into responding
- Bullying by proxy - getting others to join in