Technology and Stalking
Stalkers often use technology to assist them in stalking their victims. This section provides information about how different technologies can be used to stalk, measures victims can take to keep safe, and additional information and resources.
Computers and the Internet
- Monitoring e-mail communication either directly on the victim’s computer or through “sniffer” programs.
- Sending e-mail that threatens, insults, or harasses.
- Disrupting e-mail communications by flooding a victim’s e-mail box with unwanted mail or by sending a virus program.
- Using the victim’s e-mail identity to send false messages to others or to purchase goods and services.
- Using the Internet to seek and compile a victim’s personal information for use in harassment (Finn & Banach, 2000; Kranz, 2001; Ogilvie, 2000; Spitzberg & Hoobler, 2002)
Most stalkers regularly use some sort of phone to listen or collect sensitive information.
Caller ID is supported by a telephone line linked to an electronic device that captures information about incoming calls and stores it in the display unit for future use
Fax machines print information, such as the sender’s name and fax number, on the top of every page and thus provide location information to a stalker
TTY and TTD
TTY devices record an exact history of every conversation, which can facilitate the abuser’s ability to monitor conversations.
If the calling card is not activated with a credit card, linked to a discount card, or billed to a person’s long-distance carrier, it is difficult to trace someone making calls with a prepaid card
Cordless telephones can be used as listening devices, and conversations can be intercepted by baby monitors, some walkie-talkies, and other cordless telephones.
GPS devices are small devices that use satellite navigational technology to give precise worldwide positioning and pinpoint locations. Stalkers can also manipulate telephone-based instant messenger services and location services associated with wireless telephone service plans to track their intimate partners.