Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cyber stalking!

My blog is living up to it's random name!

I have been experiencing my first incident that I know of cyberstalking.  It's a creepy and unnerving thing.  Something you expect to see at your local screening of Mission Impossible with some gadget geek who has figured out how to get all the personal information and hacked into someone's life to cause them grief.

My situation is not from your typical gadget geek or tech savvy guru.  It's a middle aged woman and mother.  Yes, an everyday housewife, who became obssessed with me & my life and decided to try to create a little havoc in my world.

Where I first messed up:
1. Giving a virtual stranger an email address.
2. Not securing my wireless internet because I live in the burbs with harmless neighbors!
3. Thinking that the casual drops of private information about my life were a coinscidence or my imagination.
4. Thinking it just couldn't happen to me.

What next:
1. Secure your wireless router. Call the tech control & go through the steps to change your SSID, IP Address, passwords, and set the security as high as you can.  Then be prepared to change it frequently.
2. Change all passwords on your personal emails and online accounts...yes, even your blog.  My new rule of thrumb is every 60 days.
3. Notify your bank and change all your passwords there.
4. Clear your browser history & cookies often & run your antivirus and spyware scans frequently.
5. Document, document, document, any breech of privacy that starts seeming a little too convenient.
6. Take these measures as a healthy dose of prevention "Even if this could never happen to you." ;)

Cyber stalking is real and a growing concern in our environment.  Easy information and quick access has made some people think that applies to everything....including just your average nosey neighbor! This is not something to take lightly it is envasive and in some cases illegal.  A cyber stalker can use information to try to discredit you, find out your personal information about your life to hold for their own benefit, they can use it to try to manipulate you or to just show you that they have the power to invade your space.  Which is mostly the case with my dear stalker....I'm sure she loves reading today's post!  There are those people in our world who can't be happy living their own lives so they consume themselves with gathering information about others and trying to use that information to push themselves into that persons life either in a positive way...trying to find that new best friend or in a negative way...trying to make sure you have no friends!  It is important to protect yourself.  The right to choose who is privy to your private life and/or internet habits should be your own.  Not the nosy neighbor! A few of the interesting things my neighbor created.

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