You have a brief romance, then a break-up. But the short-lived romance does not end there.
Revealing photos of you appear online. You find yourself locked out of your Facebook account. Then the password to your bank account is changed, without your knowledge.
And that is only the beginning.
Next your ex claims that you have been stalking him. To prove it, he points to threatening texts and emails on his phone you did not actually send. The court issues him a protective order.
Now, the situation really escalates. Your one-time boyfriend reports that you violated the protective order, though you did not. You find yourself arrested.
If all this seems farfetched, think again .
Not only is technology being used to embarrass and frighten . Electronic communication can be utilized to manipulate the legal system, tying the lives of former spouses and romantic partners into knots.
Untying those knots can be both expensive and time-consuming. More often than not, legal representation is required.
Cyberstalking can isolate victims from family, friends, and employers. It can rise to extortion, and result in financial ruin.
Emails with abusive language are just the tip of the iceberg. Personal relationships may be disrupted, parental rights lost, and professional reputations destroyed by false accusations.
While cyber law is a developing area, there are a growing number of experts in digital forensics and social engineering (the use of deception to induce individuals to divulge confidential information for fraudulent purposes).
CyberInvestigation https://cyberinvestigation.com, Digital Forensics Corp. https://www.digitalforensics.com, and Cyber Blackmail 911 https://cyberblackmail911.com are just a few offering their services to victims.
While there are no guarantees against cyberstalking, there are measures that can be taken :
- Passwords should be changed every 30-45 days on all online sites, including email and Facebook. Computer generated passwords are preferable.
- Passwords should not be shared with partners or family members who are recovering addicts.
- Details as to identity and whereabouts should not be posted on any social media platform; surnames and/or phone numbers should not be disclosed on online dating sites.
- Security settings on Facebook should be set so that only friends can post. Friend requests from strangers should not be accepted.
- Anyone exhibiting suspicious behavior on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram should be blocked immediately.
- Private messages from unknown senders on any social media platform should not elicit a response.
Vigilance is called for, on all fronts.
“These…things the Lord hates…A lying tongue…A heart that devises wicked plans…A false witness who speaks lies…” (Prov. 6: 16-19).
 Quartz, “Your Worst Office Romance Was Never This Bad” by Justin Rohrlich, 1/15/20, https://qz.com/1782446/your-worst-office-romance-was-never-this-bad/.
 Wikipedia, “Cyberstalking”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberstalking.
Brian Houston, the founder of Hillsong Church (a megachurch popular with Hollywood celebrities) has stepped down from the board in the face of criminal charges that he concealed his father’s child sex abuse. Frank Houston admitted to that abuse before his death.
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