Protecting Yourself from Cyber Stalkers - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Reported by Cassandra Kramer

Protecting Yourself from Cyber Stalkers

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(Photo: MGN) (Photo: MGN)

DOVER, Del. - Police arrested a 42-year-old man from Bear for stalking women using the web.  The Attorney General's Office says Richard McCullough contacted his victims using multiple fake names on the internet.

His case is still under investigation. Police say with the availability of social networking websites and other electronic devices, criminals have the ability to take stalking and harassment online.  But police say there are also ways people can protect themselves.

When college student Stefanie Michael isn't hitting the books, she says she spends a lot of time online.  Michael says she tries to be careful about what she puts on the web.

"You get friend requests from people you don't even know and then it clicks, you're like, these people are tyring to find out who I am and to look at where I live and things I do, and it does make you wonder," said Michael.

Police say cyberstalking can happen between strangers, but it often occurs with someone you know. Police say to look out for warning signs that include: 

  • Repetitive or obsessive messages.
  • Police say also watch out for people who continue to contact you even though you've told them to stop.

College freshman Qwantia Nelson says she doesn't even take chances with strangers online.

"You never know what could happen, so I try to accept friends that I know and friends that I talk to and family members," said Nelson.

Police say the more personal information people put online, the easier it is for people to find you.

"I can't believe people actually do that, they'll put their dorm room, their room numbers, their box number, their cell phone number gets added," said Michael.

Officers recommend changing passwords freqently and using elevated privacy settings.  If the harassment continues, victims are encouraged to contact police.

Police say if people think they are being harassed or stalked online, it's really important to save and print all the e-mails and chats they have with the person.  Saving them on your computer will allow police to track the person's ip address.

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