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What you need to know about cyberstalking

Millions of people have their privacy violated every year at the hands of cyberstalking.

“You know, there’s financial and emotional and mental abuse, and this is just, you know, a new level of it that creates a lot of anxiety,” said a woman only identified as “Jennifer” told Boston 25 sister station Fox26 Houston.

7.5 million people are victims of cyberstalking, according to the report Protecting Americans from Cyberstalking. It’s when a stalker uses online sites and apps to track, harass, or threaten someone with physical harm or what’s called doxxing, the publishing of private information.

“They may post fake social posts that are disparaging or adverse. They may have illicit images associated with them, anything that they can do to disparage or harass,” said Darren Guccione, CEO of password manager Keeper Security told Fox61.

Signs of cyberstalking are often subtle. It could come through notifications of unusual logins or password reset requests, contact from online profiles that may be fake impersonator accounts, or people showing up in places that the victim mentioned on social media.

Here are steps you can take to protect your accounts:

  • Use strong passwords or a password manager, which constantly changes passwords to long, complicated versions
  • Use multifactor authentication on all of your digital accounts
  • Don’t post personal information online, and make social media accounts private
  • Turn off location tracking on your phone and social media accounts
  • And scan your device for spyware or malware

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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