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Cyber stalking is a well-known issue across the world that has affected millions and will continue to do so unless precautions and teachings are spread rapidly to slow down this criminal activity. Cyber stalking is a growing problem, and, in this paper, I am going to discuss how it is affecting people offline as well as online. There are numerous ways an individual(s) can be cyber stalked, and I will disclose two of the many methods such as catfishing and cyber bullying. The Lord never wanted us to be harmful to anyone but yet to love our neighbors no matter what. The last topic I will be discussing about is how the Lord views bullying through his eyes. As Christians we are to love one another but not seek out revenge and treat everyone as equal. As an ending note I will share my personal story on how I conquered my own personal cyber stalking experience by using my own knowledge and the Lord with me right by my side through every step.
To harass a group, individual, or an organization by the use of computers or other electronic devices is called cyber stalking. Cyber stalking is creating the same victim experiences to individuals both offline and online, thus making it illegal in 14 states in 1999. The social media and technology are just growing each and every year in ways that are unimaginable that didn’t have so much resources connected to it may be over 100+ years ago. Technology is constantly changing and so are the cyber attackers becoming bolder in seeking out their subjects online or offline. Whether it is shopping online, online dating sites or simple email exchanges between people, individuals are vulnerable to cyber-attacks without even knowing it. Several options in helping reduce this type of attack could simply be not saving your password online, cut down on online dating apps, don’t give out any personal information for people you may not know etc. as the list goes on. Cyber Stalking is a serious crime and society needs to start acting fast to put a halt to this type of crime as this critical case in our justice system is affecting citizens world-wide.
Cyberstalking effects people online as anecdotal and informal data indicate that cyberstalking is a serious and growing problem. Individuals who are at risk of cyberstalking are usually from people with a dark past and looking for attention. Constant emails and spams will lead to an individual becoming more cautious online. Installing firewalls, changing passwords and emails, receiving a new cell number is just a few of many drastic changes people go through to avoid this type of cyberstalking harassment.
Cyberstalking offline is just as dangerous as it is to individuals that are being stalked while they are online. A person can change the social media lifestyle, but the intruder can still find access to one’s personal lifestyle by seeing where they might work and or live. This in sense causes fear and anxiety into people for which in turn not only effects them but also their people around including friends and family. According to the Stalking Resource Center, stalkers make their victims feel afraid by showing up unannounced at their home, sending unwanted gifts, using GPS and other technological gadgets. This is to track them while also taking a chance in posting personal information all over the internet for the world to see.
Majority of people have heard of the show “Catfish” which also is know is catfishing. This is one of the most popular types of cyberstalking and the show is based off true life stories. Stalkers will impersonate and try to be someone they are not to get another person’s attention by posting false information such as pictures, incorrect addressed, all tied up with wrongful and lying promises. Thus, it leads hundreds of thousands of people to be sucked into this false hope thinking that the person on the other side is actually who they say they are. This leads to giving out very personal information that could just in turn blow up into something more drastic. In today’s society it is stressed upon to not give out any personal information through email, or web but it is a constant problem in our nation that’s puts more people at risk.
Cyberstalking and cyber bullying for the most part go hand and hand. Cyber bullying however more so deals with the younger and more immature minor community. As a result, statues establish the infrastructure for schools to handle this issue by amending existing school anti-bullying policies among school age children. The lack of friends will come into play as school will become less interested into the individual child. Cyberbullied children will experience sickness such as losing their appetite, headaches, stomachaches, as well as other physical or mental ailments. With anyone type of bullying a person can feel isolated, anxious with a ton of emotions with the future in doubt because of the harm already caused. Therapy and other solutions are offered but no one knows how that victim is really feeling because they were not affected by this incident.
As stated in the Bible, “Love our neighbors as ourselves”. (Mark 12:31) The Bible says to love our neighbors as we should ourselves and treat others how we want to be treated. Every person, regardless of what he or she looks or acts like, is crated in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27). As Christians, we need to honor God’s words and lead on the right way by showing our faith in him by our own actions. Of the high percentage of people that have been bullied whether minors or adults, only 20-30 percent of them actually stand up and report these types of incidents to authorities. Young adult women are more likely to be affected by the cyberbullying therefore, as Christians, we must stand strong and know that we are an image of God with immeasurable worth and value.
People shouldn’t look to get revenge on anyone no matter of the circumstances as we are taught to love one another equally. As Christians, we are not the law, the Lord is, and we should not try to get revenge on cyber stalkers that has affected an individual’s lives. The Lord will the one to judge the perpetrator as God in his wisdom has other resources besides the government. When cyberbullying affects us, we are quick to react and become instantly upset, mad and afraid as well as vulnerable but we need to show acts of kindness in return for how bizarre this might sound. We are not to seek revenge, but this does not mean that we shouldn’t defend ourselves, or family at any costs when it comes to life threatening situations. Don’t try and solve the seriousness of cyberstalking along as it states in the Bible by Luke 6:31 “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
The cyber stalking incident to took place in my life that affected myself and my family happened in June of 2014 while I was still active duty with United States Navy. An individual decided to use my Facebook photos and use them in numerus dating apps while I was overseas defending our country. I had no idea that this was going on until the return from deployment and proper service restored to my phone in October of 2014. The stalker had personal information that he released to the web and got addresses to where my family work and also lived. My number one priority was to put an end to it, but I know I had to go through the necessary precautions without doing something that I might later on regret later in life. This criminal activity went on for almost 6 months as I had the police department involved eventually leading to a special detective on the case to find out who was causing these problems for me and my family.
This criminal activity had gone on long between notes being left at apartment buildings and random texts/phone calls from mysterious numbers that used fake apps to contact me then erase all information. I knew I had to stay with my faith in God and stay calm to let his guidance help me through this process as this was distracting to everyone around me. It almost gotten to the point of having to move because didn’t want to risk my family being home alone while I was at the Naval Base but soon enough everything would come together. The special agent working my case ending locating the individual and arresting him on scene for numerous charges. I was actually able to see the perpetrator face to face and forgive him even though months prior hatred and so many other emotions ran through my mind every day. I told the individual that God has a bigger purpose for him once he serves their time behind bars and learn from this lesson and grow from it. To this day I now volunteer at local communities within my state to help with bullied victims, giving speeches along with sharing my story so that I can help other people in dire need of assistance or someone to just listen to.
In conclusion, cyberstalking or any type of cyber bullying for that matter is wrong and frowned upon that could potentially turn into serious criminal activity. Cyber stalking companies or individual people is morally wrong and a sin against God. This is not how God wanted us to treat people and go about living our lives. Today’s society is built around social media, purchasing items or goods online or offline but we still can’t be too careful of who this information is shared with. Any type of job should keep it standard to have weekly meetings of the privacy that should be kept within the company. Ad equant amounts of teachings should be held so that people can be notified of how serious a crime cyber stalking is because it not only affects yourself but attacks against your family and friends are also vulnerable. We should take the necessary steps to try and avoid a confrontation in the cyber stalking world as we are taught by the Lord to love ourselves and our neighbors. Bullies and stalkers are constant world-wide daily but know this, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
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