With your entire life online, it’s easy for someone to stalk you. Therefore, it’s critical to recognize the signs of a stalker to keep your security and privacy intact.
1. You Have a Gut Feeling
If something feels off to you, then trust your gut. For example, if a casual acquaintance knows too much about your life, or if you regularly bump into the same stranger at work, school, or public spots, then you owe it to yourself to investigate.
2. Odd Messages
If you notice odd messages on your social media pages from a stranger, or if your public posts and pictures earn attention from fake accounts, then stay vigilant. Likewise, if you repeatedly receive phone calls and inappropriate gifts from a stranger, then you could have a stalker.
3. Your Computer Starts Malfunctioning
Stalkers use a type of spyware called stalkerware to spy on their targets. Stalkerware is installed on your computer when you click on a link on a fake email, text, or social media message. While stalkerware usually runs quietly, it can also slow down your computer or crash it.
More aggressive types of stalkerware can use your microphone or webcam to record you. If your webcam light suddenly turns on, your new laptop’s battery drains inexplicably, or your hard drive light blinks furiously without reason, then you could be the victim of stalkerware.
However, it’s critical not to panic because many types of malware also have similar symptoms. Visit a trusted cybersecurity page like Malwarebytes downloads — and arm your computer and smartphone with an advanced antivirus software designed to crush all malware, including stalkerware.
On the same page, you’ll find AdwCleaner, a light software that quickly cleans spyware, adware, potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), and browser hijackers. You’ll also find Browser Guard, which blocks malicious websites. Use every tool you’re comfortable with to fight malicious software.
Some stalkers use physical keyloggers to stalk victims. Usually, such a stalker will know you and have access to your computer. Basic keyloggers can record your keystrokes while most sophisticated versions can take screenshots.
To check for a keylogger, follow your keyboard cord to your computer and look for unusual line-in attachments. Alternatively, look for unexplained USB attachments on your computer or laptop. Never accept IT gifts from potential harassers as these could be keyloggers.
After installing the latest cybersecurity software and using the right tools to clean malware from your computer, subscribe to a paid VPN service that secures your data from hackers by encrypting your Internet traffic.
A cuttingedge VPN will also protect your privacy from spies by masking your IP address. Raise your computer firewall to shield your network further. In addition, keep your operating system updated to plug security holes. However, be careful with free VPNs as they can infect your system with malware.
Also, set strong passwords on your accounts and avoid sharing confidential data on social media pages. Resist the temptation to visit malicious websites and to click suspicious links.
If you continue to notice privacy breaches, then don’t hesitate to reach out to the authorities. You may need a cybersecurity forensics expert to check your devices for suspicious programs.