Monday, April 30, 2007

women bloggers and cyberharassment

For the last 10 years, I have been working on protecting people online. While I am perhaps best known for our work in protecting kids online, we actually started by protecting women from cyberstalking and harassment.

Over the years, after handling thousands upon thousands of cyberstalking and harassment cases through our corps of trained volunteers at's cyberstalking and harassment team, we have seen a few shifts. Women used to be the victim of any cyberstalking case at least 90% of the time. The same percentage represented the ratio of men as cyberstalkers. But in recent years, we are seeing some changes. Women are more often cyberstalking each other and men, than ever before. We are seeing about 60% of the victims still being women, byt the poercentage of cyberstalkers who are women has increased from about 10% to about 40%.
we are also seeing large increases in women cyberstalking other women.

Most still have a relationship to their stalkers...former romantic relationships, work relationships, family relationships...something in real life.

Real or imagined.

But when women are cybercelebrities, this all changes. Just like their offline counterparts, cyber-celebs have their stalkers, fans and hate groups. But it's alot easier to harass someone online, when you think you are invisible, anonymous and won't be held accountable for your actions.

"Free speech" is shouted in the blogosphere...for good reason. The Internet is a place to share ideas, controversial and mundane. But words can cross the line into unprotected speech...defamation, hate, threats...none of these are protected. And those misusing words may find themselves on the losing side of a lawsuit, or behind bars, even.

what can we do?

protect ourselves, first and foremost. Use privacy settings and tech controls to lock out crackpots, and keep an eye-out for any hateful or harassing comments, rankings, images or campaigns. Make sure that all comments are moderated, so you have to approve anything that goes live. You can delete a crackpot's comment far more easily before it is posted, than afterwards.

Google yourself and set alerts for you online, to spot things before they grow out of control.

(check this out at

and get help.

don't make it worse by announcing the attack, don't give them the attention they are craving.

and stand together.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Protecting Your Child from a Sexual Predator

Protecting Your Child from a Sexual PredatorBut the best game (and only real game) is designed by
check it out. It's featured in Chris Hansen's new book.


Friday, April 06, 2007

Teen charged criminally for posts on myspace - cyberbullying

Times Argus: Vermont News & InformationMore and more often teens are being charged criminally for cyberharassment and cyberbullying. They often don't realize the consequences of their actions or how easily they can be tracked and located based on what they post online. Federal laws now exist to make the cross-state investigations easier, as well. for more info.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

E-Commerce News: Security: UFO-Seeking British Hacker May Face US Trial

E-Commerce News: Security: UFO-Seeking British Hacker May Face US TrialSadly, too many people still misunderstand computer intrusions. They think that "no harm, no foul", if nothing is stolen or broken, that they have no legal liability. But they are wrong. The intrusion itself, even without proveable damages is enough. Think of it this way. If someone broke into your house and walked around, but didn't steal anything or break anything, should they be allowed to walk away without consequences? No.
The intrusion into your space, your home, your secure place, is enough to support the commission of a crime.
It's the same here.
While some people may think that the reason for the "hacking" was noble, or funny, the act itself is all that matters.