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Unfortunately, academic researchers have largely neglected studying cyberstalking on a broad scale, and we only have a couple national studies from which to draw upon.
The cool thing is that their prevalence rates are pretty darn close to another, and I believe paint an accurate picture of how often this is occurring across America.
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A primary factor has to do with instant gratification.
That is, the perpetrator can find and target his or her victim immediately and without many obstacles .
Even though there is no federal law on cyberbullying, there absolutely is one that covers cyberstalking.
To be sure, cyberstalking can occur in a most efficient manner since many individuals share much of their lives online via social media [16, 17], which provides background information, location, personal interests, family and relationship details to learn and exploit.
Social media, the constant presence and use of our phones, tablets, and other devices, and our 24/7 reachability and connectivity can provide would-be aggressors the ability to constantly message, post, or otherwise invade the mind and emotions of targets.
Surprisingly, cyberstalking rarely occurs by a stranger (although we do hear about those cases when they involve celebrities and rabid fans), and most often is carried out by a person the target knows intimately or professionally. For example, the aggressor may be an ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend, former friend, past employee, or an acquaintance who wants to control, possess, scare, threaten, or actually harm the other person.
In many cases, they have had access to certain personal information, accounts, inboxes, or other private knowledge regarding their target’s daily routine, lifestyle, or life choices .