Online savvy required in defence against stalkers, Dubai expert warns

The digital footprint left on social networks, websites and public chat rooms can all help a stalker track their victim.

DUBAI // The boundaries of social media can be blurred as changing technology offers would-be stalkers new ways to find people, follow them and research their history.

The digital footprint left on social networks, websites and public chat rooms can all help a stalker track their victim.

Checking into homes, airports or public Wi-Fi spots can also pinpoint a location at any time, unless location services are switched off on smartphones and tablets.

To keep young people safe online, parents needed to be up to speed with what their children were doing online and limit screen time, warned Elena Andrioti, a psychologist at the Psychology Centre of the Carbone Clinic in Dubai.

“Most teenagers have a variety of accounts on social networks,” she said.

“Some don’t know how to use them or how to protect their ­information and security ­settings.

“It’s important for adults to get involved and help them understand the dangers.”

There could be a variety of motives for someone becoming a stalker she said.

“Anger, spite or, contrarily, a strong attraction for the person being stalked,” are all reasons she said, as well as developing a sense of control or to terrorise individuals.

nwebster@thenational.ae

Published: September 18, 2016 04:00 AM

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