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Cyberstalking: What a college student should know

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2022 | Criminal Defense

With today’s tech-savvy world and a mass amount of user agreements, it is no wonder that your personal data is everywhere. This has caused a spike in paranoia and fear of being stalked or bullied online. College students are easy targets of cyberstalkers when they embrace their newfound independence. Young people, in particular, conduct much of their personal and educational life in the online realm. 

Outlined below are a few interesting facts about cyberstalking:

The boundaries of cyberstalking

You should know that following your friends’ online profiles or a minor comment is not considered cyberstalking. Instead, cyberstalking may be considered an offense if it puts the victim in fear of their life or emotional distress. This could mean bullying, discriminating or blackmailing someone online.

A classmate can still misinterpret your message about a missed class assignment as cyberstalking. If that classmate gets your college involved and if the institution believes you have violated their code of conduct then you may be facing serious penalties against your education.

Actions that could amount to cyberstalking

The following types of behavior are frequently cited in cyberstalking cases; 

  •       Online threats and insults 
  •       In-depth personal online searches 
  •       Receiving unwanted messages, pictures or videos  

Never dismiss any accusations of cyberstalking. You have a presumption of innocence and it is up to the prosecution to establish your guilt. Getting to know your legal options in Virginia will help ensure that you achieve a more favorable outcome in your case. 

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