Using Technology to Beat Stalkers at Their Own Game

Though they can't always monitor the video in real-time, the video cameras give victims peace of mind and the footage serves as valuable evidence that can be used in court.

She also said that digital stalking leaves behind a digital trail that can help build a case against a stalker.

Though a victim's first instinct might be to delete a threatening text or e-mail message, Fishel urges victims to save everything.

If you delete e-mails, she said, "You lose the trail to be able to go back and be able to trace it to the original source."

She also said that since much of the data stored by Internet companies like Yahoo, Hotmail and Facebook is purged after a certain amount of time, people who think they are being stalked should get in touch with law enforcement sooner rather than later.

Once law enforcement has been notified, officers can initiate a process requesting that tech companies save potentially incriminating email messages and other data.

Victims' Advocates: Trust Your Instincts

Experts say that if you think you're being stalked, you should trust your instincts.

"If you think someone knows too much about your activities, it's entirely possible and likely that the stalker is misusing technological tools to surveil and terrorize," said Cindy Southworth, director of technology for the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

A trip to the computer store with your home computer or laptop can help determine if someone is monitoring your online activities with spyware. But, if you're suspicious, Southworth cautioned against searching for "spyware" or other related terms on your home computer.

If someone is indeed watching you electronically, those key words could tip him off and potentially escalate the harassment, she said, adding that a safe alternative could be a computer at the local library.

Safety experts also encourage victims to change their passwords and even e-mail accounts, as stalkers are often former intimate partners who might know that a password contains birthdays or pets' names.

Southworth said that though technology can be intimidating, it can also become one of a victim's strongest allies.

"In the past, a lot of pressure was put on the victim as the only witness to stalking," she said. "Now if you have e-mail, text messages, camera footage, you have incredibly powerful evidence."

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