Security for Stalking Victims

By John Wagley

Everyone cares about computer security but for those who have been the victim of stalking, it carries special significance. There’s a resource that security directors may want to recommend for employees who come to them with stalking concerns. It is called Safety Net: the National Safe and Strategic Technology Project.

The project, consisting of a Web site and educational programs for law enforcement and social services, has been run by the Washington-based National Network to End Domestic Violence since 2002.

One of the site’s main messages is that if you think you’re being spied on, you probably are. In other words, trust your intuition or gut instinct, says director of the Safety Net Cindy Southworth.

The site cautions that if you’re visiting the site and are on a computer that could have info-stealing software, such as a key logger, it’s best to get immediately off and visit later from a safe computer.

Anyone concerned about stalking should exercise special care with regard to putting information on social networking sites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, says Southworth. She adds another tip about using e-mail. Rather than using your first or last name, she says, come up with something random such as “purple chair.”

The project has been funded by the Department of Justice as well as nonprofit and private sector organizations.

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