Crime has a new face – online abuse, in today’s times. The worst part – it’s invisible. Maria Gromakova, a blogger from St. Petersburg, Russia, experienced it first hand when her blog became the target for Russian radical nationalists, and was filled with offensive comments and threats.
Not content on attacking Maria on her blog, her online assailants sent her abusive fascist text messages on her cell phone, hacked her profile on a popular Russian social network site, and even attacked her on a city train, all in the name of ‘preserving Russia’s nationalistic fabric’. The result – Maria’s life turned into a living hell, and made her and her family leave Russia.
If you feel you are a victim of online abuse and harassment from an anonymous source, it is a case of personal injury. Get in touch with an attorney in Billings, Montana, and restore your online persona.
Harmful Effects of Online Abuse
A number of researches have demonstrated the serious consequences of cyber harassment. The victims often develop lower self-esteem, increased suicidal ideation, and a variety of adverse emotional responses. A major damaging effect of online abuse is a victim avoiding his/her friends, family and social activities. The suicide of Megan Taylor Meier, a Missouri teenager in 2006, was attributed to cyberbullying through the social networking site MySpace.
Stop Online Harassment Before Its Too Late
Follow these steps to ensure you always remain one step ahead of your invisible enemy:
- Never give out your primary email id to anyone you do not trust or know
- Never put any sensitive information on personal pages on social networking sites
- Be careful when posting messages in an online forum
- Do not fall for phishing emails that claim your account has been suspended or needs to be updated – they are scams
- If anything looks too good to be true, it probably is
- In case of breach of online identity, report it immediately to the law enforcement officials. Make sure you have all the documents with you
- Contact a lawyer who is well versed in tackling cyber crimes
Online abuse and harassment can leave a permanent scar on your life. The internet is not what it used to be any more. Although we need the internet in our daily lives, we should also exercise proper caution before furnishing our personal and business details. After all your online identity is just as important as your offline one. If you think your identity is violated in the cyberspace, get legal advice immediately.