Avoiding Crooks, Creeps, and Stalkers

The world has more than 7 billion people, and most of them at least try to be good. But unfortunately, the world has plenty of bad people in it, too. That’s why you need to take care to defend yourself from crooks, creeps, and stalkers — especially in this modern connected age.

To stay safe, you should be proactive about protecting yourself and your space. And you should act fast if you feel that anyone is behaving inappropriately towards you. Stalking and other creepy behaviors can get out of hand fast, and it’s important to stay on top of things and have records and evidence when the time comes to file a restraining order or press charges. Here’s what you need to know about being safe.

Keeping yourself and your property safe

You can’t control what other people do (and you should never feel guilty about being the victim of a crime). But you have ways to limit your risk of becoming a victim, and you should take advantage of them.

This is especially true now that we spend so much time online. Our social media presence can tell the world a lot about us, and sometimes more than we intend. Crooks can use our social media posts to determine that we’re on vacation — which makes it the perfect time for them to try to break into our homes and steal our stuff. Stalkers and creeps can track our movements and steal private information. And our own posts can alienate friends and ruin our career prospects if we’re not careful about what we say.

So brush up on those privacy settings and keep prying eyes away. While you’re at it, go over the warning signs of scams. When people reach out to you online, whether it be on a social media app or over email, be wary. They may not be who they say they are. And if they start asking for private personal and financial information such as Social Security numbers and credit card numbers, don’t give it to them. The same goes for phone calls and other forms of communication. If you’re not 100 percent sure that you’re speaking or messaging with the person you think you are, then stop communicating. You can always reach out directly to your friend, the bank, or whoever you thought you were talking to and begin the conversation again. If it was really them, nothing of value will be lost, and if it wasn’t, you’ll have saved yourself a lot of grief.

Dealing with creeps and stalkers

Some bad people out there are after our money. Others are after our time, our attention, or our very selves. We should take these threats seriously.

Protect your private information, and be wary of people who seem to turn up or communicate with you more often than you’re comfortable with. You don’t owe anyone your attention or time, and nobody should expect it.

If you encounter serious issues like creepy phone calls or trespassing, take them very seriously. Gather information if you can: A creepy phone call may be able to be identified by a simple phone number search, and some privacy and investigation companies will offer you this service for free. Approach the authorities with that evidence, and consider speaking to an attorney, who might be able to help you get a restraining order. Always call the police when someone has crossed the line, even if you don’t have any “smoking gun” evidence — you need to do everything that you can to establish an official record and paper trail.

Stay sharp. Be observant, be careful, and never communicate with a stalker. Make sure that you’re protected by a security system and other safeguards, and rely on your attorneys and the police to foil a stalker’s agenda. You deserve to be safe.

To read more on topics like this, check out the health category.