Preventing Cyber Harassment
How do I prevent a cyber harasser from targeting me?
There is no total guarantee that you can ever completely prevent somebody from targeting you because humans are innately social creatures and you need to interact with other human beings to live a happy life. There is nothing you can do to prevent someone from becoming your harasser because these feelings that prompt harassers to act out are beyond your control. However, you can always take steps to insure that the damage a potential harasser may do to you is minimized. This includes taking steps to prevent targeted attacks like doxxing, swatting, DDoS attacks, and sexual harassment and avoid negative confrontations online.
A great short term solution
How do I prevent my IP address from being revealed?
Make sure you're careful with your device's IP address. Your IP address can be used to find your computer's exact location, so make sure you don't use any applications where your IP is not secure with people you do not trust. One communication application that was known to reveal your IP is Skype. Unfortunately, many online multiplayer video games like Counter Strike could put you at risk of having your IP address revealed if the attacker uses a network monitoring tool like the popular free application called Wireshark. To further protect your IP address, do not click any links sent by people you do not know or trust. These links could contain IP loggers and may not even look suspicious. You will also not know if your IP has been logged because the link seems to work as it normally would. One website you can use to check a suspicious link is GetLinkInfo.com.
How do I prevent getting doxxed?
What doxxers do is follow the paper trail that you've left behind. You may have not realized it, but from just one clue in a post that you or someone else has written doxxers might have enough to begin unraveling your identity. These clues will build up until they have a complete profile of you. In order to prevent getting doxxed, you have to make sure that you are careful with what you post online. If you want to remain anonymous forever, never reveal a single one of your personal details. Use aliases and never reveal your birth date, birth year, country and state, place of employment, school name, IP addresses, and so on. Also never post a photo with your face or a photo of where you live. Also avoid posting photos or shooting video with an uncovered window behind you. A dedicated and experienced doxxer will figure out where you live by the scenery outside your window or get others to figure it out. Unfortunately, the more you post on forums, message boards, and social media, the higher your chances of revealing information that could lead to you getting doxxed. Make sure to take your time cleaning up as much of this information from your online profiles and websites you use.
How do I prevent getting swatted?
Swatting is another common and very serious problem in the gaming and streaming communities. All swatters need in order to swat you is your address, so try as much as possible to conceal any information about where you live. If you believe you are at risk of being swatted in the near future, make sure you call your local police department and explain to them your gaming activities and that if they get any distressed calls about your address there is most likely no need to be alarmed. Leave your phone numbers with them to call you and your residence before having swat dispatched.
How do I prevent a DDoS attack?
A DDoS attacker needs your IP address, so make sure you avoid revealing your IP address. Note that you are most likely to get hit with a DDoS attack if you are an important company with a website or if you are playing a competitive video game such as Counter Strike.
How do I prevent sexual harassment?
Avoid speaking to strangers on anonymous chat services like Omegle or ChatRoulette where creepers may be exposing themselves to people without their consent. Also avoid livestreaming yourself on camera on sites like YouNow. Take the tragic story of Amanda Todd, which could have been prevented. She was only 15 years old when she took her life after being tormented by her classmates and online abuser and "sextortionist" for several years - all because she made the fatal mistake of exposing herself on a livestream when she was barely a teenager.
Amanda Todd's story, told in her own way
How do I avoid negative confrontation?
To avoid negative confrontation, try to be respectful and courteous to anyone you communicate with on the Internet. Avoid throwing insults at people - especially those you don't know - and making sweeping offensive comments about others. If you really want to shut down a conversation, block the person on the communication medium you two are using before there is any negative confrontation and avoid looking at their posts and messages unless you are using them to build a report on them. If you are being harassed over voice chat in a video game, mute the person and ignore.
What do I do if I am a target of cyber harassment?
To read more about this, go to the page about fighting cyber harassment.
What do all these terms mean?
If you want to know what cyber harassment is, go to the page about cyber harassment.