The Internet has evolved from a largely commercial platform to society’s default medium of communication. Since its widespread adoption by the consumer over a decade ago, the Internet has usurped the telephone as our primary communication tool, with the telephone network now representing our gateway to the Internet. Our lives, personalities, and priorities are digitally displayed in our work and personal profiles. Our day-to-day activities are often broadcast and permanently intertwined in our social networks for our friends, families, coworkers and enemies to see.

According to Statistics Canada, the most common form of cyber-bullying involved receiving threatening or aggressive e-mails or instant messages, reported by 73% of victims, while Survivors Inc. has stated that over 1 million women and nearly a half a million men are stalked annually in the United States. Further, statistics indicate that 87% percent of stalkers are men and over 77% of those stalked know their victims. In a recent study published by haltabuse.org, 32% of harassment cases begin via email, 16% via Facebook and 10.5% through other websites or online means.

Navigating the various available social media platforms securely and with adequate privacy in place is increasingly difficult as many of the platforms utilize Application Programming Interfaces (API’s) that communicate across platforms and the wider Web in order to surreptitiously gather data about you and your associates even when you are not logged in. Additionally, these tools provide many opportunities for geo-monitoring, pattern analysis and social subterfuge on many levels. Our highly dynamic Stalking and Harassment courses address these and similar issues, and provide investigative and personal steps that can be taken in cases of, and with a view to preventing, stalking, bullying and harassment online.

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