The Internet has evolved from a largely commercial platform to society’s default communication platform since its widespread adoption by the consumer over a decade ago.
Our lives, personalities and priorities are digitally displayed in our personal, and often, public profiles, and our day-to-day activities are often broadcast and permanently intertwined in our social networks for our friends, families, coworkers and enemies to see. This continual stream of personal information, along with the immediacy of electronic communication, has facilitated a significant increase in the instances of cyber bullying, stalking and harassment in all age groups, genders and personal circumstances.
According to Statistics Canada, the most common form of cyber-bullying, reported by 73% of victims, involves receiving threatening or aggressive e-mails or instant messages, and Survivors Inc. reports that over 1 million women and nearly a half a million men are stalked annually in the United States. Further, a study by Privitera & Campbell found that 10% of Australian employees surveyed had experienced some form of cyber-bullying.
A recent study published by haltabuse.org revealed that 32% of harassment cases began via email, 16% via Facebook and 10.5% through other online means or websites.
Recognized globally as a growing problem leading to depression, isolation and death, cases of cyber bullying, stalking and harassment frequently have an online component, including emails, social networks and live online communications. Knowing how to locate, gather and preserve digital evidence, protect the identity of the victim, and prevent future occurrences are all key elements of our Cyber-Bullying, Stalking and Harassment training programs.