One of the biggest problems for people on the Internet is online stalkers. These are people that for one reason or another just simply refuse to take a hint and go away. They continue to email and send you instant messages to you even after you ask them to stop.

To understand how to stop an online stalker you first have to understand what motivates a stalker. Stalking is a matter one on person trying to control another. Controlling you brings them pleasure. If they can force you to react this gives them even greater pleasure. If you scream, rant and rave they win. If you panic. They win. If you make empty threats to them, they win. If you argue with a stalker, they win. If you run around telling all your friends and the stalker hears about it, the stalker wins.

There are essentially three ways to stop a stalker.

1. Never become involved with them in the first place
2. Ignore them (Refuse to react) and they may get bored and go away
3. Prevent them from being able to stalk you

The advice, never become involved with a stalker sounds easy, but how do you know who is a stalker and who isn't. First of all stalkers can appear anywhere, at anytime in our lives. But some common sense things can help reduce meeting online stalkers.

First, before going into a chat room, consider the type of people that are going to be hanging out there. Next, avoid allowing them to read your name on other peoples mailing lists by asking other people to use (BCC) blind carbon copy (See below) when sending you email. Stalkers and spammers love to get names off of peoples mailing lists. Also when you send mail you should always use BCC otherwise the stalkers now have the email addresses of all your friends.

Finally, learn to recognize a stalker. Forget all your preconceptions on what stalkers are like. Most of them actually start out as what appear to be very nice people. They are very friendly, offer to listen a lot, and are always there when you need them. Sounds great? It's an act. Because after a while this changes. If you are busy that may start pouting. Or acting hurt. They often show signs of jealousy (Loss of control over you). They demand more and more of your time, and they expect you to be there waiting for them. They throw tantrums when they don't get their way. Most of us recognize something is wrong, but they are able to manipulate us into feeling that the stalkers unhappiness is our fault. So one of the biggest signs someone is a stalker is when they start trying to make you feel guilty for letting them down. Everything is always your fault and not the stalkers. Eventually, as their control over you gets stronger, they become more confident and begin to test you harder and harder (Stalkers are control freaks). Eventually they push you to where you are forced to rebel (then the stalker gets angry) and they begin a pattern alternating between how everything is your fault (threats) and why are you hurting them (manipulation).

The very minute you feel someone is a stalker... Cut all communication with them. Period!

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