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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Basic IMC information | Cyberstalking

What it is and what you can do about it on IMC.

Cyberstalking is using a computer to harass someone persistently. This includes using software like AIM or ICQ, and of course IMC's services, to "follow" people online and intimidate or terrorize them.

On IMC, cyberstalkers take a few forms:

People who post exclusively in PMs to their victims, so that often the only person who is aware of them at first is the one being harassed.

Banned people who return repeatedly under different guises to harass the same people over and over.

IMC takes cyberstalking very seriously. If you think you are being stalked by someone on IMC through one or more accounts, let us know. We can perform analysis on user behavior patterns to determine if the person is another chatter in disguise, and of course move to block that person from coming on the site.

There are several ways to avoid being stalked on IMC:

Don't give out undue amounts of personal information. This may sound simple, but unless you are prepared to take the consequences of people knowing where you live, it is best not to divulge information about yourself too openly. Don't give out your email address in a public room; NEVER give out your phone number.

Don't respond if someone starts harassing you in private messages. Block them and report them.

Save copies of harassing messages when you report the person. They can be compared against site logs.

Be aware that actions have consequences. Many people think that the relative anonymity of being online gives them the freedom to provoke any kind of behavior they like from others. This is dead wrong, and can be dangerous.

Cyberstalking is illegal in many jurisdictions and can have criminal consequences. If someone is using IMC's system to harass you, we need to know.

For more information on cyberstalking and related crimes, see this article on the WiredPatrol site.

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