How can you stop yourself becoming a victim of online harassment?
Police reveal top tips to block internet bullies after new statistics show huge increase in the number of people in West Midlands being targeted on social media.
Police estimate that some victims of stalking or harassment will have been targeted as many as 100 times before they finally ask for help.
That makes today’s figures that officers have investigated well over 1,000 incidents of harassment connected to social media all the more shocking.
The overwhelming majority of calls to police relate to Facebook, with Twitter users complaining to officers just 62 times since 2010.
In comparison Facebook users asked for help 1,333 times.
West Midlands Police have published a list of helpful tips to help people trying to avoid harrassment and stalking.
They recommend securing any online accounts by changing usernames and passwords regularly. Passwords should never be shared.
Online trolls and bullies can set up fake accounts so never accept friend requests from people you don’t know.
Privacy settings can help block internet bullies and Facebook’s settings are easily adjusted meaning you can restrict the number of people who can see your profile, pictures and what you post.
When posting it is also important to remember to carefully consider what you share publicly.
Sharing details about your holiday plans, a new job or your current location could make you vulnerable to stalking or harassment.
Similarly if you use a smart phone turn off GPS or geo location settings to prevent apps from sharing your location.
If you do fall victim to online abuse take screenshots to keep a record by pressing print screen and pasting the contents into a paint document.