When Is Something Harassment Under The Act
Generally speaking harassment is behaviour which causes you distress or alarm.
The Act also says you must have experienced at least two incidents by the same person or group of people for it to be harassment.
It’s the courts that decide if something is harassment under the Act. The courts will look at whether most people or a reasonable person would think the behaviour amounts to harassment.
How To Report Harassing Emails On Craigslist
As millions of people scour Craigslist each month — generating over 50 billion page views monthly, according to Craigslist as of March 2013 — there are bound to be some bad apples who are looking more for trouble than for anything else, even to the point of harassment. Whatever the case is, though, Craigslist doesn’t excuse harassment. And the company gives clear direction on what to do if someone you encountered on Craigslist is harassing you via email.
Online Marketplace Purchase Scams
Online transactions, whether you are the buyer or the seller, require caution to make sure you avoid scams. This is particularly true if you are engaging in a person-to-person transaction, perhaps through Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist or eBay rather than purchasing through an online store.
When you are buying items advertised online, make sure that the seller actually has possession of the goods being sold, and hasnt just copied photos someone else has posted online. If possible, view the product in-person before purchasing, but take appropriate safety precautions including meeting in a safe, well populated place and bringing a friend.
If you must purchase an item without viewing the item in person, take additional precautions:
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Is It Illegal To Send Someone A Harassing Text
The answer really depends on you and the nature of the texts. Harassing Texts Are Illegal, but Will Police Pursue Them? Most states have criminal laws against harassing texts, in some form or another. Harassment has a rather low level threshold: it is repeated, unwanted contact.
Do make a printed copy of the email. There is a type of email sometimes called disappearing email that can simply vanish from you IN box within a day or two. In this printed copy, make sure to include the email headers. .
For example, email harassment is a violation of Gmail policy, and Google has a specific page for reporting a Gmail user who engages in abusive emails. You need to copy the email header from the sample email reported to Google, and that process is explained on the Google page.
Scams Are Especially Common On The Internet Where New Technologies And Anonymity Can Help Fool You Here Are A Few Examples Of Online Scams And How To Stay Safe Online
Educate yourself on these common warning signs that can help prevent you from falling victim to scam websites.
Your web browser warns you
Most web browsers have built-in features designed to alert you about dangerous or deceptive websites. If you receive one of these warnings, do not visit the site. However, just because a website does not generate a warning, does not mean it is legitimate. Scammers are constantly creating fake websites and it takes time for the browsers to detect them.
Unusual URL Structure
The URL is the address of the website, found at the top of your web browser, for example, . Carefully examine the URL of the website you are visiting. Look for subtle misspellings .
Also, watch for URLs that begin with the website you expect, but have extra characters at the end or unusual punctuation .
If there are any characters or words that look out of place in an otherwise normal URL, you may be on a phishing site built to look just like a trusted website. Read carefully.
No Business Contact Information is Listed
Reputable businesses provide legitimate contact information. If a website does not list an address or phone number, be wary of providing personal information.
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What Can I Do About Harassing Emails
If the person is harassing you online via email, an online messaging service or on a social networking site, you can also contact the site and ask them to deal with the person in accordance with their terms and conditions. You can also set up your email to block messages from unwelcome email addresses. NetSafe can help you with this.
Other Options To Prevent And Report Email Harassment
With email harassment, as with any other form of cyberbullying, you should assess the threat level first. If you believe you are in immediate danger, call the police.
If that is not the case, here are some steps you can take:
Tell the Harasser to Stop
|The only adequate response to the harasser’s emails is to tell them to stop. You can do this by sending a cease and desist letter.|
Make a screenshot and print the evidence that this request was sent.
Other than this, it is best not to engage with the harasser in any way.
Contact Harasser’s Internet Service Provider
|If you know the harasser and the ISP they use, you can contact it for help. Internet service providers usually have policies banning the use of their services to harass another person. If someones actions go against the policy, their account could be suspended.|
Save the Evidence
|Screenshot, archive, and print the emails. If you decide to involve the authorities, you will need proof of harassment. Do not edit or alter the emails in any way.|
Never Forward the Email
|Forwarding the email might result in losing routing data encoded in the original email. If you want to share the email, make a screenshot, or copy-paste the content.|
Report and Block
|With most service providers, you should be able to report harassing emails to the host. You should also use the block sender feature in your email service.|
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Report Harassment To The Technology Company
You may also want to report the harassment to the technology company. Most technology companies have policies that do not allow users to misuse their platform to harass another person. If they confirm that someone is violating their policy by harassing another person through their platform, they may remove the offending message, tell the person to stop, and, in rare cases, the person may be banned from the platform.
If You Receive Spam Or Phishing
The first step if you receive spam or phishing email is to find and copy the message with full email headers. If you report a case of harassment, abuse, unsolicited commercial email, chain-letters, phishing, or other potentially harmful communication, you must send a complete copy of the message with full email headers to . Full headers allow us to track a message back to the IP address from which it was sent. Received: headers are extremely difficult to forge and can be used to identify the source of the offensive email. A message without full headers cannot be tracked.
Scroll down to see the difference between full and incomplete headers.
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How To Take Legal Action Against Email Abusers
Cyberbullying laws vary among different states. Statista reports that as of November 2018, 48 states had electronic harassment laws which directly included cyberbullying. There were 44 states which included criminal sanctions in their cyberbullying laws.
The penalties for cyberbullying can range from civil penalties to jail time, depending on the states cyberbullying laws.
If you consider taking legal action against a harasser, it may be wise to consult with an experienced criminal attorney.
How To Display And Send Full Headers In Various Email Programs
UCSB Connect Mail and Gmail
Other email sources
- An opened message will have a Message Source tab, which will contain the headers.
- Right-click on a message, select View and double-click on the Mime.822 file to see the headers.
- Right-click on the message and select Forward as Attachment to include the headers with the forwarded message.
In most situations, people are interested in seeing only the first few headers on a message , so most email programs such as Gmail, Outlook, Thunderbird and Apple Mail display only those when the recipient reads the message or forwards it. The rest of the headers are masked. Unfortunately, those first few headers are easy to forge, and this commonly occurs in cases of harassment, viruses, junk email, or chain-letters.
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How Not To Be A Spam Bot
Hackers and spammers troll the internet looking for computers, phones, tablets, and other connected devices that arent protected by up-to-date security software. When they find unprotected devices, they try to install hidden software called malware that lets them control the devices remotely.
Many thousands of these devices linked together make up a botnet a network used by spammers to send millions of emails at once. Millions of computers, phones, and Internet of Things devices, like smart cameras or voice assistants, can be part of botnets. In fact, most spam is sent this way.
You dont want spammers to use your device. It can cause a lot of issues, from slow devices, legal trouble if attacks are traced to you, and stolen personal information that can be used for identity theft.
Heres how to reduce the chances that your device will become part of a botnet:
- Keep your devices security updated. To be secure and effective, the software that comes with your device needs occasional updates. Whether you have a new or existing device, visit the manufacturers website to see if theres a newer version of the software to download. Register your device with the manufacturer or sign up to get updates to keep the software current. Set your updates to download automatically and, if possible, set up your device to automatically update.
What To Do If You Are Harassed By Email Or Texts
If you are continuing to receive emails and texts from someone after you have asked them to stop, you should report their action to the police.
If you are being bombarded by unwanted emails and texts from someone, it may be making you feel anxious, irritated and frustrated. You may have pleaded with the harasser to stop initially and even if they didn’t, you may have felt that eventually they will stop because if you don’t respond to a harasser, the person would get bored but that was days, weeks, even months ago.
You may have already gone to the police about the harassment by email or texts, only to be fobbed off, as many police forces do not know how to specifically deal with any crime that occurs via emails or anything online, as they believe that the internet is not their jurisdiction.
The internet does not have a specific jurisdiction but if you live physically in that police forces area, it is an issue that they must deal with, so do not give up. If you are feeling alarmed, distressed and harassed by texts, emails and anything else that you are being bombarded with, via public electronic communication, it is a criminal offence. Take the evidence to the police station and leave it with them and insist on registering a formal complaint. The police will have to open an investigation if you leave the files at the front desk of the police station, so don’t leave without doing this.
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Strategies To Manage Harassing Messages And Calls
Experiencing harassing calls and messages can be very difficult emotionally. It may feel as though the person is always there, you cant get away, and the only solution is to disengage from all technology so he cant contact you. While you cant make the other person stop harassing you, there may be some things that you can do to alleviate the constant bombardment of harassment.
How To Handle Email Threats
Sending threatening emails or messages through the Internet using instant messages or other means is a federal crime in the U.S. Statute 18 U.S.C. § 875 states: “Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing any threat to kidnap any person or any threat to injure the person of another, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.” Intent is beside the point — the act of sending the threatening email is a punishable offense. Learn what to do if you receive emails that threaten you, your family or your property.
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What Are Some Tips To Prevent Internet Harassment
While every situation is different, in general, steps to help prevent cyberbullying can include:
In the workplace:
- Use a gender neutral e-mail address if you have a choice.
- Make your e-mail password at least twelve characters long although longer passwords may be appropriate. Make sure that it is a combination of capital and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. The best passwords don’t spell anything and don’t follow a logical pattern.
- Change your password frequently.
- Review the workplace’s policy about the use of e-mail signatures . It should provide enough information about the person so that they can be identified, but not so much that they are providing e-mail recipients with personal information.
- Use encryption, privacy settings, software, or other technological tools to increase the security provided to e-mails and internet use.
- Follow guidelines from your organization’s Internet technology specialist as there will be additional requirements regarding privacy settings, and safety from computer viruses, malicious software, etc.
- Follow any policies or procedures your organization has in place for Internet communication. Discuss Internet privacy and safety with your organization’s Internet technology specialist.
- Limit the information you share in your “out of office” message to the dates of your absence and who to contact. Don’t broadcast that you are on vacation or on work-related travel.
- Do not leave your computer logged in and unattended.