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Do you have a cell phone? For most of us, the answer is “Of course! I couldn’t live without it.” The ubiquity of cell phones can be a blessing and a curse, however. For one woman, her cell phone allowed an obsessed ex-boyfriend to surreptitiously track her every movement.

In a real-life nightmare that has all the makings of a taut sci-fi thriller, the woman’s ex-boyfriend downloaded software on to her phone without her knowledge. The stalker could then monitor her movements, listen to her phone messages, and even read her texts. Reportedly, he could activate her speaker phone remotely and listen in on everything she was doing.

This terrifying case of cyberspying is not the first or only example of technology being abused. Less than a year ago, high-profile ESPN reporter Erin Andrews was the victim of an egregious invasion of privacy after images of her in her hotel room were transmitted across the internet.

What can you do to protect yourself? Being aware of your surroundings can only go so far. In the two situations above, the victims had no idea they were being monitored until it was too late. However, there are some good rules of thumb to follow:

  • Never give out personal information or allow access to your personal property to anyone you do not trust.
  • If you receive unwanted contact, break it off immediately.

  • If the harassment continues, notify the authorities.

Technology has, in many ways, made life better for all of us. Unfortunately, it can also be used to torment and harass innocent victims. If you suspect you are the victim of a cyber crime, or know someone else who may be a victim, seek help right away.

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