We live in challenging times, people are acting crazy everywhere that you look; and government entities are acting even more psychotic. Many people lead fear filled lives, and fear is very unhealthy for the mind and the body both. Many of us substitute a great deal of our social lives for online socializing, foregoing the more natural form of human interaction. The problem with online socializing is no different than the problems that sometimes occurs with natural socializing; people who seem good and friendly people sometimes are neither. The online world is full of projected personalities that seldom match the person behind the avatar; and this could make "preacher Dave" appear to be a wonderful person, and the reality is that he's a predator. So very often I have women come to me, and say, "so and so is freaking me out! help!" I'm usually many states away from those persons, and all that I can give is advice. What worries me more than someone being frightened by someone is the person that is vulnerable, and doesn't even know it. You can't teach the unteachable, but for willing ears I have some proactive solutions and ideas that I'd like to offer.
I've got to just go ahead and say it, men are more likely to be predatory than are women; for this reason I tend to focus on women when discussing online defence strategies, or even personal protection strategies in the one on one world. Here's the thing, if you can become proactive concerning persons that frighten you online, then those persons will NEVER enter your one on one world. First and foremost, I can't stress enough that doing nothing about a situation is the worst thing that you can do. Doing nothing leads to worrying about things, and worry is very unhealthy. Worry creates stress, stress leads to high blood pressure, and any huge number of psychological and other physiological disorders as well. You have to be proactive in protecting yourself from people, and you have to protect yourself from worry; basically, you have to be proactive to protect yourself from yourself.
It should really be obvious to people that defensive software is available, and should be used in the case of dealing with people that frighten you online. What I've found out is that, really, a lot of people don't know that things like IP trackers, and IP blockers even exists. The last time I looked around for links to those kinds of software, so that I could share them with someone ,- I saw many different free trial downloads of those types of programs available to choose from. I can't give recommendations or tell you how to use that kind of software though, I've never bothered with any of that; and besides, as I'd mentioned in the first paragraph here, sometimes government entities are the threatening ones.
I sometimes offend people when I bring this up; but lets be realistic. Police officers are people too, and there is absolutely nothing about a badge and a gun that changes that. Sometimes police officers, or even higher level government persons, hiding in the shadows are very REAL and Dangerous threats to any or all of us. This is where disinformation becomes your friend. Disinformation is the best kind of "information" to use online, or offline when you feel that someone is paying too much attention to you, and your activities. Look, we've all heard of the criminally enacted "patriot act," and all that statistics show that that piece of criminal, unconstitutional legislation. . .is being used NOT to track down "terrorist," there are no "terrorists" cells to track down; the "patriot act" is being used to kick in the doors of non violent substance users, and confiscate their legal and illegal properties. Feel free to disagree with me in the comments; but please, bring me facts, you're opinions are irrelevant to the facts.
I strive very hard to be as forthright and honest as I possibly can be; but using disinformation is a form of lying. If you feel that someone is a danger to you, you have no duty to be honest with them, you have the duty to protect yourself, and your family. Just last week, some people were at my parent's house to repair some upholstery; and they were going to have to schedule a return trip for not having all of the right material. My mother, totally trusting soul that she is, told the upholstery repair man,
"Well, I'm going to be out of town on Thursday."
When they'd gone, I had to tell my Mother,
"Mom, you can't go telling people that you won't be home on a particular day."
She quickly realized that I was right, and then said,
"But they seemed like such nice people!"
Of course I'm not worried that the upholstery repair man is going to come rob my parent's home, but it's just a matter of principle here, neither of us had ever seen that man before, and it's just not good sense to tell a stranger, or a brand new acquaintance what your schedule is going to be. Were my Mother afraid of this man, or didn't trust him on instinct, then the way to use disinformation would have been for her to tell the man the WRONG day that she'd be out of town. If I or she were to then see the man's pickup creep down the driveway on the day that we'd misinformed him that we were going to be gone on; we've then have busted a predatory house thief.
The legacy of the Bush era presidency is the "patriot act," the 911 fiasco, and the push to incite fear into people in order to cause them to surrender their constitutional rights. We see this going on everywhere, from the militarization of the police force to the invasive and humiliation of the body scans, scared people allow stupid things to happen, that is why we are in the shape that we are in as a people here in the United States. Disinformation can be used by you to protect yourself online in exactly the same way as information can be used to bust you, or harass you. If you feel like someone is stalking you, or paying too much attention to you. Don't sit and wallow in paranoia, do something with the situation. Spread some disinformation around, and have fun at their expense. When life deals lemons, lemonade is the best solution. I hope that this has been helpful to someone.