Online Stalking and Online Activities - An evaluation of risks and their perception





Alessia Malachiti

University of Essex – BA Criminology and Criminal Justice


This study has been approved by the Ethics Committee Board of the University of Essex






During my University career I have been constantly supported by my tutors and student advisors from the University of Essex, and I am deeply grateful to them for their guidance. In particular, I would like to thank Dr. Hilary Miller, that supervised this project and helped me to find the way to properly develop it.


I think about my final dissertation since the start of the “University journey”, and I see this project as one of the main goals of my life. It was essential to believe in myself, and to develop the proper confidence to arrive to this point, I have been guided by all my tutors and I am particularly grateful to: Dr. Mary Hill, which at the start helped me to understand how to organize my studies.


I am grateful to the persons that financially and morally supported my studies: my grandparents Anita Villella and Francesco Gigliotti. I am lucky to have them by my side.
I would like to thank my mother, Angela Gigliotti, for her constant support in all the fields of my life: I am aware of her sacrifices and I hope to be able to repay them in the future.

A special thank goes to my aunt Angela Pilato, that financially supported the final Module of this journey and that brought a piece of my heart with her and Luis Pilato in Argentina.
I am thankful to the rest of the family: Erika Belfiore, Francesca Giangrande, Gabriel Peretti, Gabriele Peretti, Roberta Riva. It was not easy for me to overcome certain personal problems, but they helped me to regain the strength necessary to achieve this goal.


In difficult days I could count on the love of Iside, Ronnie, Peter, Hook, Ambra, Camilla, Arthur, Trilly, Anacleto. I am grateful to have them in my life.

I am thankful to my friends, that believed in me, in particular Elisa Ragolia and Matteo Valier.


I wish I could celebrate this goal with my loved ones that are no longer here, but they are always in my heart and I know that they would have been happy to see that I have achieved this important goal. I am grateful to my aunt, Maria Antonia Gigliotti, that always supported me until her last day on hearth. I am extremely grateful to Timmy, that made me understand what is love. I am grateful to have had Alessandra Grande Nowicka in my life as a friend, and I will always remember her and her confidence in my skills.


I want to dedicate my research project to all of them, and especially to Timmy, Maria Antonia Gigliotti and Alessandra Grande Nowicka.


Alessia Malachiti


A. Abstract and Introduction


As the world evolves, new crimes arise, and it is necessary to understand the perception of individuals which may be exposed to new risks in order to evaluate the implementation of new preventive strategies. Because of the spread of the internet, cyber crimes increase, for this reason their assessment is fundamental. The aim of this study was to test the overall awareness in relation to cyberstalking and its dynamics, as well as its aftermaths. In order to evaluate the perception of risks, this research has been extended to online behaviours trends. To obtain data it has been developed a questionnaire that has been proposed to internet users. The literature review made in regard to cyberstalking provided interesting starting points to assess this crime, and it was also essential to extrapolate answers to present to respondents in order to test their knowledge about this offence.


A. Introduction


Nowadays the whole world is connected via telematic interactions and the internet has become of daily use for most populations. Just as crime exists in real life, it also exists in virtual environments and it leads to real consequences for victims (See B.5 Consequences for Victims), such as the manifestation of the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (Khosrow-Pour, 2014: 6802). For this reason it is important to evaluate the impact of new crimes, in order to understand what strategies to implement both to defend themselves and to prevent cyber crimes. For stalkers, internet is an inexhaustible source of information, because it is possible for them to choose the victims and find their personal data, by taking advantage of social media and other types of websites. Pittaro (2007) argued that studies suggest that cyberstalking cases will continue to rise, even because offenders may take advantage of a “veil of anonymity”. Because of the high number of opportunities that cyberstalkers have to commit offences, stalking may be considered as one of the most easily implemented crimes via the Internet, for this reason it emerged the necessity to conduce a study about Cyberstalking and its perception among internet users. Pittaro (2007) argued that studies suggest that cyberstalking cases will continue to rise, even because offenders may take advantage of a “veil of anonymity”.


This paper starts with a literature review (see B. Literature Review) on which cyberstalking characteristics and dynamics are highlighted. In particular, it has been assessed:
what is cyberstalking and its correlations with stalking;
the ways in which cyberstalkers may stalk through the internet;
the common profile of cyberstalkers;
trends in sharing of personal information through the internet.


Through the assessment of the literature review it emerged the necessity to test the theory of Jensen (2013), for which there is a low overall awareness about cyberstalking. For this reason, it has been made a research whose aim was to test this theory, and whose objectives were to:
assess how individuals view the risks of cyberstalking;
evaluate the perceptions of cyberstalking aftermaths;
establish if internet users adopt any preventive strategy in order to avoid becoming victims of cyberstalking.


The methodology is indicated in this report as well as research limitation and the way in which this study has been designed (see C. Methodology). This paper includes research results (See D. Results), and data have been divided into segmentations in order to evaluate if there are main differences on the basis


Verlag: BookRix GmbH & Co. KG

Texte: Copyright 2018 - Alessia Malachiti
Tag der Veröffentlichung: 18.11.2018
ISBN: 978-3-7438-8675-9

Alle Rechte vorbehalten

Nächste Seite
Seite 1 /