burglary statistics: What is “Cyber Stalking” & What can you do about it?

Cyber stalking (sometimes written as “cyberstalking”) is using the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass another person. It includes monitoring, making threats, gathering information, identity theft and more. It can also sometimes lead to offline or “spacial” stalking as well as physical violence.

Stalkers repeatedly and intentionally invade the personal life of another person without warrant. According to the burglary statistics, cyber stalkers use email, Facebook, cellular phones, social media services, message boards, instant message programs and other electronic communication tools to send threatening or harassing messages.

Now that more and more people conduct more and more of their daily business and personal interactions online, cyber stalkers have more ways to send these messages than ever before. Cyber stalking can be terrifying, confusing and often dangerous. Read our burglary statistics.

There are two types of harassment that can take place online: direct and indirect harassment. Direct harassment includes sending threatening or harassing messages through email, social networks, text messages and other forms of communication. Intimidation and bullying are common forms of direct harassment. Indirect harassment includes posting hurtful or confidential information on social networks, message boards and websites, subscribing victims to unwanted services online, sending messages in the name of the victim and other similar acts. Both types of harassment are dangerous and hurtful. Any person of any age, gender or location can be a victim of cyber stalking and online harassment.

How can you protect yourself from cyber stalkers and what can you do if someone is harassing you or your loved ones online?

Unfortunately some people use information that is posted online in negative ways. Be mindful of the information that you post online and use privacy settings and passwords to control who can access your personal details. Do not list you home address on social networking sites. Cyber stalkers can use this information to harass you in person or steal your identity. Make sure that you have correctly set your privacy settings on Facebook and other social networks so that only your friends can see vital details about you and your life. When choosing a password, do not choose one that would be easy to guess such as your middle name or the street you live on. Passwords that include bother uppercase and lowercase letters as well as numbers are much more difficult to guess.

If you are a victim of cyber stalking, here are a few tips. If you know the stalker in real life, send him or her a clear written request to stop harassing you. Only send one request and then do not have any further contact with the stalker. Keep a copy of the letter for your records. Retain evidence of all harassing messages and keep copies of this information as well as all contact made by the stalker.

Contacting your Internet service provider or cellular phone provider may be helpful. Some ISPs and companies are able to block certain persons from contacting you. You can also report the person to his or her own ISP or provider. If the harassment does not stop, contact the police. Do not attempt to meet your stalker in person in order to stop the harassment. This could be incredibly dangerous. Cyber stalking is very serious and should be dealt with by law enforcement.

Burglary Statistics & Trends

Unfortunately, burglaries and break-ins happen quite regularly in homes across North America. According to burglary statistics, in 2010, a burglary took place every 15 seconds in the United States. The best way to prevent burglaries and to protect yourself is to understand where and when they take place and to secure your home with the appropriate security technology.

Renter’s Insurance recently published burglary statistics on break ins in the United States. The information can help you understand how burglar’s think so that you are able to better protect your home, your valuables and your family.

Burglaries of residential properties accounted for 73.9% of all burglary offenses in 2010. Contrary to what some may believe, the majority of residential burglaries take place during the day, not at night. Burglary statistics show how the most burglaries take place between 10am and 3pm, since most people are away from their homes during these times. Break ins take place most often during the summer months (July and August) while February has the fewest number of break ins. Weather is certainly a factor in these cases and the fact that many people take long vacations during the summer makes their homes tempting targets for burglars.

Single-family homes in the middle of a block are more common targets for burglars than homes on corner lots. This is likely because a house on the corner is more easily spotted than a house in the middle of a block. Burglars do not want to be caught committing crimes and thus they target homes where they are less likely to be noticed.

How do burglars get into your home? Click here to read the rest of this story.

Protecting Yourself From Muggers

Being mugged is a terrifying situation that can leave you feeling helpless, powerless and vulnerable. Unfortunately, muggings can happen anywhere, not just if you’re walking through “a bad neighbourhood” or if you’re visiting a city you are unfamiliar with. People can be mugged in their hometowns while walking down streets that they visit often. However, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself against muggers.

The best way to protect yourself from a mugger is to avoid getting into a bad situation in the first place. While criminals are sometimes unavoidable, there are a few steps you can take to decrease your chances of becoming a victim. Stay in well-lit areas where other people and cars are present whenever possible. Mugger does not want to be caught committing a crime and he or she will be less likely to mug you if others will see the act take place. Keep valuables hidden and close to your body. Hang your purse or bag from a short strap and keep it under your coat if possible. The same goes for valuables such as cell phones, watches, music player and cash. Keep these items hidden in your pockets whenever possible.

Stay alert at all times. Be on the lookout for anything that seems suspicious. Keep your head up and observe what is going on around you. This will keep you from accidentally walking into a dangerous situation. Don’t listen to your iPod or music player while walking. This could·distract you from your surroundings and also attract criminals who may want to steal your device. If possible, try to walk with a friend, co-worker, relative or someone else you trust if you need to walk through a deserted area at night.

Keep moving. It is much easier to mug someone who is standing still than someone on the move. Where comfortable shoes so that you will be able to walk quickly. Do not stop for strangers, regardless of the reason. Sometimes muggers will ask you for directions so that you will stop walking. If you are asked for directions, walk with the person asking while you give them the information or ask them to come inside a store or other commercial establishment while you talk with them. Burglary statistics show that muggers are much less likely to strike when other people are around.

If you are mugged, it is important to stay calm and confident but non-confrontational. Listen to what the mugger is asking for and comply with the requests. Most muggers will be looking for money or other valuables such as jewelry or electronics. While you likely will not want to lose your valuables, it’s safer to hand them over rather than risk injury or death. Answer the mugger’s questions, but do not give him or her any additional information. Most muggers will leave once they have the valuables they are looking for.

Never go with an attacker to a second location. You will be much safer if you stay where you are than if you head to somewhere more deserted. Keep this in mind, even if your attacker has a weapon.

Take note of any distinguishing characteristics such as height, weight, hair colour, eye colour, etc. You can provide these details to the police after the fact. Stay safe with our burglary statistics.

Carjacking Safety Tips

Carjacking can be incredibly lucrative for criminals. Regardless of the type of vehicle you own, it can be a target of a carjacker. While some thieves target high-end, expensive cars, others aim for more typical vehicles. These are often easier to steal and·harder to track. Stolen cars are often sold for parts and parts from more common vehicles are often more valuable.

What can you do to avoid becoming a victim of a carjacking?

Keep your car doors locked even when you are in your vehicle and wear your seat belt.

Many carjackings take place at red lights or at other times when a driver is stopped in the car. Criminals look to quickly enter the vehicle, throw the driver out and take the car. Keeping your doors locked and your seat belt on makes this more difficult. The extra time you’ll get could allow you to drive away.

Give yourself some space.

Keep at least a car length between you and the vehicle in front of you. This will let you maneuver your vehicle if needed. Stay in the center lane whenever possible. This will make it more difficult for a carjacker to approach your vehicle.

Watch out for dangerous situations and set-ups.

If you’re stopped at a red light and someone approaches your car on foot, do whatever you can to get away. There is no reason why someone should be walking up to your car in that situation. When rolling down your window for any reason, only roll it down slightly. An open window makes it easier for a criminal to reach into your car and threaten you. Criminals will often try to put you in a situation where you leave your vehicle as this gives them a chance to steal it. A common scam is to lightly bump your car so that you will get out to check for damage. At this point the criminal will jump into you car and drive off. If you are in a minor accident, wave to the other car and drive to a more populated area before getting out of your car.

If you are carjacked, in most cases the best option is to give up the vehicle and report the crime to the police as soon as it is safe to do so. Provide the police with as many details as you can possibly remember.