Cyberstalking more common than realized

April 14, 2007 at 12:40 PM

VIENNA, Va., April 14 (UPI) -- Computer technology advances allow stalkers to follow women from afar, reading their e-mail or tracking their cars electronically, U.S. women's advocates say.

"Victims begin thinking, 'I'm totally powerless' and start wondering what they have to give up to stay safe," Susan Folwell of the Women's Center in Vienna, Va., told The Washington Post.

Cyber stalking has not attracted the same amount of public or police attention as other forms of computer crime, the newspaper reported Saturday. Police officers say it may be more widespread than anyone realizes, with some victims unaware they are being stalked.

Carol, a Virginia woman who did not want her last name used, said she realized her ex-husband had hacked into her e-mail when he repeated information she had told only one relative.

"He could have been anywhere at anytime looking into my life and getting to me," she said. "He could have seen anything, like legal documents I was forwarding or where I was going to be. That's what I never knew."

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