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CYBER INVESTIGATIONS: WHAT YOUR INTERNET HARASSMENT ATTORNEY MAY NOT KNOW

Online harassment attorneys may lack the investigation tools necessary to stop your harasser

Internet harassment has become a major crime category in the United States. In fact, one recent study found that 40% of internet users have personally experienced some form of online harassment. Nearly 75% of internet users reported seeing someone else being harassed online. Shockingly, almost one-quarter of internet users report having witnessed someone being harassed over a long period of time.

Like in-person crimes, online harassment takes many forms — from identity theft, to hate speech, to bullying. Moreover, the severity of the harassment varies wildly. Sadly, the police are often reticent to take reports. In truth, they may be ill-equipped to track down perpetrators, many of whom may be located outside their jurisdiction.

Consequently, in the most egregious cases, victims of online harassment are often tempted to contact an online harassment lawyer. While that can ultimately prove to be a useful strategy, there is an essential interim step that many people overlook.

Cyber Investigators: the first line of defense against online harassers

The first step to putting a stop to an online harasser is to identify the person hiding behind the computer screen. Online harassers are notorious cowards. As such, they tend to operate under pseudonyms or fictitious user names. Cyber investigators have the knowledge and expertise to track down the actual individuals behind these false identities.

A cyber investigation typically starts with the investigator locating the IP address of harasser by setting online traps. Once the IP address is obtained, the investigator is generally able to identify which city the harasser is operating from. This narrows the universe of suspects tremendously. Additionally, well-established cyber investigators have proprietary databases containing IP addresses of known cyber criminals. Many times, a suspect can be identified based on their historical record of online abuse.

Call an online harassment attorney once the field of suspects is narrowed

Once the victim’s cyber investigation team has identified the harasser, an online harassment attorney has multiple paths available to put an end to the harassing behavior. For example, the attorney can contact the harasser’s local law enforcement agency to see if they are willing to engage. Police often take reports from attorneys more seriously than they do calls from citizens.

Additionally, the online harassment attorney can file a motion for a restraining order preventing the perpetrator from continuing the harassing behavior. If the harassment has taken a toll on the victim’s wellness or livelihood, the attorney might also initiate a law suit to seek damages for things like emotional suffering or lost wages.

Importantly, the online harassment lawyer should work hand-in-hand with the cyber investigators. Our team often works with attorneys throughout the course of a civil or criminal case. In fact, we are frequently asked to serve as expert witnesses in both types of cases.

If you have questions about how Cyber Investigation Services can assist you in putting a stop to online harassment, please contact us at investigations@cyberinvestigationservices.com or give us a call at (866) 432-9356. You can also follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn.