Tips to put a stopper on Facebook stalking

There’s an old saying that goes “To catch a thief, send one.”

While I try not to steal stuff often (everyone takes a fruit or cookies from the BLUU at some point, right?), I’m afraid I may have another vice: Facebook stalking. There I admitted it, and they do say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. However, from what I’ve read and heard, I’m not the only person on campus doing this. From my insight, I have a few tips for those of you out there, probably mostly girls, who feel as if you may be getting looked up by someone like that creepy kid in your astronomy class.

1) Keep your Facebook private. Most people do this, and it definitely makes a FB stalker’s job harder as he now has to request to be your friend. A FB stalker seeing that you profile is public is like a kid in a candy store. Keep it private and you can keep caps on who can see your information.

2) Do not put up pictures of yourself in a bikini or revealing clothes. Doing this is like finding gold to FB stalkers. Especially if you are endowed with certain gifts or have a badonkadonk. Many FB stalkers will specifically look for these pictures and will proceed to show them to all their friends. Unless you like a bunch of creepy guys looking at your pictures (which is a problem reserved for another article) try to avoid doing this.

3) Don’t add people you don’t know. Usually a rule of thumb is if you never met them or only bumped into them somewhere once, don’t add this person. Usually, their thought goes “Hmm he/she is pretty hot. I should add them to look at their pictures.” Unless you think the other person is also attractive, probably not a good idea to do this. Another problem from this is that they now have the opportunity to annoy you with FB chat, which brings me to my next point.

4) Be careful who you chat with or what you say. So you’ve added that one guy from your Connections class that you didn’t really know, but he looked friendly enough. When he chatted you up on Facebook, you even responded and had a short conversation. Now however, he constantly chats it up with you. It seems like every time you’re online, he is too. Chances are, this guy is FB stalking you. With this situation watch what you say because he may get the wrong impression if you write the wrong thing. Even better, just don’t respond. Hopefully he’ll get the point. If that doesn’t work, just take a last-ditch measure and block him. However, only do this in the most severe cases.

To be completely honest, FB stalking is mostly an innocent activity. I would surely rather have someone do this than really stalk me. However, some may feel as if their privacy is being violated. These tips will help you to cut down on that, but in the end, accept that when you put your info online, if someone wants it bad enough they can get it.

Michael Lauck is a broadcast journalism and economics major from Houston.