Are You Being Stalked? 3 Things You Can Do to Keep Your Contact Information Private
The relationships you have with other people are meant to be wholesome and healthy things that bring light and joy into your life. Unfortunately, some people take things too far and twist something that should be good into something sinister. If you discover that you’re being stalked, it’s important to take action to protect yourself. One of the things you need to start doing is keeping your contact information private.
Get a Private Post Office Box
Your address is one piece of contact information that you really don’t want your stalker to know if you can help it. You don’t want them getting into your mail or putting anything in it if they do have your address either. To help with this, get a private post office box and have all of your mail sent there instead of to your house. Use that for your address when sending mail out as well. Ideally, it should be a minimum of two zip codes away from where you live for greater protection. While you’re at it, install a lock on your residential mailbox if you have one. Only share your residential address with those you trust most and ask them to avoid writing it down and to never share it without talking to you first.
Protect Your Phone Number
Stalking isn’t always an in-person event. It can happen over the phone too, not to mention the fact that your phone number can be used to make it easier to find you. Consider getting an unlisted and unpublished phone number instead of your old one. Use Complete Blocking or Per Line Blocking when making phone calls to prevent your phone from being recognized by Caller ID. If you have to give a phone number, use a work number or voice mail number instead. Try to avoid calling 800, 866, 877, 888, or 900 numbers with your phone if you can help it since your number could be captured using an Automatic Number Identification service.
Share as Little as Possible
Limit the amount of information you share about yourself as much as possible. Things like your middle initial, your address, phone number, and especially your social security number should only be given to those who have a real, legitimate need for that information. It’s even best to avoid filing a change of address with the US Postal Service. Keep your driver’s license private. Ask your friends, family, and employer to keep your information confidential as well so they don’t accidentally compromise your safety.
Being stalked is scary. It’s easy for the situation to turn serious, even deadly. As such, taking steps to protect yourself, such as protecting the privacy of your contact information, are absolutely essential. Beyond that, make sure you file police reports and collect and preserve evidence of the stalking. Let your family and friends know about it too. This can help you build a case so that you can protect yourself now and in the future.
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Bradley Corbett is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo Utah in 2004. Later he enrolled at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where he participated in a prestigious internship program with the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Since then he has handled over 2,000 cases.