by Cheri on November 26, 2013 | Comments Off
It feels bad to break someone’s heart. But it feels worse when your former lover deals with their grief by camping out in your bushes so they can peer into your home with a pair of binoculars. Stalkers are scary, and if you don’t know how to deal with them, it might leave you feeling paranoid and anxious all the time.
If you want to know how to handle a stalker, you should turn to people most experienced with avoiding them: celebrities. Their constant media exposure seems to attract unhinged weirdos from all over the country, so famous performers are typically pros at dealing with the unwanted attention of strangers with a warped sense of boundaries. Keira Knightley, star of the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, had to shake off no fewer than six stalkers during the course of her career.
If you’re worried about people who may be invading your life in ways that make you uncomfortable, keep these five tips in mind.
1) Perform A Background Check
How can you know if someone has a history of stalking behavior? It’s not like creepers wear signs that say “I can get crazy clingy, so watch out.”
One surefire method is by performing a criminal background check on your stalking suspect. Since criminal records are 100% available to the public, you can instantly learn if anyone was slapped with a restraining order or has been charged with domestic violence. If you discover through a background check that someone you know has a history of hurting others, you’ll know to stay far away.
2) Lock Your Doors
Just because you have lived in a safe neighborhood for years, doesn’t mean that you should be lulled into a naive sense of security. Earlier this year, J Lo learned the value of a secure home when a stalker waltzed into her house in the Hamptons and stayed there for six days before being caught. Don’t make it any easier to break into your home — deadbolt your door every time you leave the house.
3) Be Wary Of Who Follows You On Social Media
Not all stalkers are bold enough to follow you around in person. Some will simply gather details about your habits and whereabouts by checking out your Facebook or Twitter account. On social media, as the Instant Checkmate blog referenced, oversharing caused problems for several A-listers in 2008 and 2009 when they were robbed by “The Bling Ring.” This group of teenagers followed celebs like Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, and Lindsay Lohan on Facebook to track their habits. When the stars weren’t home, the young burglars broke into the celebrities’ houses and made off with their jewels, cash, and designer clothes.
Protect yourself from people who do reconnaissance on you through social media by limiting the amount of personal info you reveal online and only friending people you know in real life.
4) Stop Problems Before They Start
It doesn’t hurt to let your stalker know, in no uncertain terms, that their weird advances are not appreciated. According to private eye Mark Chinapen, who has helped many stars ward off stalkers, simply confronting a stalker and telling them to stop their behavior usually gets them to back off.
5) Get The Police Involved
Remember, stalking is a serious matter. If you feel that someone is harassing you, you should immediately inform the police just so they have a record of the incident on file. If your stalker is persistent, or worrying you, you could contact the authorities to get a temporary restraining order or Order of Protection. After a stalker broke into the home of pop singer Rihanna, she was granted a 100-yard temporary restraining order against the man. While the force of law should be enough to keep stalkers away, be aware that many have no qualms about violating a restraining order. A restraining order on file is no replacement for your own due diligence against the weirdos of the world.