There are a lot of incidences of stalking over social media that are taking place. Not all of them may get reported, but stalking on social media, especially Facebook and WhatsApp is becoming common. Stalking is a crime and punishable offence but not many are aware of it. With the advancement of technology, it has become easier to get your WhatsApp number and the stalking drill begins. Receiving a GIF image or a multimedia link is all it takes for a stalker to know more about you. European Union's GDPR To Be Enforced on May 25; Here is the Checklist for New Online Privacy Law Compliance.

A stalker is more aware about his/her actions, which makes it easier for them to get your information quickly. Online privacy is still not taken as seriously as it should be. And a single click bait of an image or multimedia can help a stalker understand about you. Aadhaar Virtual ID (VID): How to Generate UIDAI's New Two-Layer Security Feature Online. 

How an image, GIF or any multimedia can help trace you:

An unknown sender will send you a message with a short link (most likely of a website) with a clickbait text. It could be anything like a latest picture of a celebrity or any government scam. Basically, anything that prompts you to click on the link.

Once you click the link, it will redirect you to any random image or any other website. You will not bother further and close it.

But clicking on the link gives away your location details to the sender. The link sent to you is a masked link with the multimedia file. It is created using an IP logger client.

The moment you click on the provided link, your IP address gets logged and the stalker will know about your location through an IP tracker service. Although there are a few IP loggers providing the exact location, a bit of research into it, and a stalker can figure out the nearby points at least.

Your location is very important for a stalker to carry on the harassment. A visit to the locality or the surrounding area, your stalker can observe your moves before getting your exact location. Google Location Tracking: Here’s How to Disable Location History on iPhone and Android Devices.

How to prevent this stalking?

Staying alert is the basic point to stay away from any kind of messages. Reassure the text, if it is suspicious just do not click on the link. If you receive any messages from an unknown number, read, reread before randomly confirming, pressing the link.

There is also a service called Getlinkinfo.comwhich you can use to unmask the provided link. You can also know if it is an IP logger or not.

It is very easy to send across spam and clickbait messages and often the reader does not realise the greater harm in clicking on these. But in times when we see so many fake messages being circulated, it is best to be careful about such messages. They may seem harmless and funny but do not forward them to anyone as it gets easier for a stalker.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Aug 27, 2018 09:11 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website