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To provide a sufficient background of the relevance of this study to the larger research on cyberstalking, several issues are discussed including: (1) information-sharing and privacy on SNSs, (2) an overview of the general empirical literature on cyberstalking, and (3) a review of extant research on RAT and cybercrime.
A social networking site (SNS) refers to an Internet website where users can establish virtual identities through the creation of profile pages, containing a range of personal information, that can be linked to other users’ profile pages (Boyd & Ellison, 2007; Lenhart & Madden, 2007).
Personal experiences of cyberstalking were also assessed.
Analyses specifically examined the relationship between RAT variables and cyberstalking outcomes and the extent to which a specific form of guardianship, online disclosiveness, served as a mediator between online activities and the risk for victimization.
Cohen and Felson’s (1979) Routine Activity Theory argues that the risk for victimization increases when suitable or attractive targets are in close proximity to motivated offenders in the absence of effective guardianship.Yet there is still variability in findings from the emerging literature. Numerous factors may influence online disclosure and the use of privacy settings including friend network size (Lewis, Kaufman, & Christakis, 2008; Stutzman & Kramer-Duffield, 2010), gender (Boyd, 2008, Lewis et al., 2008; Stutzman & Kramer-Duffield, 2010), frequency of SNS use and proficiency (Boyd & Hargittai, 2010), and perceptions of privacy and privacy concern (Boyd, 2008; Livingstone, 2008; Raynes-Goldie, 2010; Young & Quan-Hasse, 2009). First, extant research shows that a number of SNS users may still share a great deal of personal information thereby likely increasing personal risk for victimization. Obsessive relational intrusion, coping, and sexual coercion victimization. Online exposure and a proclivity for social risk-taking were associated with cyberstalking victimization.Levels of online disclosure demonstrated a direct positive impact on cyberstalking victimization, however our findings elucidating the role of online disclosure as a guardianship effort mediating the effects of exposure on cyberstalking victimization were mixed.