In this comprehensive self-help guide, Proctor (How to Stop a Stalker, 2003) offers tips on how to avoid being a victim of stalking.
The author, a retired California police detective who now lectures and consults with law-enforcement agencies, aims to present practical information about stalking and how to avoid it. He discusses various states’ and countries’ stalking laws as well as 19 different “stalking behaviors” to watch out for. He draws on his investigative background to illustrate his points with specific case histories and categorizes various kinds of stalkers, including the stranger stalker, in which “the victim/target is hounded by an unknown entity.” However, the most useful and absorbing part of the book may be the chapter called “A Stalker’s Bag of Tricks,” which discusses such ploys as identity theft and cyberstalking, and how potential victims can prevent them. Some stalkers, for example, employ pharming, or creating a bogus website to steal visitors’ credit card numbers. Some security recommendations will likely be familiar to readers, such as choosing a new, hard-to-guess PIN. Others may be surprising; for example, the author writes that he avoids using “social networks,” as its users generally reveal too much personal information to the general public. Proctor also offers an entire chapter of advice for people who are currently being stalked, urging them to keep complete records of everything that might be relevant to the crime and to install high-quality home lighting, locks and doors. The longest section of the book deals with how police can better fight stalkers, but it may the least useful for many readers. Proctor provides a precise table of contents and an index so that readers can quickly locate relevant material.
A valuable source of facts and guidance on avoiding a frightening crime.