Information Services > Security > Protect Yourself > Responding to threats and harassment
Internet communication allows fast and inexpensive communication on a global scale. Electronic mail is taken for granted as a means to send messages within seconds to friends, family and associates. With this ability also comes a certain level of anonymity that the Internet provides for those unaware on how to track communication. This anonymity creates a rather simple place to wage threats against and harass persons.
These suggestions hope to aid you in responding to harassment and threats in cyber space and only covers email, instant messaging, and other "online" communications. Always be sure to keep notes of the incident in the case that further legal investigation occurs.
If you receive any arbitrary harassment that makes you uncomfortable, respond once to the person harassing you. If being harassed by email or instant messaging, reply once shortly stating that you wish for the harassment to stop. At this point make no further contact with the other party. Save all offending messages that you receive via email and save chat sessions, where possible. Make notes to yourself as to the time and date that each incident occurs.
If the abuse has originated from DePaul University, or you have factual evidence the offending party was using a DePaul University computing resource, notify us immediately as to the details of the event. You may find our contact information here. If the offending party was not within DePaul, you should send email to the security contact for that organization. Usually, this can be achieved by sending your allegations to either or . Note that you should replace example.org with the domain name of the persons organization, ISP, etc.
If you are unable to obtain this information, or find that no response is given by the external organization, please contact us for assistance.
If you are receiving continued threats or being harassed we strongly urge you to contact the DePaul University Public Safety department or local police department.
Be Smart, Be SafeWhether you're enjoying the local nightlife that Lincoln Park has to offer or you are meeting new people in an online chat forum, be wise about the information you offer to strangers. We recommend these simple steps for ensuring your safety.
In the real world...
Reporting IncidentsWhile Information Security may not be the primary contact in the event of an ongoing incident, we try to keep our eyes out for the university community and track incidents. Feel free to contact the Information Security Team with the details of the problem, etc. Employ encryption software, where possible, when reporting via email, and do not disclose information that is sensitive to your situation. All information reported to Information Security will remain confidential for your safety.