Cyber stalking victim says phones, computers have been hacked for months

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Every time Kate* logs onto the internet or makes a phone call she worries that a cyber stalker is tracking her.

The Victorian woman, who is in her 40s, says she has encountered 18 months of personal hell — her phones and computers have been hacked and fake social media and online dating accounts have been created in her name.

The incidents left Kate so afraid that she quit her job and moved to the country to work on a farm.

To minimise risk of cyber attacks, she now visits the bank in person and receives emails through a third party.

Kate believes she is being stalked by her ex-partner.

Police are looking into the case, but Kate says she has been told by officers there is little chance of any action being taken for months or even years due to a huge backlog of internet-based crimes.

Her fears were heightened this week after the death of 23-year-old Melbourne woman Celeste Manno, whose family reportedly said had been the victim of online stalking.

“I can’t ever put that thought out of my mind, that he’s going to turn up somewhere and that things are going to escalate in his mind and become a real-world situation for me,” Kate said.

A portrait photo of a smiling blonde woman wearing a black top.
eSafety Commisioner Julie Inman Grant says most online stalking is “low-tech”, but there are exceptional cases.(Supplied)

Relationship ended after suspicions raised

Kate and her ex-partner met online through a mutual friend.

She then began working for the same business he was employed by, which was when she noticed strange activity on her computer.

“I’d find a lot of things looked up that I hadn’t looked up myself, finding my location showing up in places that I wasn’t,” Kate said.

“A lot of history and links involving programs designed to tap into microphones and computers.

Kate says several IT experts analysed her computer and other devices…