The usual image of a stalker is some creepy bloke obsessed by some TV star, following them around and making unwanted advances. When it comes to the online realm, however, it would appear that we might have to redraw that stereotype.
New research has revealed that while 50 percent of the Brits polled admitted to using search sites and social networks in order to spy on former partners and enemies alike, women were more likely to be doing the online stalking than men.
Yes, some 62 percent of women 'fessed up to searching for an ex-partner using online tools while only 46 percent of men had done so.
Other interesting figures from this research include the fact that 93 percent of people admit to searching for celebrities online, and 54 percent for an ex-partner. Worryingly, when asked “if you have searched for an ex-partner online, have you searched for that ex-partner on more than one occasion?” over a quarter of people agreed.
The reasons became clearer, when they were asked “if you have searched for an ex-partner online, what were your reasons?” with 'curiosity' being the most popular answer, quickly followed by jealousy.
Tellingly, some 9 percent were honest enough to admit that they had done it because they knew they would not be caught by using online tools.
Steffen Ruehl, CEO of yasni.co.uk, told us "Curiosity is an interesting thing, it is human nature to investigate. It can make people search for people they may dislike, or people they have had personal relationships with in the past. The fact that so many Brits use the internet and services like ours to provide them with undetectable access to other people’s lives is a fact of today’s online society."