How to Stop a Facebook Stalker

Reclaim your privacy and sense of security

Businessman looking in binoculars over montage of smiling faces, depicting a Facebook stalker
John Lund / Getty Images

If someone's attention toward you on Facebook feels intrusive and uncomfortable, this behavior may be considered stalking. Here's what to do if you're being stalked on Facebook.

What Is Stalking?

It can be hard to tell at first if someone is stalking you or is just exceptionally interested in your life. Here are some telltale signs:

They comment on all your new posts

Stalkers want attention, and one way to get it is to tell you what they think about everything you post.

They comment on posts from the past

This action indicates they're combing through your Facebook history.

They like all your photos

This indicates extreme interest in you.

They send you private messages

These messages may be unusually frequent or reference knowledge they could have gained only by taking a deep dive into your profile.

They show up at the top of your friend list

Facebook's algorithm puts those who interact with you the most (or who you interact with the most) at the top of your friend list. If someone isn't a close friend and is at the top of your list, this is a red flag.

They request to follow you on other social media sites

If you're suddenly getting invites or requests on all your social media accounts from this person, it's a sign they want to know even more about you.

Bottom line: listen to your gut. If any of these behaviors makes you uncomfortable, take steps to protect your privacy and gain distance from this person.

What to Do When Someone Is Facebook Stalking You

Fortunately, there are actions that will stop a stalker in their tracks, including blocking them from messaging you, preventing them from seeing most of your posts, unfriending them, or even making it impossible for them to find you on Facebook. The actions below are listed in order of least to most severe.

No stalking-prevention method is foolproof. Even if you block someone on Facebook, there's a chance they could see a public post or use a mutual friend's account to continue to monitor your activity.

Don't Accept Friend Requests From Strangers

You wouldn't let just anyone come into your home, and you shouldn't let just anyone into your online life. A good rule to follow is, if you're not friends in real life, don't become friends on Facebook.

Be Mindful of What You Post

You'll give stalkers less material to work with if you limit the information you give away on Facebook.

  • Don't post clues to any of your online passwords.
  • Don't list your birthdate or contact information.
  • Don't post anything about family members, especially your children's or parents' names or maiden names.
  • Don't post photos of your kids, or at least don't attach their names to these photos.
  • Don't post anything in advance about vacation plans, and wait until you return home to post vacation photos.
  • Don't post anything related to your financial accounts, including where you bank.

Turn Off Active Status

Adjust your settings so it appears you're not online. To do so, go to Chats and select your profile picture. Tap Active Status, and use the toggle to turn off Show when you're active.

Don't let strangers see your Facebook profile. The more "invisible" you make yourself on Facebook, the less likely it is that a potential stalker will get access to your personal information.

Restrict Someone

Add a Facebook friend who's making you uncomfortable to your Restricted list. This prevents them from seeing anything you post on Facebook unless it's public. To do so, navigate to their profile. Select the Friends drop-down box near their cover photo. Select the option Edit Friend List, and then select Restricted.

Unfriend Someone

Unfriending someone on Facebook means that a person can no longer see your posts that aren't public. To do this, go to that person's profile. Select the Friends drop-down box and then select Unfriend.

The person you unfriended won't be notified, but they'll still see your profile unless you block them.

Block Someone

Blocking goes beyond unfriending. The person won't be able to see your posts or profile or even know you're on Facebook. If they do a search for your name, you won't come up in the search results.

To block someone, go to Settings and select Blocking. In the Block users area, type the name of the person you wish to block and select Block. Select the specific person you want to block from the list that appears and select Block > Block [name].

The person you blocked will not be notified.

A blocked user can still see you on games, groups, and apps in which you both participate. The blocked person could also use a mutual friend's account to view your activity.

Report Them

If someone's stalking is extreme, consider reporting them to Facebook. Reporting someone on Facebook isn't a guarantee that any action will be taken, but it may help. Your report will remain confidential. To report someone, go to their profile and select the three-dot icon. Select Find Support or Report Profile. Within the dialog box, choose the appropriate response and select Send.

Get off Facebook

Consider taking a break or leaving Facebook. With so many privacy and security issues with Facebook in recent years, many others have also decided to opt-out of the social media giant. Back up your Facebook data to keep your memories and find other ways to stay in touch with friends.

Contact Law Enforcement

If you feel you're in any danger whatsoever, contact your local law enforcement authorities. Many law-enforcement agencies have dedicated resources to address cyberstalking.

Facebook offers a number of tips and resources to help users address bullying, harassment, or other abusive behavior.