A former policewoman will spend the next 11 months in prison for her decision to harass and stalk a married man online.
On 6 October, Glasgow Sheriff Court handed down the prison sentence along with a five-year non-harassment order to Ashley Boyd, 26. The punishment comes in light of Boyd's apparent fixation on a former colleague named Kevin O'Connor that spiraled out of control.
The trouble first started between Boyd and O'Connor in 2013 when they used to work together as fellow police officers. As reported by Daily Mail, Boyd told O'Connor that she knew a number of women "fancied him" in January 2014.
She also told a friend that she had a thing for him and routinely went to the gym because she knew he would be there. None of this went over well with O'Connor, who stopped working with Boyd in March 2015 when the policewoman left for Police Scotland.
2016 marked an escalation in Boyd's fixation. While on vacation with his wife, O'Connor learned from his sister that someone had changed his Facebook relationship status to "single." A colleague also texted him to say they had had a strange conversation with O'Connor over Facebook about some fabricated marriage strife.
It didn't take long for O'Connor to figure out that Boyd was behind the strange activity. Unfortunately, he couldn't do much about it. Procurator fiscal depute Andrew Beadsworth said as much to The Sun:
"Mr O’Connor was concerned and angry. Efforts made by him to delete the Facebook account were unsuccessful because Boyd had changed the password and linked email address to the account."
In the meantime, Boyd seized control of O'Connor's Twitter profile and sent out offensive tweets about his wife. She even phoned the Glasgow Royal Infirmary hospital twice on one day in September 2016 to cancel an appointment for Mrs. O'Connor.
To cover her tracks, Boyd took a friend to the police station so that they could confess to the malicious activity. But that friend eventually gave Boyd up.
Needless to say, there are plenty of people out there who for some reason or another get it in their heads to stalk another person online. You can't control the actions of these individuals. All you can do is be upfront with your expectations of them and report any suspicious behavior to the authorities.
You should also do everything you can to protect your digital identity online by using complex passwords, enabling two-step verification (2SV) when it's available, and setting less-than-obvious answers for your security questions.
Read more about two-step verification:
- Two-factor authentication (2FA) versus two-step verification (2SV)
- How to better protect your Facebook account from hackers
- How to better protect your Twitter account from hackers
- How to enable two-step verification (2SV) on your WhatsApp Account
- How to protect your Amazon account with two-step verification (2SV)
- How to better protect your Google account with two-step Verification (2SV)
- How to protect your Dropbox account with two-step verification (2SV)
- How to better protect your Tumblr account from hackers with 2SV
- How to protect your LinkedIn account from hackers with two-step verification (2SV)
- How to protect your PayPal account with two-step verification (2SV)
- How to protect your Yahoo account with two-step verification (2SV)
- How to protect your Apple ID account against hackers
- How to better protect your Google account with two-step verification and Google Authenticator
- How to protect your Hootsuite account from hackers
- How to better protect your Instagram account with two-step verification (2SV)