56. You’re Not Anonymous Online
So, my daughter, who was about 8 at the time, was REALLY into Minecraft (as most kids are these days). I had also installed some screen recording software that would let her make videos of the games she was playing so she could later upload them to YouTube.
Anyways, one day I’m minding my own business when I hear her quietly sniffling over on the computer. I asked her what was wrong. Someone was harassing not only her but also all the other kids playing on whatever server she was on. This kid (we’ll call him LS) was saying stuff about how he was going to assault my 8-year-old daughter, how he was going to hack into her IP and steal all her info, swearing profusely all the while.
We realized that our daughter had been recording the entire incident, and a plan began to form. I started by googling LS’s username. There were several hits immediately, the most interesting of which involved a page where he was publicly applying to be a mod for a server on Minecraft.
I was able to learn a lot about this little POS: he claimed to be 15, used to live in Toronto but now lives in Florida. But the bombshell was his Skype; it was literally firstname.lastname. So I head over to Facebook and search for the name. Nothing. Hmmmm.
On a hunch, I searched for just the last name while narrowing my results to only the state of Florida. Several dozen hits. Hmmm. So I have to start combing through each one until I find what I was looking for: a middle-aged man with the same last name whose profile indicates he was born in Toronto and now lives in Florida.
I FOUND YOUR DAD. So I sent him a message and, ultimately, the recording of his son threatening my daughter as proof. Radio silence for a few days. Then we got the message back: LS had his computer taken away from him. His parents were livid with him, and he surely hated the next few months of his life. No one messes with my daughter.