Is your phone acting strange? Does your spouse or friend complain that you spend so much time at a certain location even though you never discussed it? They might have downloaded a stalkerware on your phone. Hence, they have compromised your trust.
Privacy has always been our top priority since the birth of modern technology. We don’t want hackers or stalkers to steal our data. For example, Facebook faced a lawsuit for allegedly manipulating user data without approval or consent.
It’s necessary to consider what spyware is and its strengths to help grasp the bigger picture at hand.
What is a stalkerware?
Stalkerware, also known as spyware, is a hacking program or software used to help someone else monitor the computer that the user doesn’t know they’re hacking on.
These programs can control the computer of the victim. They can monitor the whereabouts of the victim, read their text messages, show their history of surfing, access their photo gallery, and capture background audio. While Apps with ‘dual-use’ will disguise themselves as something else. Google Maps or Apple’s Find My Mates are two good examples.
Why is stalkerware scary?
Yes, stalkerware is known for breaching your privacy. However, there are other explanations that the next time you want to use an app, you will be extra cautious and alert.
Stalkers aren’t prosecuted
Spywares are indeed unethical. However, it’s not illegal. That is the reality, especially if you choose to share your personal data, including your passwords and locations. Even then, only a few regulations will do justice to corporations that use your personal data for their own purposes.
Spyware applications don’t mind the details
Often it’s not the software creators who you don’t have to care about. Why? They have no interest in what you’re sharing publicly. Unless you posted anything that’s offensive or anything that might wreck the world. They are the hackers you need to watch out for.
How You Can Protect Yourself
You can protect yourself from stalkerware. What you need to do is take these steps:
• Never disclose every one of your PINs or passwords. Not just your friends and family, so that they do not exploit it.
• Familiarise with the methods of phishing. Tech-savvy stalkers using more sophisticated spyware could get you fooled into installing an app. For others, clicking on a malicious link or uploading a picture sent via text or social media is enough.
• Don’t root or jailbreak your phone. Your device will be vulnerable to hackers if you do that!
• Check the device periodically. Take time to remove or uninstall questionable application.
• Use an antivirus.
What to do if someone is stalking you?
Is your phone battery draining faster than usual? Are you discussing something to someone in a private message and your friend, girlfriend, or anyone else you know knew what you were discussing?
They might have installed stalkerware on your computer. If you think this is true, then try these steps:
• Go to the settings or device list. Check the programs running in the background. Do you recognize all of the installed programs? If not, then quickly delete the suspect devices.
• Check the networking location settings with applications like Google Maps and Find My Friends. Someone could have setup the stalkerware in the phone beforehand. If so, change the parameters immediately.
• Uninstall your phone’s bloatware if you can’t uninstall the questionable item. When the app is not functioning, you need to restore your device to factory settings. Nonetheless, a quick factory reset can’t remove any spyware. For certain situations, you may need to throw the device away and reboot again.