Relationships, whether romantic or not, have already evolved into a whole new level. And the latest report from Norton Life Lock’s global study claims that more than 50% of people in the US and UK have experienced cyberstalking with a current or former partner. Here are all the details of this recent study.
What is Cyberstalking?
Since almost every single person now is on social media or has access to the internet, it also results in various ways to create connections. Gone are the days that people had to see or meet, relationships are formed now virtually. And part of the virtual world is cyberstalking. It may be for different reasons like you want to see your partner’s hobbies, current job, or how he is doing, but it somehow poses a security issue to the person.
Cyberstalking is described as online stalking and looking into the profiles of other people with or without their consent. Most of the time, it is without consent. And NortonLifeLock Inc. labeled this activity as a critical Cyber Safety issue which they try to prevent with their services.
When online creeping manifests into a compulsive pattern or evolves to use technology and tactics to discreetly track activity on someone’s personal device or harass them online, it becomes a serious issue of cyber stalking,” said Roundy. “Cyber stalking can take on many forms, but the common denominator is that it is unwanted, invasive, and obsessive.Kevin Roundy, Technical Director and Stalkerware Specialist with Norton Labs
Results of the Study
NortonLifeLock published findings of this study that assessed online behavior and habits. You can find this in as a special addendum to the 2021 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report (NCSIR) that examines concerns related to online security, privacy, and identity. Moreover, the company partnered with The Harris Poll and surveyed over 10,000 adults 18+ across 10 countries, including 1,000 U.S. adults.
- First, 60% of respondents aged 18-39 admitted to stalking their current or ex partner which is more than double the percentage of Americans aged 40 years old and above. This result shows that cyberstalking is somehow more typical for Gen Z and Millennials. It may be for a variety of reasons but it also shows a possible security issue for everyone.
- Also, 42% or 2 in 5 Americans currently having a romantic relationship believes that their partner is at least somewhat likely to download an application to cyberstalk them or other people. And this application is what they call “creepware” or “stalkerware“. This is an app to monitor one’s phone activities like text messages, calls, emails, and photos. Again, this result shows three times higher than Americans in 40 years and older.
- Another part of the report is that 1 in 10 Americans admit to using stalkerware or creepware apps to monitor their partners.
- Lastly, 13% of men compared to 4% of women are to use these apps for these kinds of behavior.
For the entire results of the study, you may check this link.
These findings also relate to the number of stalkerware apps that have been downloaded since the start of pandemic. As people know, technology has really changed the face of relationships, however, there are still limitations to this. And it is important that we are aware of it. If you suspect someone has installed a stalkerware app on your device, make sure to check your settings and permissions. This is to see if any unknown apps have access to your location or microphone.