In reality, however, the stalkerware industry is much more mundane, and dangerous, than film tropes depict—especially for women.
As reported by Motherboard last year, tens of thousands of people fall prey to software and apps like PhoneSheriff, which was discontinued in March, There are at least dozens of consumer-level apps like PhoneSheriff on the market, with names like Mobistealth and Family Orbit. In , UK-based support network Refuge reported nearly 1, cases of victims needing help because they feared they were being surveilled, either through their personal devices or smart home technology like webcams and thermostats.
Here are some things to know about how Stalkerware works and questions to ask yourself if you think someone may be tracking you. They could also have bought the phone for them and installed apps before giving it to them as a gift.
If your instincts tell you that your ex or your current partner knows too much about you, it's entirely possible they're monitoring your activities," Cindy Southworth, executive vice president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence , told Motherboard in If the app shows us, this is a strong clue that someone may have been installing unwanted software onto your device.
You can bring your phone to a carrier like an Apple store to have them check it out, but even this is quite risky for someone potentially being watched. Security expert and activist Elle Armageddon wrote for Motherboard last year that decisions made about what to do next are very sensitive:. Having a spyware-infected device while planning to escape an abusive partner, or taking a compromised device while making a getaway, opens people up to more risks than the already extreme threat of being in, and subsequently leaving, an abusive relationship.
Spyware can be installed on a cellphone in multiple ways without the owner knowing it and without another person ever touching the phone. For example, the . Let's learn how to spy on cell phone without installing software on target phone. For instance, some time ago I put a GPS tracker on my phone first to see how it .
Talking to other people about the abuser, making plans to get away, or searching for ways to delete spyware from your phone can all open you up to risk if your phone usage is being monitored. According to Armageddon, carrying on using your devices and living your life as if nothing is amiss may be the safest thing you can do, until you have a plan for escape.
Conducting important conversations on a new device, like a prepaid phone, or in-person with confidantes, is recommended.
Or, a cyber-stalker could sneak malware in your mobile to track your GPS, read your messages, and be always in the know of your exact location. The reasons could be many, but the one suffering from the consequences of cell phone spying is only you. The victim might even be anyone from your family such as your siblings, children, etc. On March , Wikileaks exposed a series of confidential documents of Government spying.
The report presented details of the backdoors and malicious tools that spying agencies use to hack into every smart device and spy on the users. It is not just the USA where spying is common, but other countries like Australia and UK are exposed to cell phone spying. There are many serious reasons to get worried about cell phone spying.
After all, it is a breach of your online privacy! Here are some common ways cell-phone spy tools track your data:. There are many ways you can quickly check if your phone is being spied on.
However, those signs usually go unnoticed as they are quite subtle. You can find such tools by accessing the app directory and looking out for tools that you remember not downloading. If you want to check spying tools on an Android device, go to the Settings and proceed to Applications. Secondly, go to Running Services and see what services are currently running.
If you find any unknown service, Tap it and uninstall it after clearing the cache. Also, check for spying software in the Manage Application screen and follow the same process if you come across any malicious tool. Cell phone spying on an iPhone is not as easy as on an Android-powered device.
To install spyware on an iPhone, jailbreaking is necessary. Luckily, getting rid of any spyware or malicious software from your iPhone is relatively easier than Android. You only need to update your iOS, and all your third-party applications will be rendered useless.
Use a secure password: Using strong and complex passwords should come as a no-brainer. A good password can not only keep your phone secured but also protected from spying tools being installed.
Install security applications: You can find security applications both on Android and iOS that can notify you whenever there is a new application downloaded. You can install the app and get instantly notified. Always Use Anti-Malware: Malicious tools like spyware are quite hard to detect and hence remove.
Therefore, it is best to use an anti-malware tool. These applications secure your device from any malicious third-party applications, and that also includes spyware apps. Use Encryption Tools: Dusan Petricko, a Digital Forensics Manager, suggests that the phone storage should be encrypted to close all the doors for hackers that lead to a privacy breach.