Is someone spying on you? I’m not talking about tech giants like Google or Apple, the government, or hackers. I’m talking about someone close to you. Your spouse, your parent, maybe your boss.
They just might be, and guess what? It’s probably legal. And easy, too. That’s thanks to a class of apps called ‘stalkerware.’
According to the security experts at Kaspersky, 58,000 Android users detected some form of stalkerware on their devices last year. For example, an employer could track your location and read all of your messages, texts, and emails.
While you might not want your employer tracking your every move on a work phone, it’s even scarier if someone in your personal life is spying on you.
Additionally, most of these apps are not available in the Google Play Store, so that means the phone has to be altered to allow the installation of third-party app. The stalkerware app itself could come with dangerous malware and the changes in your phone system that permit it to be installed could make it vulnerable to attack from other malicious third-party apps.
What can you do to protect yourself? First, make sure your phone is password protected so no one can just pick it up and install an app without your permission. Check your setting to make sure that third-party apps cannot be installed. Make a point to look over your apps and remove anything you didn’t install. Among the apps to watch out for:
- Mobile Tool
- Spy Phone App
- Mobile Tracker Free
A good anti-virus can detect many of these apps. Kaspersky makes a point of pushing their own services, but other security apps may be able to detect stalkerware as well.