People are using spyware to stalk each other; keep safe with these tips
People use tracking software for all kinds of legitimate purposes. They track packages for their small businesses to ensure delivery is made correctly and on time, the microchip their dogs in case one ever escapes so they can recapture it, they put a GPS on their kids’ cars to they can make sure they are where they say they are, and do the same to teenagers’ phones to ensure they are only using approved apps to talk to approved friends.
Unfortunately, Cash For Clothes point to just about every technological advance that comes along in the digital and Internet age can be manipulated and used for shady or downright illegal activities.
Many software development companies are also reporting the misuse of spyware. Sometimes, individuals pose as private detectives and get such software developed from them. Later, they misuse it for their own selfish motives.
Tracking software and devices are high at the top of that list as many people are beginning to find out as they fall victim to spyware software on their smartphones, computers, and other devices.
Consumer spyware is available to download from many app stores, even though countries like Australia ban its use as it can lead to harassment, stalking, identity theft, and fraud according to the Australian Consumer Communications Action Network (ACCAN). The line can be rather blurry as parents put the spyware on their children’s phones to track their activity seems moral and legal, but someone doing that to the phone of an ex-spouse or former boyfriend or girlfriend becomes positively creepy and worthy of pressing charges.
Spyware comes in a variety of forms. Some simply record websites that a person visits while connected to the Internet. Other forms can capture text messages or record phone conversations, as well as view any photos or videos sent on the phone, even if they are marked private. They can even activate a phone’s microphone or camera to “see” and “hear” what a person is doing at any given time.
Using technology to spy on others is nothing new in the consumer world. Nanny Cams have been around for 25 years to make sure the person watching the kids is also no smoking in the house, throwing a party, or sifting through our drawers.
Similarly, home security systems now feature lots of cameras that can be viewed remotely and even include a microphone system to talk to whoever might be ringing the doorbell.
How to Avoid Spyware on your Phone
If you suspect someone might be trying to track you through your phone, there are several technical and other suggestions to take to keep safe.
Don’t let anyone else use your phone, even your spouse. If a relationship is on the rocks or ending soon, protect yourself with a new password that can’t be guessed. This is purely for peace of mind.
Install anti malware software for your phone. They absolutely exist for Android, iPhone, and other brands. A few dollars a month protects you all year.
Note your phone’s activity and battery levels. If your phone is burning through power when it’s not plugged in but you don’t have any apps open, it’s a good bet that something is up.
If you are worried about your children's phone being tracked or someone is stalking him or her, you may use privacy control and monitoring apps such as Mobicip (more details here) to be on the safer side.
Take your phone to its carrier and let them know you suspect something is on your phone that should not be. These technicians can do a total search of your phone and remove anything suspicious.
Get a new phone! If you can’t shake that feeling that someone is watching you, remove the possibility entirely by swapping out your old model for something newer and better.