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WebsiteCompass 13 Stalkerware is snooping software secretly installed on someone else’s phone without their consent. Depending on the type, it may record every keystroke — including web searches, text messages, and emails. These apps can also record phone calls, track location, gain access to social media accounts, or upload photos or contacts to a remote server. Warn Others About Stalkerware Apps Anyone can become a victim of this highly invasive technology Why is Stalkerware Dangerous? Once the app is installed, the icon is changed to an innocent-looking calculator or calendar to hide its identity from the phone’s owner. Such apps can be used for innocuous reasons, such as tracking a child’s location, but they can also be exploited for unethical purposes, such as spying on a partner or spouse. Stalkerware apps are so intrusive that use between domestic partners is considered abusive. Both Google and Apple are aware of the danger these apps can pose and are taking steps to eliminate them. But it’s still possible for them to become available for download on either of the two major app stores, and stalkers only need access to their victim’s phone to install them. Unfortunately, the problem is only getting worse. According to a study by security firm NortonLifeLock, the number of devices infected with stalkerware jumped 63% from September 2020 to May 2021. This type of app is hard to detect unless you know what to look for, so here we examine what stalkerware is, why it’s so harmful, and what to do if you find it on your device. Which Apps Are Stalkerware? Stalkerware can be used by anyone. However, according to ZDNet, “Many providers will market their offerings as services for parents seeking a way to monitor their child’s mobile device usage or for business owners to keep an eye on their staff’s online activities during work hours.” Back to Basics