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(also spyware)

Stalkerware definition

Stalkerware is a spying software or app that allows someone else to track your device. It’s usually installed without the device owner’s knowledge or consent. Stalkerware can be deliberately installed by someone on your device or can accompany a program or app you installed yourself.

Stalkerware uses

  • Partners can use it to spy on their spouses.
  • Parents may install it to monitor their kids.
  • Employers may track their employees.

Types of stalkerware

  • Dedicated stalkerware. This type of spyware advertises itself as such and can cost up to a few hundred dollars. It grants stalkers full access to the victim’s device, allowing them to track the victim’s location, view their browsing history, read text messages (including on messaging apps), access photos, and make background audio recordings.
  • “Dual-use” apps. Free apps like “Find My Friends” or “Google Maps” can also be used to spy on someone. These apps have more limitations than dedicated spyware apps but can still show the victim’s real-time location.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security