Mobile Stalking: The thought of someone watching their every move - physical or digital - is enough to terrify anyone.
Watching and / or threatening someone who is harassing you is something that most people think is limited to television and movies, but shocking new statistics from Kaspersky in collaboration with Alliance Against Stalkerware bring to the fore an astonishing increase in usage stalkerware on mobile devices.
Digital technologies have made it much easier for people to stay connected wherever they are. The so-called stalkerware, special commercial espionage software, is installed without the consent of the device owner to transfer the victim's personal information - images, videos, conversations, geographic data - to a central server, which can be used against an individual, or to cause emotional or real evil.
The analysis  by Kaspersky shows that the global number of mobile device users attacked by stalkerware increased by 67% worldwide in the previous year, from 40,386 mobile phone users affected in 2018 to 67,500 in 2019. In Greece, the corresponding number increased by 26% in 2019 compared to 2018.
5% of women in the EU say they have experienced one or more cases of stalking since the age of 15. On the occasion of International Women's Day, Kaspersky wants to seize the opportunity and try to protect women from this digital threatening.
This of course is an issue that remains important every day of the year for all members of society, not just women, but research shows that women are significantly more likely to fall victim to cyberbullying, sexual harassment and digital stalking compared to them. men, and the consequences of this kind of violence are more traumatic for the victims .
International Alliance Against Stalkerware
Together with nine recognized companies and organizations, Kaspersky unveiled the Global Alliance Against Stalkerware at the end of last year to join forces against software designed for such purposes. This new global action team combines expertise in victim assistance and digital security to help those affected by stalkerware.
As a non-commercial initiative, the project aims to bring together actors from non-profit organizations, the digital security industry and other sectors such as law enforcement, under one roof.
"Together with our partners from the Alliance Against Stalkerware, we want to join forces and know-how to put an end to violence, especially against women, which comes from emerging technologies and our increasingly connected lifestyles. "Our goal is to ensure that everyone affected has the knowledge they need to protect themselves against digital stalking and receive the support they need in the event of a victim," said Christina Jankowski, Senior External Relations Manager at Kaspersky.
Kaspersky tips to minimize the risk of falling victim Mobile Stalking:
- Prevent the installation of programs from unknown sources in your smartphone settings to protect yourself from stalkerware and malware.
- You are using a trusted password that no one else should know - even if it is a family member or a person you trust.
- Do not store unknown files or applications on personal devices, as these may damage your privacy.
- If your ex-partner had access to your personal devices, change the security settings immediately at all when the relationship is over.
- Check all your applications at regular intervals to see if any suspicious programs have been installed without your consent. Delete applications you are not using.
- Use a trusted security solution to alert you in the event of a spyware installation attempt. Although the stalkerware is legal in some countries and is not recognized as malware, many security products still warn users of this type of threat, also known as "not-a-virus".
Mobile Stalking: The 5 most important signs of existence stalkerware on your smartphone
Increased data usage
Spyware applications require internet access to transfer the recorded data. If there is an unexplained increase in data usage, there is a chance that your smartphone is "infected" with stalkerware.
Poor battery operation and low performance
Due to the constant activity in the background, the stalkerware applications consume a lot of memory, CPU and battery. Therefore, regularly check which of your applications use your smartphone resources.
Pay attention to applications that you do not recall that you have installed. It may be surveillance software installed on the device without your consent.
Suspicious noise in the background
If you hear strange noises in the background during calls, it does not mean that the bad connection is always to blame. A few stalkerware applications can record telephone calls. If this problem occurs frequently, at least look out for it.
People know your personal information
If people you have not accessed your personal data or accounts know about recently taken photos, places you visited, or other personal information, they may have accessed this data through stalkerware. https://securelist.com/mobile-malware-evolution-2019/96280/