Suspect your phone's being monitored? Proceed with caution

A few indications that your phone might be infected with stalkerware include excessive data usage and a noticeable drop in battery power. — Christin Klose/dpa

Abusive, controlling behaviour by a partner can affect all parts of a victim's life – including their smartphone.

With stalkerware, an abusive partner or stalker has access to everything that happens on the victim's laptop or mobile phone – they're even able to remotely control what happens on the device, according to German online safety initiative DsiN.

A few indications that your smartphone might be infected with surveillance software include excessive data usage or a conspicuous drop in battery power, says the safety initiative.

Any unfamiliar apps that were not installed by the user themself should immediately arouse suspicion, says the initiative, which advocates checking your phone regularly.

The presence of such apps can be used as evidence, so they shouldn't be removed from the phone. Stalkerware will also alert the person who installed it when it's deleted – which means victims should prepare a security plan and obtain help from abuse organisations before they deactivate stalkerware. – dpa

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Surveillance , Stalkerware


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