A Brief Introduction to SpyFone and Stalkerware
The modern-day smartphone has changed the way we think and live by giving us all data in a tiny device that can fit into our pockets and constantly carry around with us.
These devices store private information such as texts, email messages, photos, videos, and passwords while also capable of making phone calls and connecting to the internet.
However, it makes it extremely easy for one party to access another person’s data without their consent. This is called “tracking” or spyware, and it is usually done secretly (or at least known only by the tracking party). The most common form of this today would be parents trying to track their kid’s location through an app or employers using it to track the work progress of their employees.
There are many things to understand here, so read the entire article to know more about it.
What is Spyware or Stalkerware?
Stalkerware/spyware refers to applications, programs, or gadgets that allow another person to secretly monitor and record information from your phone activity. There are tips for checking whether your device has been compromised by this type of software.
The phrase “stalkerware” is a more recent term that emphasizes the invasive, intrusive, and potentially dangerous misuse of these technologies. Phone spyware may be particularly intimidating and hazardous for targets since it can track everything you do on your smartphone, including photographs and videos you take, websites you visit, text messages you send and receive.
Someone who has installed spyware on a rooted (for Android) or jailbroken (for iPhone) device can turn on the webcam or microphone, capture screenshots, view activity on third-party apps (such as Snapchat or WhatsApp), and intercept, forward, or record phone calls easily. And, sometimes, the targeted device might not even be jailbroken or rooted. For instance, anyone who has access to your phone could secretly install spyware. The issue has been persistent, and even law enforcement has begun educating officers about stalkerware.
What is SpyFone?
SpyFone is designed to help parents keep track of their children’s location, monitor chat conversations between their kids and other people, and provide enhanced protection, thanks to integrated anti-theft technology.
While initially developed for use by parents to manage their children’s devices, it has become extremely popular with employers who want to track the activities of employees on company-owned phones or discourage them from visiting inappropriate websites at work using internet filters.
SpyFone is designed to allow employers, parents, and other people in charge of one’s phone activity (such as a partner, brother/sister, etc.) to monitor the device without knowing your password or having access to it.
There are many dangers with such applications. It is difficult to predict their exact usage. Additionally, surveilling people without their knowledge is a major red flag. Thus, the Federal Trade Commission has issued a ban for the SpyFone tool. Experts noted that the app secretly collected and shared data on people’s location, smartphone usage, and online activities.
Features of SpyFone
There are several features available on SpyFone, and you will certainly find them spooky:
- Track calls and texts. Track calls and messages sent and received on the targets’ phones to keep tabs on what they’re doing.
- Blocking. SpyFone lets administrators block websites that may be harmful to someone using the phone. They can keep track of who they are talking or meeting with by looking at their contact list, call logs, messages, browser history, etc.
- Web history. SpyFone offers internet history records to help you monitor their browsing activity.
- Location tracking. SpyFone tracks the phone’s location via GPS and other means. It also offers other tracking features such as geofence and Wi-Fi positioning that make it easier to find the victim’s current or last known location even if they’re offline. You can fend of IP-based location tracking by installing a VPN. It hides your real location and encrypts your connection. If you wish to give away fewer details about your online activities, a VPN is the solution.
Are Spyware Apps Legal?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) states that it is illegal to spy on someone’s phone without consent. Thus, FTC has banned the app and acclaimed it as a “stalkerware company” that collects and uses the personal information of its users.
Moreover, talking about the legality of spyware apps. It is illegal to install spy software that in any way records, tracks phone calls or text messages on someone’s phone without their permission. But on the other side, if a person takes consent from another party to install the spyware app, it is not much of an issue.