Cyberstalking: Spyware Allows Stalkers to Tap Into Cell Phones
You probably think that your cell phone calls are always private and secure, but you’re wrong.
A quick Google search will lead you to hundreds of different types of stealth technology services available to anyone for spying purposes. These surveillance products are extremely easy to install and allow cyberstalkers to tap into any target mobile device to hear conversations, view call logs, read text messages, locate the cell phone’s whereabouts, retrieve address book information, view photographs, and more. With spyware technology, a cyberstalker can even eavesdrop on real-time conversations when the phone is not being used, and find personal data that the phone’s owner has already deleted. Even scarier is the fact that victims usually have no clue that they are being monitored. This obvious invasion of privacy could lead to other dangers like in-person stalking as well as identity theft.
It is true that spy tools have been around for years, but the growing popularity of hacking malware is both disturbing and most likely unlawful. Let’s be clear. Unless you are monitoring a cell phone that you or your child owns, using spyware technology to retrieve information is illegal, and cyberstalkers could face federal charges if caught.
Over 90% of cyberstalking victims are women, and according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 58% of 12-year-olds and 73% of 13-year-olds have cell phones, so this puts our children at risk for cyberstalking too.
Here are a few tips to protect your cell phone from being hacked:
1. Avoid leaving your phone unattended, especially in a location where someone may be able to access it.
2. Set up a secure password on the phone to prevent anyone from using it if found.
3. Remove the battery from your phone when it's not in use.
4. Choose a cell phone that cannot access the Internet because those that do are more vulnerable.
5. Consider purchasing a mobile security solution that includes virus protection as an extra safeguard.
Here are some key signs that your phone is currently tapped:
1. Your cell phone battery is warm to the touch, even when the phone hasn’t been used.
2. You hear odd beeps or clicks during phone conversations.
3. You have trouble turning your cell phone off.
4. Your cell phone lights up at odd times, including when the phone is not in use.
If you believe that your cell phone has, in fact, been tapped, turn it off and remove the battery immediately. You may also try contacting your cell phone carrier to get instructions on how to reinstall the phone’s operating system. If you or your child are experiencing cyberstalking that is serious in nature or continues to be a problem, contact your local authorities or the National Center for Victims of Crime.
Tagged as: bullying, cell phones, cyber laws, cyber stalking, identity theft, Internet Safety, Mobile, Online Hackers, Privacy Online, safety, text messages