In light of a set of recent and shocking discoveries made by a group of cyber security researchers at firm Avast, Google decided to remove a number of stalking apps from Playstore.
Google removed stalking apps from Playstore
The researchers determined that these apps acted under false pretenses and posed a serious threat to the people they were being used against. They could be used to track a user’s location, call history and even their messages. Alarmingly, the most popular choices Spy Tracker and SMS Tracker had been downloaded over 50,000 times each. Avast security researcher Nikolaos Chrysaidos, who discovered the apps said,
“These apps are highly unethical and problematic for people’s privacy and shouldn’t be on the Google Play Store, as they promote criminal behaviour, and can be abused by employers, stalkers or abusive partners to spy on their victims,”
The apps were used for many different purposes including spying on children and employees but perhaps the most dangerous was that they were used for was for abusers to locate their victims.
How did they work?
The apps attracted users by posing as tracker apps for children, for parents to keep an eye on them at all times. Or for companies, marketing themselves as helping save time and money by keeping a check on employees
All they required was access to the device a person wanted to spy on. Once downloaded they asked for an email address to which the data could be sent. Their icons also disappeared from the screens making it almost impossible for people to locate or delete them. Some didn’t even require installation as they could be sent via text message disguised as a photograph.
What apps should we lookout for ?
Employee Work Spy
Phone Mobile Tracker
Spy Kids Tracker
Track Employees Assess Function Phone Online Spy Free
If you can’t see them but still suspect that you are being tracked then quickest and easiest method to rid yourself of them is too perform a factory rest of your phone. But beware you must first backup any important data of your phone including pictures and videos. Then make sure your device isn’t as easy to unlock as it previously might have been.
Furthermore, Google is now strictly implementing a policy to ensure that only programs compliant for parental tracking or business direction may appear on the Playstore. Google now requires that these apps must clearly show when they’re active and must not mislead users about their purposes.
Google’s actions are highly commendable. They help raise the question of just how safe we can be in the modern technology driven era. Consequently, just how essential it is for big tech firms to work on preventing these issues from occurring again.
Suggested Reading :Is Tik-Tok Going to Copy Instagram?