The stalkerware programs promise to spy and, therefore, violate a person's private life. By using them, a user can access the messages, photographs, social networks, geographical locations and recordings of another person.
But, unlike parental control applications, these programs work hidden in the background, without the knowledge or consent of the victims and are often promoted as software to spy on the couple.
According to figures from the cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, in the first eight months of 2019, 37,532 users were targeted for at least one attempt to install stalkerware on their device, while in 2018 there were 27,798 users.RELATED
In the Latin American region there was an increase of 172 percent, with Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru leading the list of countries with the highest number of records of attempts to install harassment software on user devices this year.
"In some cases, stalkerware requires that the person who wants to install it enter the device and explicitly accept the permissions to access the microphone, camera and victim information," says Roberto Martínez, Kaspersky researcher, adding that By granting these permissions, the team believes it is a valid application and "assumes that everything the software does is not dangerous."
For Erica Olsen, director of the Security Network Project, attached to the National Network to end domestic violence, "this software provides abusers with a robust tool to harass, monitor and abuse."
Martínez recommends installing security tools on the devices, which not only protect the computer from possible viruses, but also monitor suspicious activity.