26th Mar 2014
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Is your smartphone being tracked?
Is your smartphone being tracked?

The smartphone spy software market has evolved and grown so significantly over the past few years that the software can now be afforded by almost anyone.

There are several leading brands in the smartphone spy software industry, but almost all of them require the installation of an app on the phone which is to be monitored. A username and password is provided to the person installing the app and once installed on the targeted phone, they gain access via this online login to all of the browser history, message history, GPS logs and voice phone calls, which will be recorded from that day onwards. Installation can be achieved in under 20 minutes.

While the uses of this software may sound completely shady, these applications do have a legal and positive benefit for work purposes and the monitoring of children. A GPS tracker on the work phone given to a courier could allow the staff at main office to not only track the routes taken by their worker and to give advice on improving them going forward, but could also alert them to that courier’s whereabouts at any stage throughout the day. Furthermore, the software is a permanent record of any conversation between that courier and the company. The people being monitored during this process do have to be alerted to this and if calls are being recorded, the person at the other end has to be notified before continuing with the call.

On the flip side, there are also serious negatives regarding this type of software and this seems to be a steady revenue source for the companies who create this software. After all, why else would you program the app to disappear from trace after being installed?

So how exactly does the app get onto the victim’s phone? According to security software company Trend Micro, depending on the smartphone being used, between 30 and 60 percent of users don’t have a security pin code in use. This means that the partner, family member or friend of this smartphone user can install the app without having to ‘break’ into the phone. For the other 40 to 70 per cent who do have a pin code enabled, exactly how hard is it to crack? In most adult relationships, your opposite half would know your phone pin code, or at the very least, be able to watch over your shoulder and figure it out if they really wanted to. So when you are asleep or have simply left your phone at home, the installation of a smartphone spy software app could easily take place without you even knowing.

These spyware apps are a massive invasion of privacy and highly illegal when used in this manner, but there is almost no way to find out if they are installed on your phone.

What kind of person would install such a piece of software? Chances are, if someone is jealous or desperate enough to install an app on their partner’s phone to monitor them, then there is something wrong with the relationship in the first place and this should be more than enough of a warning sign to either party.

If you think your phone may have smartphone spy software installed on it, the best and only way to remove it is to restore your phone to the factory default settings. Just make sure you back up all your contacts and photos before you do this!

To find out more about smartphone spy software visit www.cnet.com or www.makeuseof.com.





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