Girl is stalked through her smartphone by her ex

Dec 03, 2013

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Smart phones and paper

The young woman became suspicious when she noticed tracking software that was installed on her Blackberry phone. She tried to delete the software but it reappeared and then completely locked up her phone. Not only had she been locked out of her phone, but her phone password, her voicemail password, and even her email password had all been changed thus blocking her access to any of her accounts. She was completely locked out of her digital life and had no idea who or what was attacking her. Then it dawned on her. Her boyfriend with an I.T. background, who she had recently broken up with, was stalking her every move electronically.

Privacy has become a complication recently. 10 years ago, barely anyone owned a GPS device, but today the majority of adult Americans have one in their pocket tracking their every move.  Due to the fact that most, if not all, smartphones carry a GPS chip, new stalking/spying apps are utilizing the GPS to track a person’s every movement. And these apps don’t just track one’s movement, but they also collect text messages, call logs, and can even collect the page history of a phone’s web browser.

In most cases, the Apple App store and Google’s Play store are quick to delete these sort of stalking apps, but there are always one or two apps that slip by and allow people the ability to stalk others with the swipe of a finger.

The good news is that the stalking software can only be installed on your phone from your phone. Meaning that the only way you can get tracking apps on your phone is by installing it on your phone by yourself. However, think of all the times that you don’t have your phone with you. It’s in these moments that a stalker will install the necessary software and begin tracking your phone immediately. It’s important to always have a lock code on your phone’s home screen and be sure to never share that code with anyone—even your partner.

If you are suspicious that someone has installed tracking software on your phone, don’t go looking to delete the app. In most cases, the app will never be fully uninstalled from your smartphone and the stalker will be alerted that you attempted to delete the app. The stalker will then take drastic measures to hide his or her tacks so that they can’t be found. Also, don’t attempt to wipe your device clean to delete the app. Law enforcement can use the stalking software to help capture the perpetrator. If a person wipes their phone clean, they are also wiping away any evidence that they were being stalked in the first place.

Once the attacker is dealt with, be sure to check you credit reports and bank statements to be sure that your identity hasn’t been compromised. In many cases, identity theft is the main objective of stalkers. Once you’re sure your finances are in check, you can breathe easy again. Always remember that smartphones can be powerful tools to help us in life, but they can just as easily become powerful tools against us if we’re not careful.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/11/a-spurned-techies-revenge-locking-down-his-exs-digital-life/