Apps are still big business, with an estimated 218 billion downloads in 2020, and more than 250 million daily app downloads between 2019–2020. However, what people do not realise is that some of these contain what is now being termed “stalkerware”. According to the New York Times, this rapidly expanding group of apps is growing: “while these apps numbered in the hundreds a few years ago, they have since grown into the thousands…with innocuous names like MobileTool, Agent and Cerberus. And they have become such a tool for digital domestic abuse that Apple and Google have started in the last year acknowledging that the apps are an issue.” In a study, carried out by NortonLifeLock, from September 2020 to May 2021, “the number of devices infected with stalkerware jumped 63%”. This technology basically, when installed on a phone, allows someone to spy on you without consent, and while more common on Android phones are also now on Apple devices and can be disguised as a harmless calendar or calculator app. These apps can record phone calls, keystrokes, track location and much more besides. At Escudo Web we are totally against any kind of spy or stalkerware. This is in some cases a breach of GDPR and at best a very controversial way of helping a child navigate the world of technology online. Our solution, of a mobile phone for children, marketed with partners Blabloo in Europe and Geniora in Asia are a form of digital health device, allowing a parent to manage what apps a child can access and when, as well as what internet pages are suitable for them according to their age. This is the only way to teach children how to use technology responsibly and allow them to access appropriate content, and do not involve spying or stalking.  

#spyware #stalkerware #mobilephonesforkids #digitalhealth