What is stalkerware and how to remove it from devices
Have you ever had the feeling that someone is watching your every move? It’s a creepy feeling, right? Now imagine that this feeling isn’t just a figment of your imagination but a real, dangerous situation. This is where stalkerware comes in.
The good news is that you’re not totally defenseless. There are some steps you can take to protect your computer. Keep reading to find out exactly what it is and how to find stalkerware on your devices.
What is stalkerware?
Stalkerware is a type of spyware that allows someone to monitor another person’s device without their knowledge or consent. This software is often used by abusers, stalkers, and other malicious actors to gain access to their victim’s personal information and track their movements.
The use of stalkerware is on the rise, and it’s a major concern for privacy advocates and victims of abuse. In fact, a recent study found that the use of stalkerware increased by 93% in 2020, likely due to the rise of remote work and virtual communication.
How did stalkerware apps end up on my computer?
Stalkerware can be installed on a device in a number of ways, including phishing emails, fake app downloads, or physical access to the device. Once installed, stalkerware can allow the hacker to do a number of different things on your computer, including:
- See your location.
- Track your messages and calls.
- Access your photos and videos.
- Turn on their camera and microphone.
This kind of invasive monitoring can have a serious impact on your safety, security, and mental health. Victims of stalkerware often feel like they’re constantly being watched and may experience anxiety, depression, and trauma as a result.
If you think you might be a victim of stalkerware, it’s important to take action as soon as possible. This might include getting help from a domestic violence or abuse hotline, contacting law enforcement, and seeking the advice of a cybersecurity expert.
How to find stalkerware on devices?
If you suspect that your computer has been infected by stalkerware, it’s important to take steps to investigate and remove it as quickly as possible. Here are some steps for how to find stalkerware on your computer:
1. Check running processes
Another way to detect stalkerware is to check the list of running processes on your computer. To do that, you’ll need to open the Activity Monitor (Finder > Applications > Utilities). Look for any processes that seem suspicious or unfamiliar and do a quick online search to see if they’re related to stalkerware.
2. Check installed programs
You can also check the list of installed programs on your computer to see if there’s any software you don’t recognize. You can do that by quickly going to Finder > Applications. Look for any apps that seem suspicious or unfamiliar and do a quick online search to see if they’re related to stalkerware.
3. Check internet traffic
Stalkerware often sends data to a remote server, which means that you can detect it by monitoring your internet traffic. You can do this by using a network monitoring tool like Wireshark, which can help you detect any unusual traffic coming from your computer.
4. Get expert help
If you’re not comfortable or confident in your ability to detect and remove stalkerware on your own, you may want to seek the help of a professional IT expert. They can perform a thorough investigation of your computer and help you remove any stalkerware that’s been installed.
How to remove stalkerware?
Learning how to check for stalkerware is only half the battle. Finding it is arguably more unsettling than just suspecting that your Mac is infected. But thankfully, with the help of CleanMyMac X, you can quickly scan and remove adware and browser hijackers.
CleanMyMac X can help you optimize your Mac’s performance. One of the ways it does that is by finding and getting rid of malware and stalkerware. Once you download CleanMyMac X, this is all you need to do:
- Open CleanMyMac X.
- Click Malware Removal on the left.
- Hit Scan > Remove once the scan is over.
Because CleanMyMac X can also help you find stalkerware, it’s a good idea to use it to scan your Mac on a regular basis. That way, you’ll have a greater chance of catching any hacker attempts before they do too much spying.
Preventing stalkerware apps on your Mac
To protect yourself from stalkerware, there are a number of steps you can take.
First, be careful about what you click on and download online. Besides, avoid giving physical access to your device to anyone you don’t trust. You can also use a reputable antivirus app like CleanMyMac X to scan your device for stalkerware and regularly update your software to ensure you have the latest security patches.
Stalkerware is a serious and growing problem that can have huge effects on your privacy and safety. By staying informed about this technology and taking steps to protect yourself, you can always be one step ahead of the hackers. And do the work you need to do to prevent harmful effects and ensure a safer, more secure digital experience.