Kaspersky researchers have disclosed the results of the global analysis of stalkerware programs – commercially available spyware often used for domestic abuse. According to their calculations, 318 users in South Africa have found out they have stalkerware programs on their phone after installing Kaspersky security solution for mobile devices.
Stalkerware is commercially available software that can be purchased by ordinary people to be used to secretly spy on another person’s private life via a smart device and is often used as part of intimate partner violence. The types of personal data transferred to the privacy abuser by such programs ranges from geolocation transmission to the reports on social media messages and ability to turn on the device’s camera at any given moment. According to Kaspersky’s State of Stalkerware report, in total, at least 53 870 mobile users worldwide were notified on the existence of such a program on their phones after installing Kaspersky.
Since February 2021, the DeStalk consortium partners have been developing the e-learning course, with the overarching goal to better help victims and prevent online gender-based violence. According to the European Institute for Gender Equality, one in 10 women have already been subjected to cyber violence from the age of 15. In Europe, seven in 10 women who have experienced cyberstalking have also experienced at least one form of physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner.
The online course is a milestone on the way to filling a knowledge gap, as online abuse is a known issue, but practitioners and officials need more knowledge to enhance their ability to recognise and stop the use of cyberviolence and stalkerware.
Kaspersky developed the e-learning package in cooperation with Fundación Blanquerna, Una Casa per l’Uomo, Regione del Veneto and WWP EN. The course is taught on Kaspersky’s Automated Security Awareness Platform, one of the company’s educational platforms. Work on the online course has been possible thanks to the support of the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme of the European Commission.
Practitioners and public officials who would like to take part in the training are required to register their interest via the registration form available on the DeStalk webpage.
For users who suspect they may be affected or are being impacted by stalkerware, Kaspersky has the following recommendations:
• Contact local authorities and service organisations supporting victims of domestic violence – for assistance and safety planning. A list of relevant organisations in several countries can be found on www.stopstalkerware.org.
• Watch the Coalition’s video on stalkerware and how to protect against it on the homepage available in English, German, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese. There is also a dedicated page for victims and survivors on stalkerware detection, removal and prevention.
• Use proven cybersecurity protection, such as Kaspersky Internet Security for Android, to run a check on your device and discover if stalkerware has been installed on it. Do not rush to remove stalkerware if found on the device as the abuser may notice. It is very important to consider that the abuser may be a potential safety risk. In some cases, the person may escalate their abusive behaviours in response.
Learn more at www.kaspersky.co.za
© Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd | All Rights Reserved