Are You A Digital Spy?


No doubt about it, we live in a digital age. Smartphones have taken over the lives of many but have you ever thought about the dangers of tracking and spyware, on your beloved digital companion?

Using spyware to monitor someone's behaviour is stalking
More and more tools to spy on your partner are popping up every day with potentially dangerous consequences.

The Justification for Spyware?

Spyware was originally created to secretly record what you were doing on your computer, but now it can be used on smartphones for the same purpose.

Many of the designers of spyware will cite 2 main reasons their products are safe for market and shouldn’t be restricted. One of the reasons is that parents can use the spyware they provide to protect their children from the dangers of the internet.

There are many other alternatives to spyware for safeguarding your children online. The NSPCC recently launched their #ShareAware campaign. It came with a handy tool for parents called Net Aware which parents can use to stay up to date with the digital world. It also has a feature for other parents rate social media sites for their content and reporting features.

Another way spyware developers defend their products is by stating that employers can use it to monitor employee's company phones. We're all aware of companies potentially monitoring our emails but the scope they would have after essentially 'bugging' a phone is quite concerning.

The Reality of Spyware

The reality of spyware is that it's available to anyone and can be purchased for a small price. This makes it easily accessible to those who would abuse the service and use it to spy on their partners. Insecurity in a relationship can lead to suspicious partners using spyware to track their other half's every move. Stalking and harassment is a crime, and if you're trapped in an abusive relationship spyware planted by your partner isn't going to help.

We work closely with the national stalking charity Paladin, and we share their concerns about apps and spyware that may be used as a coercive method of controlling partners.

Often with the information gathered using spyware, the bigger picture is missed. This is little, to no help for someone in an abusive relationship whose jealous partner thinks they have all the information at hand.

There may be merits to using spyware but as far as we can see, the harms outweigh the benefits and lives could potentially be put at risk.

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