We here at YouMail protect millions of users from a variety of maladies. There’s spam: the stuff that isn’t necessarily malicious, but it sure does clog up every one of your inboxes: on your phone, through texts, physical mail, or email. Then there are the scams: those attacks on our personal information, finances, passwords, our very identities. We even occasionally touch upon corporate fraud, particularly the damage it can cause to small businesses and entrepreneurs. And then there are — how do we put this nicely? — the crazies. Your crazy ex, your crazy current, crazy acquaintances, even crazy strangers might be stalking you.
In this article, we cover:
- <Stalkerware, and how younger adults view it.
- How employers and domestic abusers exploit stalkerware.
- What YouMail can do to help.
Look, we’re not trying to make you paranoid, but the statistics are troubling. About one in five people believe their romantic partner is at least somewhat likely to plant stalkerware on them. Even more Americans (24 percent) have the same feeling.
To be clear, stalkerware is a form of malware or monitoring software that can be used to persistently spy on a person’s physical movements, device usage, texts, and calls without that person’s permission. We traditionally think of it as being used by people to spy on their spouses or romantic partners, but it can also be used by employers or in abusive relationships.
It turns out three in five Gen Z and Millennial American adults (ages 18 to 39) admit to stalking an ex or current partner online without their knowledge or consent — double the number of Americans 40 years or older (24 percent). Further, more than one-third of these younger generations believe it is harmless to stalk a current or former partner online while only 11 percent 40 or older feel the same. And 14 percent acknowledge they have used an app to secretly monitor their significant other’s device activity.
In other words, if you’ve dated or are dating an adult whose birthday came after 1982, you’re surprisingly likely to have been secretly monitored by them. And even if they didn’t, they were tempted to and would have thought it wasn’t that big of a deal.
But, far be it from us to poison young, blossoming love with cold, heartless data. We simply feel the need to point out cyberstalking isn’t something to simply disregard or get too comfy with. Perhaps the greater concern should be that cyberstalking tools are out there and readily available.
It Gets Worse: Employers and Abusers
One might be forgiven to believe that burning passions lead to fools’ behavior. But cyberstalking doesn’t end there. Believe it or not, one in five companies has installed or plans to install monitoring software to spy on their employees while they work from home, often without those workers’ knowledge or consent. This sort of behavior is dangerously close to illegal and could be viewed as a violation of privacy.
It gets worse.
Between January 2020 and June 2020, there was a 780 percent increase in detection of monitoring apps and a 1,677 percent increase in detection of spyware. More than 43,000 instances of malicious app usage by abusers were detected through the first 10 months of 2020. In turn, 99.3 percent of domestic violence practitioners had clients who had experienced abuse enabled by technology. In fact, there was a 245 percent surge in reports of GPS tracking of victims and survivors, and a 183 percent increase in the use of video cameras over the past five years.
This is serious stuff, folks.
It’s a slippery slope from checking in on your lover to spying on your ex to micro-managing your employees without their consent to controlling and manipulating someone in an abusive relationship.
YouMail Can Help Block Your Stalkers
This is where we might be of assistance. One of YouMail’s free services is call blocking. Statistics show that nearly 50 percent of the calls people receive are unwanted. That means you could be speaking with a dangerous individual or business half the time you answer the phone. Our smart call blocker secures your privacy by eliminating scam calls entirely. We even play an “Out of Service” message when we detect unwanted calls, prompting telemarketers that your phone number is disconnected and should be removed from their calling list forever.
How can we be so sure that a call you’re receiving is unwanted? We have amassed a database of millions of unwanted callers. These numbers include scammers, telemarketers, spammers, and debt collectors. You can add your own numbers to the list, including anyone you would no longer like to receive calls from. When they call, your phone won’t ring. They can’t even leave a voicemail.
Call blocking is just one of the features you get with our free personal plan, along with voicemail, caller ID, voicemail to email, robocall protection, custom greetings, and more. And we’ve been at this for more than a decade, so we know a thing or two.
There are a lot of crazies out there that run the gamut from creepy to scary to flat out dangerous. Start protecting yourself and your loved ones from all of them with YouMail, available for free on the App Store and Google Play.