Explained: What is spyware and stalkerware?

News: According to a report,there was a 51% increase in the use of spyware and stalkerware during the lockdown period from March to June.


  • Spyware and Stalkerware: These are apps like viruses and malware that infect devices that are connected to the internet.
  • However, unlike viruses and malware that can be detected by anti-virus software, spyware and stalkerware disguise themselves as useful and send out stolen data to central servers without the knowledge of the users.
  • How are they installed? A spyware app can be installed remotely.On the other hand, stalkerware apps can be installed only when someone has physical access to the digitally connected device.
  • What do they do? A spyware app accesses the data usage pattern of the device, gains access to photos and videos as well as other personal information of the user and then passes it off to a central server.
    • A stalkerware app also works in a manner similar to spyware apps.It also gives out the location of the device to a master device which controls the stalkerware app.