Defend Your Data: Know how to spot and remove stalkerware, then better protect yourself
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Defend Your Data: Know how to spot and remove stalkerware, then better protect yourself

16/04/2022  |   135 Views

Stalkerware, also known as spyware, is monitoring software that lets someone track activity on your phone, tablet or computer. These programs must be manually installed, so they are most often used by someone close to you, such as a partner, ex-partner, spouse, boss or parent. During Data Privacy Week, Information Technology Services and the Office of Equity Assurance are sharing some clues that could indicate the presence of stalkerware on your device:

• Fast-draining battery

• Constant overheating

• Unprompted resets

• Large increase in mobile data use

Appearance of suspicious apps that have access to your personal information like text messages and GPS location.

Defend Your Data: Know how to spot and remove stalkerware, then better protect yourself

If you are experiencing these problems, go to Settings on your device, select Applications and carefully review all downloaded apps, not just those appearing on the home screen. Delete any you don’t recognize, then set up a passcode lock that only you know. Consider adding an additional biometric security measure to your device, such as a fingerprint or facial recognition.

If you or someone you know is experiencing technology enabled abuse or harassment, first ensure your own safety and the safety of others. Call 911 in emergency situations.

Abuse or harassment can be reported to the University Police Department at 304-293-3136 or to other law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction over the crime. Students, faculty and staff can also report abuse and harassment to the University by calling the Equity assurance and Title IX office at 304-293-5600 or by filing a report.

The Office of Equity Assurance and the legal system work independently, but in coordination. You may file a report with the University, law enforcement, with both or with neither. The standards for determining a violation of criminal law are different than the standard in WVU’s grievance procedures. Neither the results of a criminal investigation nor the decision of law enforcement on whether to investigate determines whether a violation of the University’s policy has occurred.

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