- One out of every 100 mobile users was affected by stalkerware last year in Kenya and Nigeria, according to security firm Kaspersky
- Stalkaware can enable a person to read your personal messages, view your photos and videos, track your location, and even listen in on your calls.
- Kaspersky recommends users to block app installation outside the Play Store, which has its own shortcomings but a bit safer, install a mobile antivirus and to avoid clicking on links sent in spam emails.
Among the many things that have risen sharply since the onset of the pandemic are cybersecurity attacks.
Whether it’s on mobile or PCs, threats increased heavily in 2020. Specifically, one out of every 100 mobile users was affected by stalkerware last year in Kenya. This is according to a recent report from Kaspersky.
Stalkerware, for the uninformed, is a form of malicious software used for, as the name suggests, stalking individuals. As such, stalkerware is usually targeted at a specific individual, unlike general malware.
In other words, one out of 100 mobile users in Kenya is being stalked. Stalkaware can enable a person to read your personal messages, view your photos and videos, track your location, listen to your calls, and so on.
Due to its nature, stalkerware can have serious repercussions to the tracked individuals.
Lehan van den Heever, Enterprise Cyber Security Advisor for Kaspersky in Africa, says stalkerware has life and death consequences to the affected individuals.
For example, a perpetrator can track their estranged partner with ill intentions or human trafficking rings targeting children.
According to the digital security firm, about 54 000 users globally were affected by such apps last year. The numbers in Africa are growing, which, Kaspersky researchers say, is a cause for concern.
In general, 7% of Kenyan mobile users were affected by malware in 2020. 13% were hit by adware, a type of malware that sends unsolicited ads to a user, benefitting the perpetrator financially.
In Nigeria, 7% were hit by malware and 13% by adware, but only 4% and 7% in South Africa.
Staying Safe from Malware
The company released TinyCheck, a stalkerware finding tool that helps users uncover if they are being monitored to combat the issue.
Kaspersky recommends you block app installation outside the Play Store, which has its own shortcomings but a bit safer, and install a mobile antivirus. Also, you should not click links sent to you in spam emails.
Read this handy article on how to check if your devices are affected by stalkerware.