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Protect your phone from secret spyware

Protect your phone from secret spyware
photo courtesy of shutterstock

Smartphones have become one of the most important gadgets in our lives. I know that if I ever lost mine, I would have trouble calling my friends and family. Once I store their phone number in my contacts, that's it, out of my mind forever.

But there is so much more than storage for contacts.

Smartphones have the inside scoop to much of our lives. We use them to keep precious photos and videos. We use our smartphone for banking, social media and much more.

There's so much sensitive data on our phone, it's frightening to think that someone could be spying on your every move. Unfortunately, secret spyware allows scammers to do just that.

How spyware works

Spyware is basically malware that's been developed to snoop on you, track your location and steal your information. It can be installed on your phone without you even knowing about it by clicking on a malicious link sent by a scammer wanting to spy on your phone.

There are a number of spy apps that can stay hidden on your phone and record everything you do. The snoop can watch every detail of your life and you'll never know.

Now let's be clear, there are occasions when spyware is used for non-threatening purposes. We hear regularly from parents worried about what their kids are up to on their smartphones. While our first recommendation is always open lines of communication with kids, sometimes it pays to keep tabs on them directly.

Another scenario when spyware isn't being used maliciously is in the workplace. Employers occasionally like to keep tabs on employees using company equipment.

Legally, an individual or company is only allowed to install spying software on a phone, tablet, or computer they own. So, employers giving out company phones and parents giving a phone to their kids are covered. They just need to make it very clear to the users of the phone that they're being watched, and for business purposes, written consent is also needed.

Next page: Are iPhones at risk?
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