By Corina Cuevas / Staff Writer
By Corina Cuevas / Staff Writer
As cell phone technology sophistication increases, so does the risk of losing one’s privacy.
Cell phones have become a big part of society’s way of communicating with one another. The bond between people and their cell phones has become so strong that one can even say cell phones have replaced the dog when referring to man’s best friend.
Unfortunately our new best friend attracts unwanted attention.
For example, stalking is not right. People lose their privacy and can easily become target for potential rapists.
This may seem like an exaggeration but it is true. Being stalked by a person is definitely not safe or secure because every step one takes is being watched.
Back in the day, stalkers used to follow the person they wanted by just hiding behind buildings or any other object that kept their identity anonymous.
The trend later changed because of the miniaturization of electronics. The change allowed stalkers to easily hide cameras and microphones to fulfill their objective.
However, the stalker would have to place the camera and microphone in the right place and at the right time.
This would certainly be impossible to accomplish unless the stalker had superhero powers which is not likely.
In a way, electronics have contributed indirectly to helping stalkers because the equipment has been made small enough to carry around which facilitates the job for stalking.
Now stalkers have shifted from the simple miniature camera and microphone to the upgraded camera phone.
Camera phones have the necessary devices that allow stalkers to spy on their victims without having to leave the comfort of their home.
These devices include the phone’s microphone, camera, owner’s personal data, text and call history and so on.
In the article, “Opinion: The stalker in your pocket,” Mike Elgan describes the software stalkers use to take control as “snoop ware.” “Snoopware- both legal and illegal- enables stalkers to secretly seize control of a phone’s electronics to listen, watch and spy on their victims,” said Elgan.
This type of software is legal because most of the software is used by the government to eavesdrop on drug traffickers and terrorists.
It is illegal because it invades a person’s privacy and no one has the right to intervene in anyone’s personal affairs no matter who they are and what they do.
To the stalker’s advantage however, new “snoop ware” allows them to listen to phone calls, read e-mails and text messages or steal contacts and other personal information from their victims.
It also allows them to use the microphone of the victim’s phone to listen to conversations even when the victim has turned off the cell phone.
In “Cell phone spy software,” Diane Watkins argues that “for $150 to $350, depending on the features desired, a stalker or other interested party can legally purchase spy cell phone software that turns a cell phone into a listening and tracking device.”
Companies such as Retina-X Studios and Vervata provide this type of spying technology for concerned parents, suspicious spouses and distrustful bosses.
Is the stalker trend just a case of Big Brother or the blues of altering the way in which stalkers get hold of personal information? It may be both.
The stalker trend is similar to Big Brother because stalkers have easy access through the internet to buy such spyware devices which allows them to spy on their victim 24 hours a day seven days a week if they wanted to.
This is worrying and scary because one cannot be safe anywhere, not even at home which is the only place that is supposed to be safe, isn’t it?
Cell phone stalking is also the blues of altering the way in which stalkers get hold of personal information because they have upgraded their stalking techniques.
As mentioned before, stalkers no longer have to follow their victims around they just have to connect to their victim’s phone and the invasion of privacy begins.
But, how can one know if they are being stalked through their cell phone?
One knows if they are being stalked if the phone lights up for no reason and if random texts are received.
Prevention is the best way to stay away from cell phone stalkers by not allowing strangers to touch one’s cell phone.
The only way the spying technology can be installed is by physical access installation which means that someone has to get the phone in order to install the spyware.
“By preventing potential stalkers from touching your phone, never clicking on e-mail attachments from strangers, and turning off Bluetooth auto discovery, you’ll keep snoop ware off your phone,” said Elgan.
Cell phone stalking is silent and can happen to anyone, thanks to technology’s sophistication in the cell phone industry.