The latest report from cybersecurity solutions company Kaspersky shows a minimal decrease in the number of individuals affected by stalkerware. From 32,694 users affected by cyberstalking in 2021, it is now down to 29,312 for the year 2022.
Stalkerware is a commercially available software that can be installed discreetly on smartphone devices, which enables stalkers to monitor their target’s every activity.
Citing its own data, Kaspersky detected stalkerware cases in 176 countries proving that digital stalking continues to be a global phenomenon..
According to the Kaspersky Security Network in 2022, Russia, Brazil, India, Iran, and the United States were the top 5 countries most affected by stalkerware. These were followed by Turkey, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Mexico.
Coalition Against Stalkerware
“After a sustained downward trend in the years prior to 2021, this relative stability highlights the global scale of digital stalking and suggests that the problem is not going away on its own,” Kaspersky said in a statement.
Kaspersky’s data are anonymized but citing a different report, the company said victims of stalkerware are mostly women.
Kaspersky continues to collaborate with all Coalition Against Stalkerware partners to support victims and to better train professionals working in the field of domestic violence.”
Kaspersky is one of the co-founders of the Coalition Against Stalkerware, an international group dedicated to tackling stalkerware and combating domestic violence. From 2021-2023, Kaspersky was a consortium partner of the EU project DeStalk, co-funded by the Rights, Equality, and Citizenship Program of the European Union.
Kaspersky’s Privacy Alert
“Kaspersky is actively working to improve the protection of users,” the cybersecurity solutions company said. “As part of this effort, Kaspersky has updated its Privacy Alert — a notification if stalkerware is found on a device.”
The update means that the notification now not only informs the user about the presence of stalkerware on the device, but also warns the user that if stalkerware is removed, the person who installed the software will be alerted. Since it was introduced in 2019, Kaspersky’s Privacy Alert has been included in all of the company’s consumer security solutions to protect against stalkerware.
In June 2022, Kaspersky launched a website to share further information about TinyCheck, a free, safe and easy-to-use tool to check devices for stalkerware and monitoring apps.