Google found a number of apps working as a stalkerware and banned them from the Google Play Store. The search giant also discovered that these apps have been violating the Play Store terms of service. So if you don’t want to be stalked, remove them from your Android device.
Through stalkerware, a third party can gain access to another user’s private information like location data and device. You’ll often find such apps in the guise of regular tracking tools. These tools claim to be able to spy on your children, partner, friends, or employees. They let you stalk your children or your employees’ activities on company phones.
But these stalkerware apps violate the terms and conditions of service at the Google Play Store, which prohibits commercial spyware and surveillance apps. Google only allows apps which comply with Google policies and have reporting and tracking features.
The permitted tracking apps, however, must meet two preconditions before they’re allowed to be distributed via Google Play.
- First, these apps need to be designed for enterprise management or parental monitoring.
- Second, the apps must clearly state their purpose to the users without misleading them.
For example, a tracking app may try to hide in a user’s device. Once it succeeds in doing so, it may send the user’s location data to a third party. In this case, the said app will be banned by Google from the Play Store.
Also Read: Secret Malware Outbreak Infects 2 Billion Android Apps
Google has banned these 7 Apps from the Play Store
Avast, a well-known security company, alerted Google about this threat and highlighted the seven stalkerware apps listed below:-
- Spy Tracker
- Mobile Tracking
- SMS Tracker
- Track Employees Check Work Phone Online Spy Free
- Employee Work Spy
- Spy Kids Tracker
- Phone Cell Tracker
If you have any of these apps on your Android device, remove them right now. Once done, if you still suspect someone of tracking your movements even without having these apps on your phone, simply perform a factory reset on your device.
Before doing that, remember to back up important data like your photos and other stuff. Consider reinstalling your apps next. After your device is reset, set a stronger unlocking process on your phone than before. This is to ensure that a third party can’t reinstall tracking tools on your device.
Also Read: How to Remove Third-Party Apps which are Accessing Your Gmail Account?
Have you ever been tracked by any of these stalkerware apps? Do tell us in the comments!