How to get a Finnish IP address
The easiest way to improve your digital privacy is to switch your IP address using a VPN. We’ll …
You’ve heard of spyware, right? Spyware comes in the form of a virus and as a commercially available and legal software. It’s illegal for a stranger (or even someone you know, unless they own the device, and you just use it) to install spyware on your computer or smartphone and spy on you.
However, many parents—perhaps you yourself—use this very same technology to keep tabs on their kids’ computer and smartphone activities. And it’s perfectly legal to do so. It’s referred to as domestic surveillance. And frankly, if you have a 12 year old daughter with a mobile phone, it’s not a bad idea to know what she’s up to and who she’s chatting with. If you have a 14 year old boy you definitely want to know what he’s up to because I was 14 once and dang, I was up to no good!
There are many clever apps that can monitor your kids’ online activities. Depending on their features these apps can do anything you order them to upon installation, including track where your children are in physical space, monitor their text messages, videos and photos sent and received, calls made and received and sometimes even the websites they visit. For parents, this may provide a significant degree of insight and peace of mind.
There are two versions: One lets the user know it’s running by showing an icon, and one that, while running, does not let the user know it (the second version is great for parents—but also precisely what a criminal wants).
Outside of parental monitoring, this kind of technology is considered “spyware,” though the vendors who promote these applications market them as smart ways of remotely watching over your kids.
You can clearly see how this kind of app can be abused: installed on, for instance, an ex-lover’s device. You can see those worms slithering out of that opened can. However, parameters regarding what’s legit and what’s illegal with these kinds of apps have not been universally spelled out—they are somewhat blurred.
But case-by-case incidents are making marks, such as the former U.S. sheriff who was given a probationary sentence because he installed one of these apps on his wife’s work computer to spy on her.
Apps such as described above can be installed remotely, not just directly. You can protect your device as follows: