Cell phones: Spy agents for parents or stalkers?

By Valerie Chen

Ever get the eerie feeling that you are being watched?

You nervously glance over your shoulder, but no one is
there.

Yet, you cannot shake off that disturbing feeling.

Would you have ever thought the intruder was in your pant’s
pocket?

With new cell phone bugging software, no longer does someone
need to be near you inorder to stalk you.

According to an ABC article, a woman was unknowingly stalked by
her ex-boyfriend through her cellular device for three years.

She received text messages from him asking about the dinner she
just ate and he would be outside her hotel room.

Kathy Munoz, a fifth-year apparel merchandising and management
student, said her mother warned her of the technology and to be
careful of her screen randomly lighting up.

“I wouldn’t have thought it was my phone. I would have thought
that I was being followed and that they’re crazy,” said Munoz.

According to a 2009 report from the Department of Justice, the
same kind of GPS technology and other forms of electronic
monitoring were used to stalk one in 13 victims.

Clearly, the immediate response to the software program is a
negative reaction.

After all, nobody wants his or her privacy invaded.

But the software also offers parents a way to keep track of
their children’s whereabouts.

Flexispy.com claims that its software can “protect your
children” or “catch cheating spouses.”

Depending on how much you wish to spend and which package you
purchase, you are allowed different levels of phone access.

The cheapest package offers to block calls, while the priciest
package works on almost all cellular devices and does everything
from obtaining call history to receiving texts and e-mail
contents.

On Spymastertools.com, the Ultimate Bluetooth Mobile Phone Spy
Software proudly states, “Be in complete control! Feel the power of
ultimate knowledge! Dominate other people’s cellular phones with
your phone!”

All of this comes for a small price.

Munoz does not see a positive light.

“It provides too much information,” said Munoz. “Why would you
want to know what your kids are talking about all the time? That’s
a little weird. Let them have their space.”

Whether the public likes it or not, the software will continue
to be available.

It is legal for retailers to sell it and laws have yet to be set
in concrete about the software’s use.

As times are changing, technology continues to evolve.

The software is just the beginning of new programs that people,
stalkers or not, can take advantage of.

“Be alert. Invasion of privacy is going to continue no matter
what,” said Carlos Cardenas, a third-year international business
student.

Subsequently, students’ devotion to communicating through their
phones can be dangerous.

Cell phones are vulnerable to attack and their owners pay the
consequences.

However, if you suspect your cell phone may be bugged,
immediately call your provider to reinstall your operating system
or purchase a new phone.

Be careful to never leave your phone out of your sight”spy ware
can be very quickly and easily installed.

“Be smart about it,” said Cardenas. “The best thing to do if you
notice someone is stalking you is to take it to your local cell
phone store and get rid of your problem.”

Reach Valerie Chen at: lifestyle@thepolypost.com

Cell phones: Spy agents for parents or stalkers?

Illustration by Roland Tran

Cell phones: Spy agents for parents or stalkers?

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