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Singaporeans admit to digital stalking in Kaspersky survey
Wed, 14th Feb 2024

Technology company Kaspersky reveals startling data assessing the extent of digital abuse, as its global survey released on Valentine's Day exposes a worrying number of Singaporeans who have subjected their partners to online stalking. The findings demonstrate that the digital age has brought a wave of potential erosions of privacy and increased risks for those in a relationship.

In the sample of 1,000 Singaporeans surveyed, 42% admitted to the installation of stalkerware or ability-enabling monitoring tools on their partners' mobile devices. Alongside this, 22% confessed to fixing eyes on their partners' activities in order to verify their whereabouts matched their words. Unnervingly, one-quarter of participants reported having experienced some form of online stalking from their dating counterparts.

Highlighting the perils attached to the digital quest for love, almost one-quarter of the global interviewees admitted they had endured online stalking from someone they were newly dating. Whether it be tracking via location settings or data privacy breaches, the study evidences an alarming increase in stalking and abuse, with an array of harrowing instances reported, including unsolicited communications, non-consensual filming or photographing, location tracking, social media account hacking and stalkerware installation.

Kaspersky's Managing Director for Asia Pacific, Adrian Hia, called attention to the dangers posed by stalking software, labelling it as a facilitator of destructive conduct that demands action. Hia stated, "Stalkerware's chilling grip on thousands demands action. This insidious tool fuels harmful behaviour, and Kaspersky is tackling it head-on."

"We will continue to raise awareness, share expertise, and collaborate with partners from public and private sectors. It is our unwavering mission to equip victims with knowledge and guide them towards the safest path, ultimately reversing the tide against digital abuse," said Hia. 

Although digital monitoring tools provide ways of uncovering relationship betrayals, their misuse fuels ongoing harmful behaviour and presents perils for partners unwittingly subjected to breaches of their privacy. Within this climate of digital abuse, Kaspersky has made strides to support victims and combat the nefarious use of stalkerware, partnering with a range of global organisations dedicated to ending domestic violence and providing resources to educate individuals on safe dating practices and methods of avoiding the installation of monitoring apps.

The poll, conducted on behalf of Kaspersky by Arlington Research, gathered data from 21,000 respondents worldwide. Interviewees either identified as single, dating someone, or were currently not dating but had experienced a relationship previously. The study took place over a fortnight in early January 2024.

Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity and digital privacy company founded in 1997. Kaspersky's deep threat intelligence and security expertise are constantly transforming into innovative solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company's comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection, specialised security products and services, as well as Cyber Immune solutions to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats.